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Enhanced DBS Checks

Apply for a DBS Check

An enhanced DBS check is the most detailed level of check into your criminal record. You’ll sometimes hear this sort of check being referred to as a CRB check, but this sort of terminology is out of date. Many different types of jobs need an enhanced disclosure check. Because of the level of detail shown on the disclosure certificate, only employers can request one. Most people who need an enhanced DBS check in working in jobs in health or personal care, or with children.


What does the certificate show?

An enhanced DBS certificate will list the full details of any records held about you on the Police computer. This could include spent and unspent convictions, but also any cautions, warnings or formal legal reprimands. It doesn’t show things like points on your driving licence as running a red light or speeding isn’t a criminal matter.

Usually, an enhanced disclosure will be done alongside a search of the Barred Lists. These are official registers held by the Home Office, and which contain the names of people who have been prohibited by the courts from working with children, vulnerable adults, or both. In some cases, the police might list some “intelligence” they have on file. This could be the case if, for example, a person has been repeatedly linked to serious offences or have had complaints made against them which haven’t led to an arrest.


How do I apply for a check?

You can’t ask the DBS for this level of check on yourself. Enhanced disclosures are only available to organisations employing people in specific roles. The legal phrase is “regulated activity”, and this means that it is impossible to apply for an enhanced DBS outside this definition. Volunteers might also require an enhanced DBS check depending on the type of work they are doing, and again, the charity or voluntary agency will help them through the application process.


Application Process

If you do need to apply for an enhanced DBS check, your employer should give guidance on how to do this. The process is the same whatever level of check is needed. First, complete the application form online with your personal details. You will need to list the basics like name, address, date of birth and contact details, along with any previous names or surnames you have used, and an address history going back five years. This all helps the police ensure they are checking the correct records. The next step is proving your identity by showing a range of documents to your employer. Finally, the police will search their records and decide what sort of information should be disclosed on your certificate. The certificate is sent out in the post to the applicant, not to their employer or any other organisation.


Renewing an Enhanced Disclosure

There is no expiry date on enhanced DBS certificates. Organisations will have their own policies about how often you have to go through the application process again. Every two or three months is the norm.