Depending on the sector you are in, there might be a chance that you and your team will need a certain level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
If you don’t belong to or represent an organisation that is recognised by the DBS then you can use an online CRB check service for fast and reliable results.
CRB checks are here for the peace of mind and safety of both the employer and the customer. As a general rule, if your service takes you and your team into areas where there are children or vulnerable adults, you might need to carry out either standard or enhanced checks on your employees.
The 30-day rule
If your business has a regular contract with a facility that teaches or houses young people or vulnerable adults, then you will be expected to have a standard CRB check. The law states that if you visit a facility more than three times in a 30-day period you and your staff are going to have standard CRB checks. Even if your work rarely finds you at the same location more than once, it is advisable to have current standard CRB checks for all your staff to prepare for the eventuality that one-offs could become regular contracts.
The different types of CRB checks
Basic check: this can only be applied for by an individual. It will disclose any unspent convictions and cautions. It is largely used in the hospitality industry. If you have passed the British Institute of Innkeeper’s personal licence exam, your local council will only provide you with a card if you have basic CRB clearance.
Standard check: reveals any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has. If you lead up an accounting team, for example, a standard CRB check is compulsory to make sure that they are all suitable in the role of dealing with sensitive financial information. This check is also used for contractors, such as electricians and builders, who work regularly in an environment that has children or vulnerable adults.
Enhanced check: reveals the same information as a standard check, as well as any other relevant information held by the applicant’s local police force. To be eligible for an enhanced check, a role must be included in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations.
Enhanced with barred lists check: reveals the same information as an enhanced check, and also checks whether the applicant is on the relevant barred list. To be eligible for a check of the barred list, the role must be eligible for an enhanced check and involve working in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.
Do CRB checks expire?
No, there’s no official expiry date for a CRB check, but the information supplied by the Disclosure and Barring Service can only be truly accurate on the date the certificate is issued. There’s no expiry date because the person in question could receive a conviction at any time after the check is carried out.
A rule of thumb, however, is that a CRB check is deemed current if it is less than three years old. You can also sign up your staff for the DBS’s Update Service, which keeps up to date with any changes to the subject’s situation.
Some organisations, such as Ofsted, have their own terms and conditions regarding the renewal of DBS checks. If you are involved with a large organisation such as Ofsted or the NHS, then make yourself familiar with their regulations.