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Which DBS check do I need? – Member of Parliament

To work as an MP in the UK you do not need to undergo a statutory DBS check by the Disclosure and Barring Service but there are some exceptions.

DBS checks are statutory criminal record checks for those who work in frontline roles. There are four levels of DBS checks in operation in the UK, which vary according to the degree of interaction with the public employees engage in on a regular basis.

The four types of DBS checks are:

  • Basic DBS
  • Standard DBS
  • Enhanced DBS
  • Enhanced DBS with barring list

With basic DBS checks necessary for councillors and mayors, this lack of vetting for any Member of Parliament is surprising, particularly as MPs do come into lots of contact with the public. Maybe the anomaly is to do with the fact that MPs are the ones who make the legislation in the first place!

Eligibility for Members of Parliament

Whatever the reasoning, there is a clause that must be noted. That is if you have been found guilty and sentenced to more than one year in prison and are currently detailed as a result, you will not be able to serve as an MP.

This restriction for DBS checks for any Member of Parliament is set out in the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The measure is a statutory ruling so failure to adhere to the guidelines is a legal offence.

To understand more about your rights under the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and DBS checks for MPs in the UK, visit: hub.unlock.org.uk/rehabilitationofoffendersact

We support organisations and individuals to complete DBS checks quickly and easily. We offer a complete range of tailored support services to ensure basic DBS applications are processed smoothly. To find out more, visit our home page.