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Responsible organisation

Clear Check Ltd are registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service to process Basic disclosure checks. A Responsible Organisation, or RO, is often confused with an Umbrella Body or Registered Body, but there are differences in what each of these organisations can offer you.

A Responsible Organisation firstly has to be registered with the DBS and approved to submit basic disclosure checks only. There is an application and approval process, and the Disclosure and Barring Service will expect all ROs to adhere to basic standards in terms of how applications are processed. Responsible Bodies can only send their DBS checks over the internet and can’t offer applicants a paper application route. In order for the DBS to keep the number of ROs to a manageable number, only organisations which submit over 1,000 applications a year are entitled to apply for RO status. A full list of all Responsible Organisations, along with links to the relevant website, are available on the government’s website.

Clear Check Ltd are currently only allowed to submit basic disclosure checks. These are the least detailed of the three levels of disclosure, and the certificate will show the applicant’s current and unspent criminal record only. Unlike other levels of disclosure check however, anyone can apply for a basic disclosure check for any reason. Other levels of disclosure check are restricted to people who are employed in a specific list of occupations. Self-employed people may choose to apply for a basic disclosure as a type of character reference, and employers are free to ask any member of staff to get a basic disclosure check should they choose to do so. The idea of Responsible Organisations only applies in the legal context of England and Wales. As Scotland and Northern Ireland have different legal systems, the process for obtaining a basic disclosure there is different too.


What service do Clear Check Ltd offer as a Responsible Organisation?

As a Responsible Organisation we offer a range of services to our clients, with basic disclosures being only a small part of the portfolio of services. After applying a trained staff member will then check over the information, arrange for the checking of the applicant’s identity documents, then submit the application manually to the Disclosure and Barring service. As with other types of disclosure checks, the certificate is sent out directly to the applicant rather than back to the Responsible Organisation.

As a responsible organisation we follow strict guidance and adhere to the following:

  • Checking identity information supplied to support a basic disclosure application in line with DBS guidelines
  • Making sure that the information the applicant has provided is both true and complete
  • Getting written consent from the applicant to submit the application on their behalf

This legal requirement for compliance with the high standards of the DBS process should reassure anyone intending to submit an application through Clear Check Ltd. Clear Check Ltd has a responsibility to do the right thing for each and every applicant, keep their data and personal information safe, and liaise closely with the Disclosure and Barring Service about any changes in policy and procedure. Clear Check Ltd have to make sure that we adhere to the same rules as all other companies in terms of GDPR and data protection. This is particularly important when dealing with basic disclosure checks, which might contain very sensitive information about someone’s criminal record. Feel free to request information from us we are happy to answer any questions you may have about how we are storing and processing your data.


What are the benefits of using Clear Check for processing your DBS Checks?

If applicants are allowed to submit their own basic disclosure checks in England, Wales and Scotland, then what is the point of using Clear Check Ltd? There are in fact several advantages to getting the experts involved. The main plus point is that we spend a lot of time processing basic disclosure checks, and can make sure that the forms are completed in full and without any mistakes. This is particularly important given the changes which were made in 2019 to the application process. Rather than chasing up mistakes and contacting applicants to query omissions, the DBS now just rejects incomplete forms outright. This means you have to start the application again from scratch, and may have to pay the fee again too. Using Clear Check Ltd avoids this situation, and will mean that you get your certificate without delay. It also gives applicants someone to ask about any unusual circumstances or address history which they may have about the process rather than contacting the DBS direct. We can’t process applications any faster than by applying direct, but will help avoid the common application pitfalls made by so many applicants that would usually delay a DBS Check. It’s one less thing to worry about at a time when you’re applying for new jobs, moving house or just dealing with other issues in your everyday life. The certificate which is sent out when you apply through us is exactly the same as the basic disclosure certificate when you apply direct.


Responsible Organisations and Checking Identification Documents

All levels of DBS check require the applicant to provide a range of identity documents. There are multiple reasons for doing this. Firstly, something like a passport or driving licence with your photograph on it allows us to check your name, and make sure that you’ve not given a false name on the form. Utility bills and bank statements provide confirmation of your address. There is a set formula for working out what combination of identity documents you must provide and this can be complicated. Again, we will help you navigate your way through the different groups of documents and work out whether you have the required paperwork. There is also lots of guidance that our staff trained in regarding how to check identity documents, so whether you are an applicant or someone who works with identity documents, there are lots of good tips for spotting when something isn’t quite right.

The guidance from the DBS dictates that as a Responsible Organisation we must only ever accept original documents in support of identity. The rules also say that the documents must be valid and current, so unexpired, and showing the names you are currently using. Photocopies of documents can’t be accepted under any circumstances, although Clear Check (CRBDirect.org.uk) might want to take photocopies of your identity documents for our own records. Print outs from the internet can’t be accepted either, which often causes issues for our applicants who manage their bank account, credit card or utility bills online. Most banks and utility companies will send statements in the post on request, but this obviously takes time and there may be a small administration fee for providing the paperwork.

All documents which you provide to a Clear Check Ltd as part of a basic disclosure process must match the name which you have stated on the application form. This isn’t a problem for most people, but can cause issues for some. For example, someone called Thomas won’t be able to present any documents which have been issued in the name of Tom, or Tommy. If you’ve changed your surname through marriage or divorce, then you can apply in your old name, stating your previous names in the appropriate fields.

Staff at Clear Check Ltd are also are advised to cross-match all documents against any other information we have about you. That means checking that the address history you’ve given on your form ties up with the information on your CV, in terms of where you’ve been living and working. Staff processing checks will also look at all documents provided to make sure that there are no discrepancies between any of the paperwork. If there are queries, we will resolve at this stage before being submitted to the DBS.

Most people who apply for a basic DBS check have nothing to hide and are entirely honest. However, there are some people who will try to obtain a basic disclosure certificate for other reasons. The staff at Clear Check Ltd have to be on guard for forged or fraudulent documents. Fakes fall into two main categories. Firstly, there are the genuine documents which have been altered to contain someone else’s photograph or details. The other group of documents have been created by a forger, and are entirely fake. There are lots of different methods for spotting fakes, and much of the skill is developed over time by looking at hundreds of genuine passports, driving licences or other forms of identification. Our Advisors are told to look for obvious indications of tampering, to look carefully for watermarks and check on the official government websites for information about the wide range of security features which banks, governments and other institutions build into their documents for safety.


Non-EU Applicants

Identity checking is complex enough when it comes to British and European applicants, but gets even more complicated when dealing with identity documents from outside the EU. European Union passports and driving licences all look pretty much the same, but there is much more variation in the appearance of documents. Overseas documents can be submitted in support of a basic disclosure application, but Clear Check Ltd might take a bit longer to verify the authenticity of the documents the are unfamiliar with. There are other rules specific to non-EU identification, mostly that it must be current, with biometric identification preferred.


Right to Work

The Disclosure and Barring Service also makes the point that getting a basic disclosure certificate is not the same as proving someone’s right to work in the UK. A basic disclosure check can be obtained for multiple reasons, not all of which are connected with getting a job. A right to work check does involve showing many of the same documents as you need to get a basic disclosure check, but with a different purpose. Many employers will do a right to work check before taking on any new worker, asking for a passport to prove their nationality. There are heavy fines for employers who take on workers who don’t have the right to live or work in the UK legally.

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