The phrase “DBS check required” is something you’ll often see on a job advert. In fact, it seems so commonplace that you could easily assume that getting a DBS check is standard for all jobs. That’s not the case. Employers are restricted by law in what they can ask, and what type of checks they can run.
Basic DBS Checks
The one exception to this is the basic DBS check. This is the least detailed level of check and the certificate will just list your current, unspent criminal record. As employers often ask as standard whether you have any unspent convictions, asking for a basic DBS check simply confirms that you’re telling the truth. Many employers don’t want the expense or hassle of running DBS checks on everyone, so don’t bother. Self-employed people can also ask for DBS checks on themselves.
Standard DBS Checks
Standard checks are more detailed than basic checks. There is a wide range of jobs which might ask for a standard check. However, these mostly fall into the broad category of jobs which have some sort of financial responsibility or standing in the community. A standard check might be required for someone working in a bank who has access to customers’ accounts and could potentially be a fraud risk, a traffic warden, someone working in the court system or anyone applying for a licence to sell alcohol.
Enhanced DBS Checks
Enhanced checks are the type of disclosure which gets the most publicity and many people think all DBS checks are at this detailed level. The most detailed level of DBS checks is reserved for people whose job or voluntary position gives them access to the most vulnerable members of society. This could be children, elderly people or people who are ill in hospital. In most cases, you won’t be able to start work in one of these occupations before your DBS certificate comes through.
Applying for DBS Checks
There is no real difference in the process when applying for one of the three levels of check. The same process of filling in application form, proving your identity with documents and getting the certificate applies in each case. Usually, it takes about three weeks for a DBS certificate to arrive in the post, but it will depend on the time of year and even the area of the country – some are slower than others.
The one main drawback of DBS checks at any level is that they are not transferrable. If you have an enhanced disclosure certificate for your main job in a hospital, you can’t use the same certificate to get a voluntary position as a sports coach. Similarly, if you swap jobs and need a new check at a different level, you’ll have to go through the application process again. If you are in the position of having to apply for several DBS checks over the course of a year, look into the Update service which addresses some of these concerns and can reduce paperwork.