What is a DBS Check?

You’re here on this page probably because your current or potential employer has specified a DBS check. What does one even mean? Well, here you will find out what DBS stands for, what checks are made, and how you can get a DBS check.

DBS Check

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and was once known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). Majority of positions which require to work with children or the vulnerable will need a valid DBS certificate. Requesting employees to take a DBS check will allow the employer to make safer recruitment decisions and block any people who will be at risk to vulnerable groups.

The different types of DBS checks

  • Basic Check - Shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions.


  • Standard Check - Shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.


  • Enhanced Check - In addition to the standard check, an enhanced check will gather any information held by the local police, which is relevant to the role.


  • Enhanced Check with barred lists - Same as above but the check also looks if the individual is on any lists barring them from the role

What do you need for a DBS check?

When asked to do a DBS check, you will need to provide the following documents:

Basic Check:

  • Photo identification (passport or driving licence)
  • Proof of address (utility bill, bank statement etc.)

Standard or Enhanced Check:

In addition to photo identification, you must also provide two copies of government trusted documents such as:

  • Birth certificate
  • Financial statement
  • Current photo driving licence

What happens if you fail a DBS check?

If you fail a DBS check, then the employer will need to have a policy on hiring ex-offenders, if so you can request to see this policy.

What jobs require a DBS check?

As discussed earlier, positions that require you to work with children or vulnerable groups require this check. Below are a few examples of what those positions could be:

  • Teachers
  • Social Workers
  • Childminders
  • Foster Carers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Solicitors
  • Barristers
  • Veterinary Surgeons
  • Accountants

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