DBS

2nd December 2019

What is a DBS?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is part of the Home Office. Organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors use the DBS to make recruitment decisions to identify candidates who may not be suitable for certain work involving children or vulnerable adults or positions of responsibility like law and accountancy

We supply staff to clients in the care, education and health sectors and because of their service use types we need to ensure that the staff we send are DBS cleared

There are two levels of DBS available, a Standard or an Enhanced. Choosing which one depends on the types of places that you will be working at and the duties of the job. We generally choose the Enhanced DBS because of the types of jobs that we offer

The cost of an Enhanced DBS with us is £48.34. We complete the application for you and aim to keep you across the process. We only apply for DBSs for candidates that are working for us and ones who we feel who would be able to use their DBS. If your requirements fit with the types of work that we are able to offer then we may recommend you apply for one. We make no money on DBS applications ; all of your payment goes to the processing company

Does a criminal record stop you getting a job?

It’s a common question, because over 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record. However, a criminal record doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get a job. It all depends on the nature and severity of the offence you committed and its relevance to the role you’re applying for

Will my offences show up on a criminal record check?

Criminal convictions become ‘spent’ after a certain amount of time. This means that, under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, the conviction can effectively be ignored (except in particular circumstances – more on this below)

The length of time it takes for the conviction to become spent – known as the ‘rehabilitation period’ – depends on how severe the penalty was. Until this rehabilitation period is complete, the conviction is ‘unspent’

Some jobs may require your potential employer to apply for a DBS check on your behalf. If you have unspent convictions, they will show up on any level of disclosure

If you have spent convictions, they won’t appear on a basic disclosure, but will show up on a standard or enhanced DBS check – unless they’ve been protected or filtered in line with current guidance. ‘Filtering’ is the term the DBS uses to describe the process which identifies and removes protected convictions and cautions so they’re no longer disclosed on a DBS certificate

Do I have to disclose my criminal record when I apply for jobs?

If you have any unspent convictions, you are legally required to disclose them

What about spent convictions?

If you have a spent conviction, you must first consider whether it will be filtered in line with current DBS guidance

Standard and enhanced DBS certificates will include details of convictions and cautions (which include youth cautions, reprimands and warnings) recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC). PNC information relating to protected cautions and convictions will be filtered and won’t appear on the certificate

Employers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of spent convictions. However, some jobs are exempt from this rule, including:

  • Jobs that involve working with children or vulnerable adults
  • Senior roles in banking or finance
  • Law enforcement roles, including the police and judiciary
  • The military, navy and air force
  • Work involving national security
  • Certain roles in healthcare, pharmacy and the law
  • Certain roles in the prison service
  • Private security work

If you undergo a standard or enhanced DBS check, you’ll be required to disclose any conviction, caution, final warning or reprimand that isn’t protected. Only the information your employer is legally entitled to know will appear on your DBS certificate

Can I use my DBS with multiple Employers?

DBS disclosures/certificates can be portable/transferable as long as they are registered on the DBS database, called the Update Service. Registration also allows applicants to keep their DBS disclosures/certificates up to date online as well as enabling employers to check a disclosure/certificate online

How to register your DBS

You can register online straight away using your application form reference number or you can wait and register with your new disclosure/certificate number, once you’ve received your certificate. With both ways of registering you must register within 30 days of the new disclosure/certificate being issued. Personally I would register it using the application number in case of delays with the postal system. Click on the following link https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service and choose “register for the Update Service” to register your DBS

You can keep an online check as to the progress of the new DBS disclosure/certificate using the DBS tracking service by using the following link https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/enquiry/enquirySearch.do. Please bear in mind that sometimes it can take a few days for the application to show up on the tracking system

Registration lasts for one year and costs £13.00 per year – to be met by you and payable by debit or credit card only. This cost is payable in the first year on top of the cost of applying for the disclosure/certificate (being £48.34) but at least on the anniversary of your disclosure/certificate expiring you will only have to pay a one off fee of £13 per year (instead of £48.34 per agency you apply for DBS with, which is how it used to be)

You will get an ID number with your registration that you will need to log on to the service. The onus to register your disclosure/certificate with the Update Service is down to yourself as we cannot do this for you

What you get for registering it

When you join, you will get an online account that lets you:

  • take your disclosure/certificate from one job to the next
  • give employers permission to check your disclosure/certificate online, and see who has checked it
  • add or remove a disclosure/certificate
  • never have to apply for another DBS again (unless government procedures change)

Employers and other organisations can check someone’s DBS disclosures/certificate status online but firstly they must be legally entitled to do so and also have the workers permission to do so

What is the lifespan of a DBS

This depends on the view of the client that you start working for. Our clients generally say one year. We have heard instances that, even with a DBS that is registered with the Update Service, your new job will still like to apply for a new DBS

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