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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

  • The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

  • DBS also maintains the adults' and children's Barred Lists and makes considered decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists and barred from engaging in regulated activity.

  • Employers can check the criminal record of someone applying for a role.

  • You can request a more detailed check for certain roles, for example in healthcare or childcare.

  • When you arrive in the UK, your new employer will apply for a DBS check.

  • DBS (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau or CRB) is similar to a police check that you already have from your native country.

  • Once you have arrived in the UK, you will need to provide a copy of a recent overseas police check (within the last three months) and complete a form.

  • You will be asked to fill in an application form and provide some original documents and detailed information with regards to your previous addresses.

  • You will need to make sure that there are no gaps in your address history; otherwise, your application will not be processed.

  • Once complete, your employer will check and submit your form.

  • Within three to four weeks you will receive a certificate which is valid for one year.

  • Your employer will pay for your DBS check. 

Checking levels

There are Four level of Checks involved :

  • Basic Check , which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions

  • Standard Check, which shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings

  • An enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role.

  • An enhanced check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role.​

There are different rules for getting a criminal record check in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For more information visit:

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