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What's a DBS Check?

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What is a DBS Check?

A DBS check is a service run by The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) a UK government department whose aim is to stop unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

Apprentice employers can ask for a DBS check for an individual they might employ to ensure that they are recruiting suitable people into their company. The DBS will create a certificate / report for each person the apprentice employer requests a DBS check for.

There are three levels of DBS check and the level which the employer can request depends on the role you have received an offer for. For example, you would expect a DBS check needed for working in a nursery would be more detailed than one you may need to work in an office perhaps.

Basic DBS check

The certificate will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions that are still active.

  • bartender
  • office worker
  • shop assistant

Standard DBS check

A standard DBS check is suitable for roles, such as a security guard. The certificate will contain details of both current and past convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer.

  • accountant
  • locksmith
  • traffic warden

Enhanced DBS check

An enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or adults such as those in healthcare or personal care. The certificate will contain the same details as a standard certificate and, and depending on the role an employer can request that DBS barred lists are checked if the role involves specific activities.

  • driving instructor
  • librarian
  • taxi driver

Enhanced with barred list DBS checks

Jobs where an enhanced check with barred list might be asked for include:

  • carer
  • doctor
  • teacher

Why does an apprentice employer need to do a DBS check?

Apprentice employers need to safeguard that the services they offer are being performed by people they can trust and suitable to do the job. For example, is it suitable for someone who has a conviction for Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) to be employed as a carer? Most care providers would probably think not. The DBS checking service allows employers to find out this sort of information about the people they might employ.

What happens if I don't 'pass' a DBS check?

If your personal DBS certificate contains details of warnings or convictions which the employer has decided are unsuitable for the role you won't be offered the role or it will be withdrawn - simple. However, depending on the offence and your age the details of your DBS check can be erased. There is a difference between adult and youth (under 18) convictions. Youth rehabilitation periods are shorter than adult rehabilitation periods and this will be reflected in your DBS certificate.

Is a DBS report forever?

A DBS certificate doesn't have an expiry date but the cautions and convictions which appear on a DBS certificate do.

The following table gives general guidance about when Motoring cautions and convictions become spent. If you're not sure what information you need to give people, you can seek legal advice.

If you were under 18 when convicted

Motoring conviction When it becomes spent
Disqualification - with end date On the date the disqualification ends
Disqualification - with no end date 2 years after the disqualification is given
Endorsement 2.5 years after the endorsement is given
Penalty points 3 years after the points are given

If you were 18 or over when convicted

Motoring conviction When it becomes spent
Disqualification - with end date On the date the disqualification ends
Disqualification - with no end date 2 years after the disqualification is given
Endorsement 5 years after the endorsement is given
Penalty points 3 years after the points are given

Other hospital orders, military convictions and prison sentences have different expiry dates,you can find a more complete list from the UK Gov Criminal record disclosure section.

Find more information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service

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