UK Disclosure and Barring service DBS checks

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are now called Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS checks

DBS checks fast turnaround,  Receive your report within 72 hours

What is a DBS Check ?

DBS ChecksIt is a check of an individual’s criminal convictions and cations performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service. There are 3 levels of checks that can be done. The nature of the job been applied for, will determine the level of check carried out. These are particularly important when people will be working with children or vulnerable adults.

Who can ask for a DBS check

Only employers and licensing bodies can request a DBS check. Job applicants can’t do a criminal records check on themselves. Individuals can request a basic disclosure on themselves.

If you are an employer, remember that you can always ask us to help with your hiring process including obtaining a DBS check for your potential hires – just fill in the Request A Callback form on this page or call us on 0144281 6333 and one of our expert staff will be delighted to help you.

A DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It is up to an employer to decide if and when a new check is needed. If the day after a DBS check is performed the  Government updates somebody’s record with new convictions then the disclosure is immediately inaccurate.  Different job sectors may decide to redo the check at certain intervals to ensure the information they have on their employees is as accurate as possible

Applicants and employers can use the DBS update service to keep a certificate up to date or carry out checks on a potential employee’s certificate.

Who needs a DBS check?

Typically, employers will ask for a DBS check as part of their employee background check where people are working or volunteering in important positions or where they are working with children or vulnerable people. Any employer can ask that a basic check is carried out but for many jobs it is unlikely.

However, there are roles where some form of dbs employer check is mandatory such as teaching, healthcare or security. Some organisations require that a DBS check is provided as a condition of membership, for example, accountants applying to the CIMA Members In Practice scheme.

Employers might ask for a DBS check when staff are working with money, like in a bank or where they are in positions of particular responsibility.

It’s important to note that the position doesn’t have to be paid. So volunteers working for no pay in a hospital or care home will still need to have a DBS check carried out.

How much does a DBS check cost?

The fee levied by the DBS per application is £23. We will apply an Admin fee only for processing your application onto the DBS platform. 

An enhanced check fee levied by the DBS is £45.As above, we will apply an admin fee only for processing your applications. 

How long does a DBS check take?

The time taken for a DBS check varies depending upon the level of check and the time of year as the service is subject to seasonal variations. The fastest results come through for applicants who have only ever had one name and the same address for a long time.

The more name and address changes you have had, the longer the check takes.

A basic or standard DBS check will take on average 24-48 hours although these times have extended during the pandemic.

In our experience, an enhanced check, due to the more involved nature of the information gathered takes 24 hours to 7 days.

The most comprehensive check, the enhanced DBS with list can take around 8 weeks to complete but this time is very much dependent upon a large number of factors and so you need to be aware that it could take longer.

How long does a DBS check last?

Officially there is no expiry date on a DBS certificate but this leaves employers with a problem.The DBS check only shows convictions up to the date it was produced, so if an employer is convicted after that date then it naturally will not be included.

This means that every employer needs to decide how often it requires ‘refresher’ checks to be done so that the gap between now and the last certificate is closed.

Each organisation needs to assess the risk for a particular position and decide what frequency of rechecking is appropriate.

For lower-risk roles, many employers choose to check every two or three years. Very high-risk positions may require checking every six months.

If you work in a regulated environment like healthcare, residential care, teaching or security then your trade or professional body may have a specific frequency that they require you to use when updating DBS certificates.

What are the 4 types of DBS checks?

The employer or organisation running the check should establish the level of check required by considering the applicant’s job role and the people they will come into contact with for example children or vulnerable adults.

DBS check applicants must be 16 or over.

Types of DBS checks are:

Basic DBS

This is the only type of DBS check you can perform on yourself. This gives the least amount of detail of the 3 different dbs checks. Anyone can pay for this report and it only details your unspent criminal record. By “SPENT” we mean criminal offenses that are no longer viewable. While serious offenses never get spent minor offenses that happened when people were young can disappear from reports like this within a few years. This all relates to rehabilitation law.

Standard DBS

Who needs this check is laid down by the Government. If your job is not on the list it is actually illegal for an employer to request a standard DBS check on you. People working in financial services, the courts, or other roles of responsibility typically need to get this check done. Needless to say, this is a more detailed check then Basic DBS. It will look at spent as well as unspent convictions.

Enhanced DBS

It makes sense that people working in the most sensitive jobs undergo the most rigorous checks.  Enhanced DBS is that check. An example of its implementation would be for people who are working with children or vulnerable adults. This is the most detailed DBS check. All relevant convictions and cautions on the police systems are included as well as police intelligence. Somebody who had been in the frame for multiple robberies but who was never convicted due to a lack of evidence might have this information included if they were applying for a job as a locksmith.

Enhanced DBS with List

Shows the same as an Enhanced DBS check, and will also include a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service’s children and adults barred lists – the list of individuals barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

This check is only allowed where the position the applicant is applying for involves engaging in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.

How far back does a DBS check go?

Theoretically, the DBS check can show any convictions that a person has received but due to the ‘filtering rules’ some convictions may not be shown.

From November 2020 the DBS won’t always disclose youth reprimands, youth warnings, or youth cautions.

In the past, individuals that have a single spent conviction would have a clean certificate. Now the number of convictions are matched against the rules and in some cases the role being sought and may not be shown.

Frequently asked questions

No.A DBS check only shows criminal convictions and doesn’t look at any aspect of your credit rating.
No.DBS checks only look at criminal convictions and not road traffic or civil matters.A DBS check will include vehicle offences that are ‘recordable’. For example, driving with excess alcohol or failing to provide a specimen of breath.You can find a list of recordable offences here.
Yes, you can.If you (or your employer) have applied for a DBS check using our service then you will be able to view a copy of your certificate by logging into your account and selecting the document you want to see.If you wish to view your document with the DBS system then you will need to set up an account with the Disclosure and Barring Service and then go through their viewing method.
If you (or your employer) have applied for a DBS check using our service then you will be able to view your document by logging into your accounts, viewing the document and then choosing ‘print’.You will also be sent a hard copy of your certificate by the DBS and can order copies online or by calling 0300 0200 190.
Yes you can, but in many cases this will mean that you can’t be employed in your sector of choice.For example, if you want to work in teaching, you will need an enhanced DBS check.
Anyone can get a basic DBS check in which case often the applicant pays for the check.In the case of a standard and enhanced check, these need to be applied for through an authorised organisation such as an employer, voluntary organisation or membership group.Usually, the organisations will pay for the check in these cases.
The government runs a DBS update service that you can sign up to.It costs £13 per year and means that standard and enhanced checks are periodically updated to ensure that your certificate is always current.

Heres what our clients are saying

Our company have been using VSC for a number of years, the friendly and professional service we consistently receive from them is excellent. The service they provide is quick, efficient and the screening checks are tailored to our specific needs, which is exactly what our company was looking for to cover our BS7858 security vetting requirements. VSC provide a really personal service, for example, if things at first appearance don’t seem right they’ll call and ask for additional information and evidence rather than take the easy option of simply “failing”, the vetting, which was our experience of previous companies. Their completed screening reports are easy to read and well presented. We would have no hesitation in recommending VSC to other companies.


Gary Dudley
Chroma Vigilant

I just checked status of our first candidate on your system. Very impressed, exactly what I was looking for. Makes the previous company look like they are in the dark ages!

Gary Docherty
Director, Recruitment Services, Goodacre Limited

Thanks for this, This has already proven to be so much more efficient than the F20 form! I really value all of your help as well as that of the screening team. The compliance team and myself are extremely happy to be working with Checkback International.
Thanks again!

Katie Hind,
International Candidate Manager, Prospero Teaching

“Many thanks for this Joey. I’m very happy with your performance and intend to send all future screening business your way”

Simon Cullen
Chief Compliance Officer

Dear Joey and David,

Thank you very much for this round of BPSS clearances. All completed well in advance of project start for us which is right after Easter holidays. Well done.

That concludes this process. I am sure we will used you again when we have new such cases in the future.

Cato Stoll
Managing Director Miko Marine Norway

I’ve used CheckBack International for security screening on behalf of my clients for nearly a year. I can’t even begin to explain how much simpler the whole process is now, in comparison to doing this in-house. I’ve had the privilege of dealing with Joey personally on several occasions, as well as the VERY competent Nicola Beels in the UK office. My clients in the security industry are safe in the knowledge that they are fully compliant with standards, through the use of CheckBack. I’m happy to recommend Joey and his team at CheckBack.

“Checkback vetting team are hands-on with client and candidate to ensure smooth screening process throughout. I have used the team for various comprehensive screening (UK and International) which have all been completed successfully. Checkback also offer a tailored service according to our specifications for screening which is very much driven by end client User friendly online portal to operate for the screening We receive Regular status updates on the vetting per candidate which in turn helps us provide our client with a clear outline of when we can expect the report to be concluded. At Cloudstream; we are very satisfied customers and always refer to Checkback as our screening partner”


Bhavna Dooman
CheckBack International have made the whole process of screening security operatives and employees so much easier and quicker


Ailie Elliott
Vetting Solutions Centre, Suite E14, IMEX Building, 575-599 Maxted Road, Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom, HP2 7ED

Tel: 0144 281 6333

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