Is It Illegal To Apply For a DBS Check Without Applicant’s Consent?

DBS checks can be required as a background check for all different kinds of roles and jobs. There are various aspects an employer may wish to check before you commence your role within their business.

However, you may wonder, can employers apply for a DBS check without your consent?

This blog outlines whether or not it is illegal to do so and how you can tell if you suspect this has happened to you.

How to Know If Someone Has Applied For a DBS Check

Once applied for, DBS checks can take anywhere between two to four weeks to complete. The body conducting the checks will notify the individual of whom the check is regarding that the assessment has been completed.

Regardless of whether the applicant or employee completed a DBS online application or whether it was an employer that applied, the individual will still receive confirmation that the check is taking place. Confirmation is received either on paper or electronically.

Is It Illegal For Someone to Carry Out a DBS Check Without The Individuals Consent?

When applying for a job, a new employer will state that they must apply for a DBS check on your behalf to complete the onboarding process. By doing so, you are made aware, before the commencement of the check, that it will be taking place imminently.

You must pay attention to the contract presented to you at the beginning of your employment or during any induction period to be aware of the requirement for regular DBS checks to be completed at regular yearly intervals. By doing so, there will be no surprise when confirmation of an assessment is received.

If repeat checks are required in line with the company’s policies, it’s essential to inform employees that this is the case.

What to Do If You Didn’t Consent to a DBS Check?

Suppose you receive confirmation that a DBS check has been completed in your name, and you were not expecting one; it’s imperative to contact the Disclosure and Barring Service at your earliest convenience.

You may have become a victim of identity theft, meaning somebody is in possession of your personal information or somebody is attempting to apply for a job using your details.

Equally, there may have been an administrative error when processing your data. Although you may not be required to complete a check in the near future, the body will have your information stored in its system. A small administrative error, such as somebody else applying for a check with an identical name, could understandably lead to panic on the recipient’s end but could be quickly clarified by a phone call or email to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

It is vital to get in touch with a government body to clarify what has happened and who has requested the information in question or sought a DBS check to be completed in your name if you’re aware of such.

Consenting to a DBS Check

You should expect confirmation of a DBS check if you or your employer has applied for one.

Although DBS checks are illegal to complete without consent, pre-approved DBS checks are legal if the participant has agreed to refreshed checks throughout their employment with the company. A business or organisation, therefore, doesn’t need to ask for consent each time a DBS check is due.

If you receive confirmation of a check using your credentials that you were unaware of, contact the Disclosure and Barring Service. Using another person’s credentials to impersonate them is a criminal offence and could lead to time in jail. It’s better to confirm legitimate checks with the correct body than to let these events go unnoticed.

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