DBS Checks and Social Media Conduct

DBS Checks Online

For many people applying for jobs across the UK, a DBS check will be required as part of the application process. Employers are responsible for ensuring that applicants who apply for DBS checks online are safe to work with vulnerable children or adults, or if they are authorised to carry out any regulated activity.

It depends on the nature of the role, but BasicStandard and Enhanced DBS checks are there to safeguard vulnerable people, so it’s vital that the applicant is applying for the correct type of DBS check.

However, it might not just be cautions or convictions that employers will need to be wary of.

Does Social Media Affect DBS Checks?

Social media content is one thing which prospective employers are becoming increasingly clued in on. Individuals, who are in the midst of a job hunt, would be wise not to post anything defamatory about previous or current employers. Doing so could severely impact your chances at landing a potential job. Luckily, most people are aware that what they post on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook could ultimately come back to haunt them.

Given that social media conduct can play a factor in employment prospects, when it comes to a DBS online application, you could be playing with fire.

While social media disagreements happen every single day, they often dissolve into nothing more than minor inconveniences and all is forgotten relatively soon. However, in some rare instances, the police have had to intervene, and some people have ended up obtaining criminal records as a result of their social media conduct. This, of course, can potentially show up on any online DBS check for individuals who require one.

Non-Hate Crime Incidents

If someone’s social media conduct results in a police complaint, it could be recorded on the police system as a non-hate crime incident. This means that even if no crime was committed, the fact that someone had a complaint made about them could still be entered on the Police National Computer.

These incidents are not crimes, and therefore will not show up in some cases, but they may show up on certain DBS applications. It depends entirely on the types of DBS checks which are required, and what they show.

What does a DBS Check Show?

The information that’s shared on a DBS check varies across the three different levels, as it pertains to potential non-hate crime reports and social media activity.

Basic DBS Check – What does it Show?

In a lot of cases, employers will only request a Basic DBS check from their prospective employees. A Basic DBS check only shows current or unspent convictions and cautions. As such, most social media complaints that arise are not deemed to be crimes. Therefore they won’t show up on a Basic DBS check.

It’s ultimately at the employer’s discretion whether an applicant is suitable for a role. Social media activity can still land people in hot water. Depending on the nature of the activity, and the applicant’s age, any offensive social media activity could potentially stay on a person’s record for approximately 6 months.

Any individual over the age of 16 can apply for a Basic DBS check.

Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks

Both Enhanced and Standard DBS checks will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands.

Enhanced DBS checks involve additional Barred List checks if required by an employer, if the role will involve working directly with children and/or vulnerable adults. The other difference between Standard and Enhanced DBS checks, is that an Enhanced DBS application can include any ‘additional information’ the police deem pertinent to the application. Standard checks will not disclose any other police information.

Any recorded non-hate crime reports as a result of social media activity, could very well fall into this ‘additional information’ category.

The Disclosure and Barring Service are also able to disclose any previous convictions, if they feel there is a legitimate reason for doing so.

If an applicant is required to apply for a Standard DBS check or apply for an Enhanced DBS check, any convictions could stay on their record for significantly longer.

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