Why did the CRB Change to the DBS?

Many people still use the term ‘CRB Check’ throughout the employment process, however no such check exists today. A question we frequently hear at Online DBS Checks is ‘are CRB and DBS Checks the same?’. Due to a change in the industry, CRB Checks are now referred to as ‘DBS Checks’.

The following article outlines all you need to know about the difference between CRB and DBS Checks and how you can apply for one today.

What is a CRB Check?

A CRB Check is typically known as a Criminal Record Background Check. CRB Checks are used to discover an individual's relevant cautions or convictions, usually for employment purposes.

CRB Checks use the police national computer or PNC to complete these checks; however, these checks no longer exist and have been replaced by DBS Checks.

History of the CRB Check

CRB Checks were introduced in 2002 by the Home Office to protect vulnerable groups of people, including children and young adults. The check supplied by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) provided employers with a detailed report of a candidate's criminal record history to ensure they were safe to work within the company.

Not only was this an innovative choice for employers as a way to find out more information about new employees, but for the police to gain a better understanding of individuals they were coming into contact with.

CRB Checks were still being carried out until 2012 when the Criminal Records Bureau was replaced with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Why is CRB Still Commonly Used?

CRB Checks have no official expiry date. Some people may still refer to DBS Checks as CRB Checks as a result of not needing an updated check in their line of work.

You can no longer request a CRB Check in its old format from a governing body as a result of the two establishments merging back in 2012. If you require an updated check either for yourself or on behalf of an employee, you can find all the information you need about applying for an online DBS Check here.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS Check is a legal process in which a certified body will carry out a background check on an individual, usually on behalf of an employer.

Since the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) back in 2012, the Disclosure and Barring Service have been providing DBS Checks.

DBS Checks reveal any cautions, convictions and reprimand an individual may have, with the check's level of detail depending on whether a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS Check was selected at the time of application.

How Does This Affect the Different Checks?

Even though you cannot still legally apply for a CRB Check, the same information will still be available on a legitimate DBS Check certificate. As previously mentioned, CRB Checks have no official expiry date meaning those that were obtained in the years up until 2012 are still very much valid.

It is at your employer's discretion as to whether the checks are regularly carried out to ensure that all employees are still able to work within the company. If this is the case, and you have had a check completed on yourself since 2012, you will have obtained a DBS certificate.

Changes for Barred List Checks

As a result of the Criminal Records Bureau and the Disclosure and Barring Service merging in 2012, all processes regarding barred lists from the ISA are now included in an Enhanced DBS Check. This change has progressed from the CRB and ISA handling these requests separately to handling everything in one convenient place.

The streamlining of this process means that checks can now be completed in a timely fashion with minor delays and an effective outcome for all parties involved.

Can I Apply For a CRB Check?

You can no longer legally apply for a CRB Check online. If you require such a check, you must complete an online DBS application to obtain either a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS Check certificate.

Are CRB Certificates Still Valid?

CRB certificates are still valid due to having no expiry date; however, it is up to your employer to decide how regularly they want an update on your check and to ensure that your circumstances have stayed the same.

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