DBS Check

Three main DBS services are offered by the Disclosure and Barring Service

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DBS Online Checks Available for Individuals and Organisations

The Disclosure and Barring Service offers three main types of DBS check. We’ve created a simple guide to help you choose the right DBS check for you and your occupation, and facilitate your DBS online application.

With us, no sign ups are required and DBS checks can be ordered by Individuals and organisations, just make sure there is an employer to do the ID verification.

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What is a DBS Check?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provide DBS checks for organisations to check prospective employees’ criminal history. These checks are designed to ensure safer and more well-informed recruitment decisions, preventing unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups.

A DBS check replaces the now-obsolete CRB check. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012 to form a singular governmental body that oversaw criminal record checks and screening against the adults’ and children’s barred lists.

What Types of Checks are there?

There are three types of criminal record background checks; Basic, Standard and Enhanced. These reveal varying information about the applicant, each with different eligibility criteria.

What is a Basic Check?

Basic disclosure will reveal any unspent convictions or conditional cautions that the applicant has.

Basic DBS checks are available to anybody living in England and/or Wales, provided they are over the age of 16.

If you live and/or work in Scotland, please get in touch with us to apply for a Basic DBS through Disclosure Scotland.

What is a Standard Check?

Standard disclosure will show any spent or unspent criminal cautions, convictions, reprimands or final warnings that the individual has.

This level of check is only available for employers to obtain on behalf of their prospective employees.

What is a Enhanced Check?

Like a Standard DBS, an Enhanced DBS check will unveil any convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, both spent and unspent. Enhanced disclosure applications will also reveal any other relevant information held by the applicant’s local police force. Read more here.

In some cases, an Enhanced DBS check may search the adults’ and children’s barred lists to determine whether an applicant is barred from working with such groups. 

Like Standard checks, this level of screening is only available for organisations to secure on behalf of their employees.

Which DBS Check do I require?

Select your DBS Level

We offer one of the fastest and simplest DBS online application services available, enabling you to fast track your online DBS process. All of our Disclosures are processed online, which simplifies the submissions process and enables us to provide results via email. Available to individuals as a standalone service, the process to complete your DBS application online could not be simpler. 

Want to know how much a DBS option is, or what an Enhanced DBS option entails? If you still have questions, then get in touch by visiting our contact page.

No sign up fees, order one off checks instantly!

Q1. Do you or your Employees...

  • Work with Children?
  • Work with adults at risk?
  • Carry out a role that specifically requires you to have a disclosure?
YES
NO
You can proceed with a Basic Disclosure
If you are going to be: Involved in regularly caring for, training, supervising, in sole charge or working with children /vulnerable adults. You require an Enhanced Disclosure
If you are or entering into: if you are or entering into: A profession as specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, you require a Standard Disclosure

Basic DBS Check

LEVEL

Disclosure of unspent convictions only



COST

£38 (single application)

RESULTS

5-10 days*

Standard DBS Check

LEVEL

Disclosure of unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands


COST

£49.20 £38 (single application)

RESULTS

48 hours*

Enhanced DBS Check

LEVEL

Full disclosure of spent and unspent convictions, warnings, reprimands and any other police and relevant barred information

COST

£69.80 £58 (single application)

RESULTS

5-10 days*

*The turnaround times given are the average times taken for completion of the application. The time it takes can vary depending on local police searches, multiple addresses, common names and multiple name changes.

How Does Our DBS Platform Work?

Our platform is an online DBS service that enables employers to request and track DBS Checks (as well as other pre-employment checks) quickly and easily. When applying for a DBS check, our platform seamlessly guides users through the application process with handy tips and guidance every step of the way.

There is no need to registered with us, individuals and organisations can both order DBS Checks and the candidate will be able to add their personal details to the system, ensuring that all relevant information is present and readily accessible to our team. 

Our system will automatically issue you a notification when it’s time to proceed to the ID check, and the platform will prompt you through each step to ensure you get it right.

Our accurate DBS tracking function allows you to view the status of applications at a glance, and you’ll get another automatic notification as soon as a check is complete.

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Why get Criminal Record Checks for your Employees?

There are several benefits of applying for DBS online checks for your staff. These include the following:

  • Protection of vulnerable people
    DBS verification is designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with the vulnerable. DBS checks are essential components of effective, consistent safeguarding practices across almost every sector, from education to healthcare.
  • Protection of your organisation
    If you have employees working in regulated activities with vulnerable adults or children, it’s illegal to hire anyone barred from working with these groups. Therefore DBS checks ensure complete security across your company.
  • Cost-effective
    Industries are often faced with high staff turnover levels, but DBS checks help organisations hiring the ‘right’ people. These employees spend a longer time at organisations, reducing repeated requests for new DBS applications for newer employees to fill the voids. Bad hires can end up costing companies sizeable sums of money.
  • Confidence and security
    Employers are responsible for their employees’ safety, and DBS verification helps to minimise the risks of hiring unsuitable employees who could compromise the safety of others. A DBS application can give employers complete reassurance of employee and workplace safety.
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DBS Services for Employers

In need of multiple applications to cover your employees and business? Fast DBS checks are designed for employers. Apply for a DBS online check with us and your check will be processed through the latest technology and systems. You will qualify for the eBulk service if you complete more than 10 applications per year (there are no maximum limits) and there is no sign up charge for this service. You'll be able to track the progress of your checks in real time from start to finish. Visit this page to see all applicable discounts for multiple DBS online applications.

Who can Apply Online for a DBS?

The type of DBS check which is eligible for an applicant depends on the role they are applying for and who is responsible for applying.

Individuals can apply for a Basic DBS check for themselves, provided they are aged 16 or over.

Organisations can apply for Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks for employees and volunteers if they wish. However, they may only apply for Standard or Enhanced DBS checks on behalf of their employees if applicants meet specific criteria.

How to Apply

Applying for a DBS Check is now simpler than ever, with a small number of steps to help submit your application. These steps include:

  • Selecting the level of DBS Check you require.
  • Proceed to the order page.
  • Completing the application form and making the payment.
  • Candidate completing their personal information
  • Employer verifying ID.
  • Tracking your application on our page.
  • Receiving the results directly to your inbox.

Within minutes of submission, our specialist team will begin to process your application request. With three different types of DBS Check to choose from, covering an individual’s criminal record history, each check has a different level of in-depth research into each applicant.

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Required Documents for Criminal Record Checks

Now that you know which DBS check to apply online for, you need to present proof of your identity to your employer. To proceed with your DBS online application, you will require:

Original passport or driving licence with date of birth
Two proof of address documents: Utility bill, bank, mortgage or credit card statement all dated within 3 months of the date of issue

How to Track your Application?

You can sign up to our DBS tracking service to determine which stage your application is currently at. There can be occasional delays to a DBS certificate being issued which fall beyond your - and our - control. 

DBS tracking provides you with more peace of mind, allowing you to anticipate when you will receive your DBS results. 

Read more about tracking DBS applications here.

Can I Speed Up my Application?

The average DBS check turnaround time for completion is 5-10 days. The time it takes can vary depending on how a local police department conducts searches, discrepancies with addresses, common names, name changes and more. 

If you have a Basic, Standard or Enhanced check which is taking longer than anticipated to process, you can raise a query with the DBS directly. 

Find out more about how long a DBS check takes by clicking here.

Getting the Results

Using our secure and safe database to store sensitive information, all applications are completed online to ensure swift and streamlined processing.

All applicants are notified upon completion of their DBS Check via email. Completed DBS Checks will issue a certificate directly to the applicant and the manager’s email inbox.

The DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up-to-date and allows employers to check their certificates. You can register your DBS check online once you have your application reference number, or alternatively you can wait until you receive a certificate number and register with that. This step needs to be completed within 30 days of the certificate issue date.

Registration Details: Lasts for one year | Cost £13.00 | Can be renewed early

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DBS Check FAQs

There is much conflicting information on the DBS check process, criteria and what to do if there’s an issue, so it’s understandable if you have questions about your DBS application. To help ease any concerns and provide clarification, we’ve outlined some frequently asked questions that we often receive as a DBS check provider.

Alternatively, please drop us an email via our contact page, and we will be happy to advise.

DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service, which is a single government department. This replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) when it merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012.

Though our service is strictly independent of the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Record Bureau or ‘CRB’), Online DBS Checks deliver timely and thorough checks for various employment sectors.

Depending on the type of DBS check carried out, the results will be different. 

Basic disclosure - unspent convictions.

Standard disclosure - spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands.

Enhanced disclosure - the same as Standard DBS checks, plus any information held by a local police force.

Barred list checks are only available alongside Enhanced DBS checks for roles where individuals engage in regulated activities with children or vulnerable adults.

DBS certification does not have an official expiry date

Some employers may request that existing employees complete a DBS check partially through their employment to ensure up-to-date information and criminal records.

Your DBS check results will be emailed to the email address you provided on your application. Physical copies will also be sent to the postal address within your application.

DBS checks are usually processed within 48 hours, but there are occasionally delays which often mean the expected turnaround times can’t be met.

Some DBS applications may take longer to complete due to backlogs at local police stations where information needs to be verified. Most delays are outside of our control.

Individuals can sign up for the DBS Update Service (which costs £13 per year but is free for volunteers) to check their certificate securely stored on the portal. Any subsequent DBS checks can be registered on this service.

Please note that you can only register for the DBS Update Service at the time of your application.

If you’re working with children or vulnerable adults in a regulated activity, it’s against the law for employers to have you begin work without a valid DBS certificate. This is due to safeguarding concerns and mitigates the risk of ensuring you’re not barred from working with these groups.

If you’re a prospective candidate working in a regulated activity only with vulnerable adults (e.g. for an employer providing adult care services), organisations can use DBS Adult First. This means they can process your application and have you begin work under direct supervision whilst the Enhanced DBS check is verified.

Applicants will need to provide:

Personal details, Contact information, Address history, Name history, Proof of identity, Proof of address.

Please refer to our blog post on the required DBS documents and what is considered acceptable for more information.

It’s easy to check the status of your application at any given moment using our online application system.

Once an application has been submitted, it is passed to the professional team at Online DBS Checks to process in a timely manner.

Throughout the application process, applicants are kept up-to-date on any issues or delays that may have occurred as well as the movement of their application.

Employers will usually front the DBS check cost, but that responsibility remains at their discretion. They may request that a candidate pays for their check. There is no legislation which states the employer must pay the fee. To clear up any confusion, you should check with your hiring organisation.

All types of DBS Checks are designed to protect children and vulnerable adults within the workplace against staff and employees. These checks are in place to ensure that all employees are safe to work within their intended environment and pose no threat to those surrounding them. 

If you would like more information on vulnerable adults and children and why it is crucial to protect them at all times, please visit our blog outlining all you need to know.

Enhanced DBS Checks are not affected by time in any way . They cover an individual’s entire criminal record history in order to curate the appropriate results for the employer. By doing this, the employer can gain an understanding of the individual’s whole background, as opposed to just a small timeframe. However based on the job role the new filtering guidelines will only bring up anything relevant to the employer.

To avoid all risks to the organisation, every employee should have a completed DBS Check certificate prior to starting with the company. This ensures that each applicant joins a team with a transparent background check and there are no hidden risks. 

It is against the law to allow an employee who is barred to carry out duties involving children and vulnerable adults. Completing a DBS Check will ensure that you are not hiring an individual who is unsafe for the job.

DBS Certificates can be re-used for alternative jobs other than the role it was issued for, providing the new role is similar to the previous job role. 

If the new job requires a completed DBS Check but is not in a similar field to the previous one, a brand new application may be required.

If your query has not been resolved, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly so we can assist. Please find multiple ways to get in touch with us here.