Formed in 2012, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) now performs the services previously accomplished by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The DBS upholds the standard for a safe working environment, especially where vulnerable individuals are concerned.
One of these services is the DBS check, sometimes called a disclosure, wherein a team checks the criminal records, including convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands, of the concerned individual. Afterwards, the DBS issues the employer a certificate that ensures an applicant is a trustworthy person.
Some confuse the DBS check and CRB check as two entirely different things. Since the DBS has taken over the responsibilities of the CRB, essentially, the two services are the same. Nowadays, people simply request a DBS check.
Here are five important things you should know about the DBS check:
1. The DBS Check comes in three levels
Depending on the type of job you are aiming for, the employer may request for a basic, standard, or enhanced check.
The basic DBS check suits any purpose and is accessible to anyone. It contains unspent convictions and conditional cautions (under the terms of ROA 1974). Personal licence holders and couriers usually avail of this. Once requested, the certificate will be available within 10 working days.
The standard DBS check is made for specific professions, like those in security. Spent and unspent convictions, reprimands, and warning are included in the certificate, which can be requested only by the recruiting organisation.
Lastly, the enhanced DBS check is required for people who work directly with young and/or susceptible individuals, such as in healthcare and personal care. While, mostly, the information released in an enhanced disclosure is of the same type and volume as a standard one, the Chief Officer may also include relevant and potentially useful non-conviction information.
Both standard and enhanced disclosures can be returned in a span of 5 working days.
Because the basic DBS check is not job-specific, it can be availed by a non-hiring individual online. On the other hand, the standard and enhanced DBS checks are accessible only to the hiring organisation.
2. All professions can require a DBS certificate
All professions can require a DBS certificate but the ones that will surely involve a background check are those in education, healthcare, government, finance, computer science (and information technology) and child/foster care.
3. A DBS check shows every essential thing about you
A DBS check shows every essential thing about you, so try to be as honest and thorough as you can in your CV. It would be tricky, wouldn’t it, if your employer suddenly dug up some inconsistencies with the facts you reported or withheld in your CV?
Most employers exercise a degree of leniency towards bad marks on an applicant’s history, so it is best to be straightforward about them from the get-go.
4. The DBS does not examine an individual’s social media accounts
Despite having done negative media searches for some companies, the DBS does not regularly perform examinations of an applicant’s social media presence. It is acknowledged that whatever is floating around in social media sites is not directly indicative of someone’s ability to do a job well. More importantly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises against this practice as it enables bias against certain races, age ranks, and religions.
5. The employer can opt to re-use an individual’s DBS disclosure certificate
The employer can opt to re-use an individual’s DBS disclosure certificate, but the information is accurate only up to the date it was released. Although records are promptly updated in the database, hiring organisations must still ensure that the certificate is up-to-date.
The DBS check is one of the most crucial necessities for establishing your future and your career. In fact, many organisations and departments are involved to uphold this high standard of service to the people.