Criminal Records and Enhanced DBS Checks for Your Business

Recruit with confidence

Enquire now

Enhanced Criminal Record Checks

Though they are required for numerous roles, it is still possible for candidates to avoid an Enhanced DBS Check through providing false or misleading information in an application. For that reason, you could carry out an Experian Identity Check before undertaking any Criminal Record Checks.

What does an Enhanced DBS Check tell you?

Enhanced DBS Checks are complete criminal history checks, and are a mandatory screening process for positions involving work with children and vulnerable adults, to ensure that anyone who presents a known risk to vulnerable groups is prevented from working with them.

In addition to the information included in the Standard Check, an Enhanced DBS Check includes a consultation of the new lists of individuals considered unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults. The police will also check for any additional information held in their files that might be relevant to the position being applied for. It is then up to the police to decide what extra information is added to the report.

Who is eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check?

Not every position is eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check. Any role that involves regular contact with vulnerable groups will require an Enhanced Criminal Record Check.

Turnaround time

Enhanced Criminal Record Checks are sourced from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and have an average UK turnaround time of around three to six weeks, but the process might be subjected to seasonal delays.

Standard Criminal Record Checks

Though a Standard DBS Check is a required step in safeguarding your employees and clients from potentially dangerous or fraudulent individuals, candidates can avoid a check through supplying false or misleading information. For that reason, you could carry out an Experian Identity Check before undertaking any Criminal Record Checks.

Who is eligible for a Standard DBS Check?

Not every position is eligible for a Standard DBS Check. To be eligible, the position must be included in the ROA 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Generally speaking, this includes roles in the financial and security sectors.

What does a Standard DBS Check tell you?

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), most convictions are considered to be ‘spent’ after a certain period of time, and if no further offence has taken place. This period of time depends on the severity of the conviction. Whilst Basic Disclosures will only list unspent convictions, a Standard DBS Check will also list spent convictions. They therefore allow you to make a more informed decision as to whether or not the candidate poses any potential risks.

A Standard DBS Check also includes all cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer in England and Wales, and may also include most of the relevant convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This level of check will also reveal if the candidate appears on government department lists of people who are deemed unsuitable to work with children.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Criminal record checks are conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  An enhanced DBS check is one of the most rigorous checks it carries out and includes a thorough check of a person’s criminal history. This level of check is compulsory for people hoping to work with children and vulnerable adults. This is because the aim of the check is to make sure that people who pose risks to these groups are identified and prevented from taking on these roles.

An enhanced DBS check includes a standard check as well as any extra information held by local police that might be relevant to a person’s suitability for a particular role. A higher level of enhanced DBS check, known as an enhanced check with barred lists, identifies whether a person appears on an official list of individuals who are legally not allowed to work in a particular role.

Not all positions are eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Any role that involves regular contact with vulnerable groups will require one.  It is also possible to carry out an enhanced check on applicants for taxi licences applications or roles in the Gambling Commission.

Different roles require different levels of criminal record check. A basic check highlights unspent convictions and conditional cautions. Employers can carry out a basic check for any kind of role. We are a registered with the DBS as a Responsible Organisation approved to submit basic checks through a web service.

Individuals can also request their own basic check online through the DBS website. 

A standard check flags up any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. An enhanced check is a more thorough check of someone’s criminal record history.  The procedure for requesting standard and enhanced checks depends on how many checks you need to conduct in a year. For fewer than 100 checks annually, you need to use an ‘umbrella body’. For more than 100 checks, you need to register with the DBS or use an umbrella body.

In most cases, after a certain amount of time known as a ‘rehabilitation period’, a person does not need to tell an employer about crimes they have committed. The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the sentence received or the punishment imposed. After that, the crime (also known as ‘conviction’) is ‘spent’ and an individual does not need to tell anyone about it. Before the conviction is spent, a person only has to tell an employer about their past crime if they ask.

For adults, for prison sentences of 6 months or less, the conviction is spent after 2 years; for sentences of 6 -30 months, convictions are spent after 4 years; for sentences between 30 months - 4 years, convictions are spent after 7 years; for sentences over 4 years, convictions are never spent.