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Can I Get A DBS Check As An Individual?

Can I get a DBS check as an individual?

“Can I get a DBS Check as an individual?”

It’s a question we often get asked at uCheck. If you’ve wondered this yourself, it might be worth considering a Basic DBS Check.

The Basic DBS Check is one of three types of DBS Check (formerly known as a criminal record check). Below we discuss the three types of check and explain what to do if you’re an individual looking to get a check done on yourself.

Basic DBS Check

The Basic DBS Check is the lowest level of DBS Check available and will reveal any unspent convictions and conditional cautions the applicant has. It has no eligibility requirements, so anyone aged 16 or over can apply for one.

The Basic DBS Check is useful for those who are self-employed because it gives them more credibility with potential clients. And, unlike the other types of DBS Check, individuals can apply for a check for themselves.

Changes to the Basic Check

At the beginning of 2018 the basic disclosure process changed. Previously, all basic disclosures were processed and issued by Disclosure Scotland. However, in January 2018 the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) took over the processing of basic disclosures for people living or working in England and Wales.

So, you may be wondering, ‘how can I get a DBS Check as an individual under these changes?’

Individuals living or working in England or Wales can apply for Basic DBS Checks using uCheck’s simple online platform. If you work and live in Scotland, you should still apply to Disclosure Scotland directly via an online application.

If you’re an employer applying for a Basic Check through an umbrella company, the company will send the application to the correct governing body based on where the applicant will be working.

Standard DBS Check

A Standard DBS Check will show any spent or unspent convictions and cautions (excluding youth cautions, reprimands and warnings) the applicant has – as long as they’re not protected.

In order to be eligible for this check, the position or role you’re applying for has to be listed in The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. The professions listed in this piece of legislation include those in finance, such as chartered and certified accountants.

Only employers can apply for this type of check on behalf of potential employees, so it’s not a DBS Basic Check for individuals.

Enhanced DBS Check

An Enhanced DBS Check will show everything that would be included in a Standard Check, as well as any relevant information held by the applicant’s local police authority.

To be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check, a position must be included in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Police Act 1997.

The majority of these roles involve working with children or vulnerable adults in regulated activity, but there are other instances where you will need an Enhanced DBS Check – such as anyone applying for or renewing a controlled drugs licence. 

If you do engage in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults as part of your role, the Enhanced Check may also look at the children’s and/or adults’ barred list.  As a general rule, regulated activity means anyone who has regular or unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, like a teacher or carer.

Checking these lists will show whether a prospective employee is prohibited from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Can I apply for an Enhanced DBS Check for myself?

As with the Standard Check, individuals can’t apply for an Enhanced DBS Check themselves – instead, it will be employers applying on behalf of their employees.

If you know you’ll be eligible for this level of check due to the type of work you’ll be carrying out, your organisation/company will apply for an Enhanced DBS Check for you.

Can I get a DBS Check as an individual?

Now that we’ve looked at the different types of DBS Check available, it’s time to answer the question: how can I get a DBS Check as an individual?

Individuals living or working in England or Wales can apply through uCheck to get a Basic DBS Check. For more details on how to apply click here.

If you live or work in Scotland, you should apply to Disclosure Scotland. You’ll need to provide:

  • Your five-year address history
  • Your National Insurance number
  • A debit or credit card
  • Proof of ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, birth certificate)
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill, council tax bill, bank statement)

Can I get a DBS Check as an individual? A summary

The only DBS Check you can obtain as an individual is a Basic Disclosure Check – you cannot request a Standard or Enhanced DBS check for yourself.

You can apply for a Basic DBS Check online through uCheck if you live or work in England or Wales. If you are a resident of or work in Scotland you will need to apply for a Basic Check from Disclosure Scotland.  

The Basic Check will reveal any unspent convictions or conditional cautions you have. If you don’t have any, it will be a clear result.

If you’ve ever asked, ‘can I get a DBS Check as an individual?’, we hope our blog has answered your question. If you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or call our trained support team on 0300 140 0022.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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