0300 140 0022
< Back to Resources

Common Questions About DBS Checks: Our Top Five

As one of the UK’s largest providers of DBS (formerly CRB) Checks, we are asked hundreds of DBS-related questions on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common questions about DBS Checks – and the answers!

1. Is there a legal requirement to do a DBS Check?

This is probably one of the most common questions about DBS Checks.

There is, for example, a legal requirement for anyone who is going to work in a regulated environment – where they’re working with children or vulnerable adults – to have a DBS Check. Certain other professions also require it.

It’s against the law for employers to employ someone or allow them to volunteer for this kind of work if they know they’re on one of the Barred Lists.

The DBS is a public service that companies and organisations can use to check their employees’ – and potential employees’ – criminal histories.

It is obviously considered best practice for organisations – especially those working with children or vulnerable adults – to create a safe working environment.

It’s usually always the responsibility of the employing organisation to carry out a DBS Check.

2. How often do DBS Checks need to be renewed?

Checks can’t technically expire but they are only truly up to date on the day they are issued.

It’s left to the discretion of individuals or organisations as to how often they want to renew them. If you’re changing jobs, the prospective employer might want to re-do the Check.

It’s considered best practice to renew Checks regularly – if an individual gets a criminal record after they’ve had a Check done, the certificate does not get updated.

3. How is a DBS Check renewed?

Once you have had a CRB Check carried out, there is no fast way to get an upgrade or renew your Check. You have to complete the same application form each time you would like to renew your CRB Check.

There is no quick way to renew your DBS Check – you have to re-do the same form each time a renewal is required.

Different organisations have their own policies with regard to how often they renew their employees’ certificates.

Some companies carry out renewals annually, while some do it over longer periods.

Ofsted, for instance, require all educational establishments to renew their employees’ Checks every three years.

DBS certificates are now also portable.

4. How do you know whether you’ve passed or failed a Check?

It’s not possible to pass or fail a DBS Check – it’s up to the discretion of your employer as to what they do with the results of a Check, which involves a search of an individual’s criminal history on the Police National Computer (PNC).

There are different levels of CRB Check and each differ in the information they search for.

5. Can self-employed people get a DBS Check?

This is another of the most common questions about DBS Checks.

Self-employed people who have no other employees within their company can obtain their own Check. However, it’s only the Basic Disclosure that’s available to them.

If you need a Standard or Enhanced Check, you’re only able to receive one if the company you’re working for does it for you – and the company needs to have at least two employees.

Summary – common questions about DBS Checks

The legislation and regulation surrounding DBS Checks can be confusing and application mistakes can be costly and sometimes have serious repercussions down the line.

It’s important that if you are hiring in a regulated industry or work in HR you have a good understanding of the common questions about DBS Checks.

As always, just drop us a line if you have any queries about this blog – or any other DBS-related issue.

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.

uCheck Logo