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Standard And Basic DBS Checks: What’s The Difference?

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What is the difference between standard and basic DBS checks? Although these are two different levels of criminal record check available in the UK, standard and basic checks are often referred to interchangeably by mistake.

In fact, there are large differences between standard and basic DBS checks including who they are available to and what they detail.

As a result, in this blog we will explore the two different types of check, their features, and how to request them.

Main difference between Standard and Basic DBS Checks

The main difference between standard and basic DBS checks is that an applicant has to be legally eligible to obtain a Standard DBS Check. This means they have to meet certain criteria to be able to request one.

On the other hand, a basic DBS check is available to anyone in the UK over the age of 16 regardless of their employment status.

So, bearing this in mind, let’s explore the features of these two levels of DBS check further.

What are Standard DBS Checks?

A Standard DBS Check is one of the higher levels of DBS check, meaning an individual has to meet certain criteria, set out it in legislation, to be able to obtain one.

Crucially, because of this criteria, only organisations/companies can request this level of check; you cannot request it as individual.

This is designed so that an employer or an organisation can request the check on behalf of their employees, prospective employees or volunteers. This is because, in the majority of cases, an individual’s eligibility for a Standard DBS Check will centre on their job or voluntary role.

The next step up from a standard DBS check is called an enhanced DBS check which checks for a lot more.

What do Standard DBS Checks detail?  

A Standard DBS Check will detail any spent or unspent convictions an applicant may have, as well as any cautions, warnings or reprimands they may have received, so long as they are not protected.

It does this through a comprehensive check of the Police National Computer (PNC).

Common roles which are eligible for a Standard DBS Check include receptionists in GP surgeries, and certain financial roles.

What are Basic DBS Checks?  

One of the main differences between standard and basic DBS checks is that anyone over the age of 16 can apply for a basic DBS check. You don’t need to meet any criteria.

Furthermore, individuals can apply for this level of check themselves, we’ll explain more on how you can do that later on.

A basic DBS check will also only detail any unspent convictions an applicant may have. These are commonly termed as anything recent and/or serious.

Common reasons people request basic DBS checks include job applications, visa applications, or applying for a personal licence to sell alcohol.

How to apply for Basic DBS Checks

If you’re looking to apply for a Basic DBS check for a job application, it is important to make sure that it is not a higher level of DBS check that you need for the role. If it is, your employer will need to request that for you.

If it’s just the Basic DBS Check you are looking for, you’ll then need to confirm whether you need one issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland.

Basic DBS checks are processed by the DBS for those living and/or working in England or Wales. Disclosure Scotland process basic checks for those living and/or working in Scotland.  

A summary of Standard and Basic DBS Checks

As we have seen, although both are  UK criminal record checks, there are a number of differences between standard and basic DBS checks.

These differences are crucial to understand to ensure that you are obtaining the correct level of check for the purpose you require it for.

If you have any questions about DBS check eligibility, you can contact the DBS here.

Or are you an employer looking to start requesting DBS checks for your employees or volunteers? You can register with us today to start requesting your DBS checks.

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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