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What Are The Different Types of DBS Check? The Levels Explained

Here at uCheck we’re often asked what are the different types of DBS check, and how to know which one is right for an applicant. If you’re looking to request DBS checks for your employees you may find yourself asking what types of DBS Check there are, and what level of DBS Check you may need.

We’ve created this simple guide to help you confirm which level of DBS check you require, and how to go about obtaining it.

What are the different types of DBS check? The three levels

There are three main levels of DBS check available in the UK, which are appropriate for employment vetting.

The three levels are:

To be able to obtain either a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, the individual in question must be eligible for the check.

This means they must be working in specific roles, often with vulnerable groups, in order for their employer to be able to request this higher level of check on them.

As a result, only employers can request standard or enhanced DBS checks.

If an individual is not eligible for these types of DBS check, their employer, or the individual themselves, can request a basic disclosure.

We will now explore each of these checks below to help you determine which level is most suitable.

Standard and Enhanced DBS checks

Both Standard and Enhanced DBS checks will detail both spent and unspent convictions, as well as any cautions, warnings or reprimands an applicant has on their record (as long as they’re not protected).

An Enhanced DBS check will also include the option for the police to include any information they hold and deem relevant.

For an individual to be eligible for either of these checks their role must be outlined in the appropriate legislation.

To be entitled to a Standard DBS check, an applicant’s role must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. For an Enhanced check, it must be included both in this act and the Police Act 1997.

In simple terms, those who are eligible for an Enhanced DBS check will most often be working with children or vulnerable adults. The DBS workforce guides provide further information on the types of position that entitle an individual to this higher level of check.

Enhanced DBS Checks

With Enhanced DBS checks, employers also have the option to include a bared list check if applicable. This means a check will be made against either the children’s or vulnerable adult’s barred list, or both, to confirm whether the applicant is barred from working with these vulnerable groups.

To be eligible for a barred list check, an individual needs to be engaging in regulated activity with either of these groups. Barred list checks then need to be requested as applicable.

Standard DBS Checks

Eligibility for Standard DBS checks is slightly harder to define. There is no description of the type of jobs which entitle people to this check, rather it is a list of specific professions which require the disclosure. Examples include:

  • Accountant/lawyer on entry to the profession
  • Veterinary surgeon on entry to the profession
  • Specific roles in courts/prisons

To see if a certain position is entitled to the check you can use the DBS eligibility tool, which will help you determine this by asking a series of questions. Alternatively, get in touch with us at uCheck – we’d be happy to help.

Basic Disclosure

If an individual is not eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check then the employer, or the individual themselves, can request a basic disclosure.

This is not a DBS check, but a criminal record check offered by another governing body.

This check will detail any unspent convictions (recent/serious) the applicant may have. As these convictions are not yet classed as spent, any employer is entitled to ask for this information, meaning there’s no eligibility criteria to obtain this check. As a result, individuals can also obtain this disclosure themselves.

This check is often required for personal licence applications and for some visa applications.

However, it’s important to note that this check would not be suitable for positions which are entitled to a higher level of DBS check, as it won’t detail the same extent of criminal record information.

What are the different types of DBS check? A summary

So, what are the different types of DBS check? Let’s recap…

In summary, one of the most important parts of the DBS checking process is determining which level is the most suitable for an applicant.

This is important so that employers are meeting legislative criteria, but also so they’re helping to ensure the safety of vulnerable groups.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started now.

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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