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

The Basic Check is one of three types of DBS 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 Checks

Basic Checks are the lowest level of check that the Disclosure and Barring Service offer and they will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has. It has no eligibility requirements, so anyone aged 16 or over can apply for one.

These are useful for those who are self-employed because it gives them more credibility with potential clients. And, unlike the other types of 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 Disclosure and Barring Service took over the processing of basic disclosures for people living or working in England and Wales.

Individuals living or working in England or Wales can apply for Basic Checks using uCheck’s simple online platform. Individuals living or working in Scotland should still apply to Disclosure Scotland directly.

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 Checks

Standard Checks will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or 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 Basic Check for individuals.

Enhanced Checks

An Enhanced 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 Check you must engage in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults as part of your role. As a general rule, this means anyone who has regular or unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, like a teacher or carer.

Depending on the applicant’s role, the Enhanced Check may also look at the children’s and/or adults’ barred list.

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

As with the Standard Check, employers have to apply for Enhanced DBS Checks on behalf of their employees – individuals can’t apply for one.

Can I get a Background Check as an individual?

Individuals living or working in England or Wales can apply through uCheck to get a Basic 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)


The only check you can obtain as an individual is a Basic Check. You can apply for a Basic Check online through uCheck’s portal 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 you have. If you don’t have any, it will be clear result.

We hope our blog has answered your questions. If you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to call our support team on 0843 178 0818.


Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect M G Care Executive Limited trading as uCheck'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 is only valid on the day of publication and 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, M G Care Executive Limited trading as 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.