‘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. 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 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 them 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 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 should apply to the DBS, while those living or working in Scotland should still apply to Disclosure Scotland.

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, 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 DBS 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 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 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 should apply directly to the DBS. To apply, you’ll need:

  • Your five-year address history
    Your National Insurance number
    A debit or credit card
    Your passport
    Your driving licence

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)

Basic checks from both organisations cost £25.

Can I get a DBS check as an individual?: A summary

The only DBS check you can obtain as an individual is a basic check

You can apply for a basic check online through either the DBS or Disclosure Scotland, depending on where you work

The basic check will reveal any unspent convictions you have. If you don’t have any, it will be clear

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 call our trained 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.