How do DBS checks work?

At uCheck, we process more than 400,000 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks every year for more than 11,000 different organisations. But our clients often wonder: how do DBS checks work?

Making safer recruitment decisions

The DBS exists to help organisations recruit safely. Applicants for roles that involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults may be eligible for a DBS check.

When an application is made, the DBS will look into the applicant’s criminal history to ascertain whether they’re suitable for the role they’ve applied for.

How do DBS checks work? The five DBS stages

Organisations must apply for DBS checks on behalf of their staff and volunteers. This is often done through an umbrella company like uCheck. Individuals cannot apply for checks on themselves.

To make the application, the employing organisation will collect some personal details from the applicant, and ask to see some identification documents.

Once submitted, an Enhanced DBS check will go through five stages before completion:

Stage 1: the DBS  validates the application.

Stage 2: the Police National Computer is checked to see whether the applicant has any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings.

Stage 3: the children’s and/or adults’ barred list is checked to see whether the applicant has been barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Stage 4: local police records are searched for any other relevant information.

Stage 5: the DBS check is complete. The disclosure is printed and sent to the applicant’s home address, and the information is passed on to the employing organisation.

Are DBS checks transferable?

Another question many of our clients ask is: are DBS checks transferable between different jobs?

DBS checks are not automatically transferable. However, the DBS does have an update service.

How do DBS checks work? A conclusion

We hope our guide has given you an idea of how DBS checks work. If you’d like any more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0843 1780 818.

We offer a simple, fast and affordable online DBS checking service, and can guide you through the process from beginning to end. Find out more here.