What does a DBS test embody?

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A DBS exam can be an important tool for employers and can have an impact on whether or not you get a job. Not all jobs require one. However, if you work with children or vulnerable people, you need to get one.

We'll help you understand what a DBS check is, when you might need one, and how to get one when you need it.

  1. What is a DBS check?
  2. Who needs one
  3. What's included
  4. How do i get one?
  5. Do I have to pay for a DBS check?
  6. What if I can't pass
  7. Does a DBS check affect your creditworthiness?

What is a DBS check?

DBS reviews are carried out by the Government Disclosure and Revocation Service and are a key way for employers to review your criminal record and help them determine whether you are suitable for the role and the company. This includes deciding whether you can work safely with children or vulnerable adults.

DBS checks used to be called CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) checks, so you may still hear or see them. The role of the DBS is to help employers in England and Wales make recruitment decisions by issuing criminal records reviews and to prevent individuals from working with vulnerable groups who may not be safe.

DBS exams answer the question: "Do you have any criminal convictions, warnings, reprimands or final warnings?" If you're applying for a job that poses this question – and you don't answer honestly – your contract can be terminated immediately if it is discovered that you have previous unspent convictions or reprimands.

Who needs one

If you plan to work with or around children or vulnerable people, you generally need a DBS check. This can be in roles such as teaching, healthcare, social welfare, or law enforcement – but other types of roles can apply as well. For example, if you work with sensitive financial information, a DBS exam is required to ensure you have no convictions related to fraud or related crimes.

The DBS Approval Guide List () covers most of the roles for an exam to consider, but the guidelines are not comprehensive. You should contact the DBS directly if you are not sure.

Your prospective employer will tell you if your role requires a DBS exam and, if so, which exam level is required.

If you're the person being screened, you'll need to fill out a form and return it to your employer along with documents proving your identity, such as passport, utility bill, and current driver's license.

More information about which documents are accepted can be found here.

What is in a DBS?

There are four different levels of the DBS exam: basic exam, standard exam, advanced exam and check with blocked lists. What is included depends on the verification level.

  1. Basic DBS checks or "Basic Information" indicate unissued convictions or conditional warnings from the applicant.
  2. Standard DBS controls show details of used and unused convictions, warnings, reprimands, and recent warnings contained in police records.
  3. Extended DBS checks contain the same information as standard checks plus any additional information from the local police force that is deemed relevant to the role in question.
  4. Advanced checks with blocked lists show the same information as advanced checks, but also show whether the applicant is on the list of excluded from the role.

For more information about the information scanned, visit Gov.uk.

It's worth noting that there are some precautionary measures and accusations that, no matter how long ago, could come up with a basic DBS exam – namely those that involve vulnerable individuals (e.g. child abuse).

How do i get one?

If you get one through a potential employer, they will be organized for you. Some employers will ask you to pay for it (often the cost will be deducted from your first salary) while others will pay for it.

It is difficult for the self-employed to get a DBS check. This is because you cannot apply as an individual. However, it is not impossible!

A local DBS umbrella organization can be found here on the Gov.uk website. One of these agencies will do this for you at cost.

In Scotland, you will receive a "basic disclosure" with details of any unspent convictions from Disclosure Scotland.

You can also get verified by an organization that you belong to, e.g. B. Your church or a sports club. Some organizations may require you to volunteer in order to receive a DBS check. You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a DBS check. Adolescent records – those under the age of 16 – are unlikely to appear in a DBS, except in exceptional circumstances.

If you're having trouble getting one, a subject access report is a great alternative. You can get one by filling out a form online or by going to your local police station. The report costs £ 10 and shows everything in your permanent record. It takes about four weeks to process, but be careful as this is not always satisfactory for potential employers.

For example, many councilors are technically self-sufficient but work with children through contracts with the NHS / social services. A basic check is ineffective for them as a protective measure, so they must have received a fully advanced check in order to do the job they've done.

Do I have to pay for a DBS check?

Do I have to pay for a DBS check?

Prices range from £ 23 for a simple DBS check to £ 44 for a more detailed certificate. Most organizations will pay the bill for DBS checks for their new hire. However, there is no law that says employers must do this, so some may ask you to pay for it yourself.

Self-employed persons who need a DBS check have to bear the costs themselves.

If over time you are likely to need repetitive DBS exams, you can pay an additional £ 13 per year to register for the DBS program. This gives you access to the DBS website and allows you to log in and view your certificates, or employers can log in and view them too. Any new employer can therefore see your DBS status almost immediately and you can get to work faster.

It's free if a DBS check is required for a volunteer role.

What if I can't pass a DBS check?

Despite what many people think, you may or may not pass a DBS exam. Rather than providing a result, aspects of the applicant's criminal record are detailed so that the employer can make the safest hiring decision.

The results may have an impact on whether or not you will be hired, provided the convictions are relevant to the job applicant's role and are in accordance with the Offender Rehabilitation Act 1974. If you choose to work with or with children If you apply to vulnerable adults, your potential employer will also be able to refuse employment based on worn-out beliefs.

It is up to each organization to make a hiring decision based on the information on your DBS certificate. However, the DBS Code of Conduct states that it is necessary to treat DBS applicants with criminal records and that employers must not discriminate against them for criminal activities that are not relevant to their role.

Does a DBS check affect your creditworthiness?


The information that is likely to appear on a DBS certificate, such as criminal records and fines, is not on your credit history.

Lenders use credit reporting agencies to share factual information about their customers' credit and how it is being repaid. Agencies combine this with information from public registers like the electoral roll and court judgments to produce your credit report.

However, they do not use criminal records as part of your credit report. You may struggle with your creditworthiness if you spent time in prison or had legal debt following a conviction. However, this is due to debt or "economic inactivity" and is non-discriminatory based on your beliefs.

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