The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), a non-departmental division of the Home Office, has been conducting criminal background checks on applicants in the majority of the United Kingdom since 2012. These checks utilized data from the Criminal Records Bureau prior to that year; in fact, many still refer to them as CRB checks. Depending on where in the UK the person resides, checks are now well established and codified by the DBS system. Scotland offers the Disclosure Scotland program since it has a united police force and its own legal system. Additionally, Northern Ireland has its own police authority. However, there are certain changes to DBS checks in England and Wales starting in 2022. A BASIC CHECK’S COST In any of the four countries that make up the UK, basic level checks are by far the most frequent. They are the most straightforward to obtain, and anyone 16 years of age or older with valid identification can apply for them. There is no legal restriction on who can apply for a Basic check, unlike more stringent checks. The main justification for this is that since the search is initiated by the individual, there is no risk (ID provided) that the results will be accessed by unauthorized parties. Basic checks only show convictions that have not yet been sentenced to a punishment or length of time, or both.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) and later legislation set down the meaning of spent. This law makes it illegal for any prospective employer to reject a candidate due of a previous conviction, regardless of the nature of the offense (this also applies to nonprofit organizations). As employment opportunities have changed as a result of the COVID pandemic, an increasing number of employers and nonprofit organizations are routinely requesting Basic DBS checks applications from job applicants.

Basic checks are quick to process and inexpensive as a result of their relative simplicity. It has been agreed that the price of these checks should be even lower because to the rising demand for them and the need for workers across various sectors of the UK economy. The price of a Basic DBS check decreased from 23 to 18 as of April 6, 2022. It is thought that by doing this, it will be even simpler for employees and volunteers, particularly those who are younger, to cover some of the vacancies in the UK’s labor force.

COMMON AND ADVANCED CHECKS DBS inspections at the Standard and Enhanced levels are more thorough than those at the Basic level. This is mostly a result of the limitations imposed by the ROA, as well as what they divulge. A responsible body, which is frequently a potential employer but may also be a registered third party, must apply for Standard and Enhanced checks. According to the ROA’s guidelines, the organization requesting any sort of search must provide a justification for doing so, and the post being sought out must pose a real risk to specific segments of the public.

Unless they are covered by the ROA, all prior convictions are disclosed via these checks. No matter how old the offense is or was, there is no such thing as a wasted conviction in this sense. All police warnings, cautions, and sanctions are also made public. Who can see them is a highly delicate matter for anyone who is subject to these inspections. Enhanced inspections are necessary for a variety of positions, including taxi driver.

ERRORS IN THE SYSTEM Any errors in such a delicate process are understandably concerning. Due to wrongly supplied details, the DBS rejected a large number of Standard and Enhanced check requests in 2021, causing these issues. This actually indicated that the information entered did not precisely match the details of a previous search. The DBS believed that its own records were accurate, therefore the fresh search was invalid ; nevertheless, they did not let the subject know about the check. This resulted in delays that were out of the individuals’ control, and as a result, they occasionally missed work.

Thankfully, the DBS has since revised this process, so at least the application’s subject is aware of any specific variances. This is good news because those who are subject to Standard and Enhanced checks do critical occupations.


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