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All You Need to Know About the Different Types of DBS Checks

All You Need to Know About the Different Types of DBS Checks

DBS, or Disclosure and Barring Service, checks are checks that enable employers to ensure the people that they are employing are safe and suited to the role.

From security guards to teachers, health care workers to nursery staff, many different types of employment require a DBS check of some sort. DBS checks are particularly important for those working with vulnerable groups such as children or those receiving some sort of medical care, this means that employers often require their workforce to renew their DBS check on a regular basis, with the period of time in between renewals varying from work place to work place.

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DBS checks are relatively easy to access, with the smooth process all being carried out digitally, but did you know that there are many different types of DBS checks, and do you know their individual purposes? Here is everything you need to know about all the different types of DBS checks:

Basic DBS check

A basic DBS check is essentially a criminal record check which can be requested by either individuals or employers. A basic DBS check is the lowest level of DBS check available and is available to anybody living within the United Kingdom. A basic DBS check will scan an individual’s criminal record for any convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC). Employers from all types of industries can request a basic disclosure check in order to ensure a candidate is fit for employment in their sector. Basic disclosure checks are available on the UK Government’s official website at the cost of £23 and it usually takes up to 14 days to receive your certificate.

Standard DBS check

A standard DBS check is a more in-depth criminal record often used by employers on behalf of applicants to determine whether or not they are suitable for the role in question. A DBS check at this level reveals all information of all cautions, reprimands and warnings that the individual may have. A standard DBS check will also highlight any unspent convictions held on a person’s criminal record in Wales and England and convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This level of check allows employers in sectors such as law and accountancy to ensure that their candidate does not have any prior offences.

Enhanced DBS check

An enhanced level DBS check is the highest level of DBS check available. This type of DBS check, like a standard DBS check, is only available to employers who have to request it on their employee’s behalf. This level of DBS check shows the same information as the previous checks as well as any information held by local police that may be relevant to the role for which they are applying.

Enhanced DBS check with barred list

This type of DBS check, like a standard and enhanced DBS check, is only available to employers who have to request it on their employee’s behalf. This level of DBS check contains everything that the other levels of DBS checks have; however, an enhanced DBS check with a barred list allows the employer to see whether their potential or current employee is listed on the Children’s Barred List or Adult First List. This ensures that the individual in question is safe and suitable to work with vulnerable groups such as children. This means that this level of check is typically required for most roles within education or health care.


In summary, the four levels of DBS checks mentioned above are all designed to address different needs. The level of DBS check required varies from job to job so it is important that you check whether you need to obtain a basic disclosure check for your role or whether your employer will be requesting a higher level of DBS check on your behalf. If you pass, each level of DBS check this will also result in you receiving your DBS certificate that can be uploaded to the DBS update service for ease of accessibility and prevents you having to go through any other checks and makes easy to renew at intervals determined by each employer or sector depending on the requirements of the specific role.

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