What is a DBS check?

If your business includes providing carers for any child or adult who may be vulnerable, or working in certain proscribed professions, your employees probably need to be checked.

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A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a criminal record check on an individual, usually a prospective employee, which replaced a CRB check in 2013. In essence, this check ensures that the individual is of good character, and is therefore much less likely to cause any problems, either for you or those who are under their care.

Who Needs DBS Checking?

If you are hiring or applying for jobs in any areas that involve contact with children or vulnerable adults, you have probably dealt with DBS checks.

In the UK, any jobs within a school, hospital or care home will always require DBS checking, regardless of the specific duties of the position. Additionally, anyone looking to be an accredited childminder, carer, medical professional, or anyone looking to become a foster carer, as well as anyone looking to adopt a child will be required to undergo the check.

Additionally, certain professions that are concerned with the character of those within them, such as judges, solicitors, barristers, and accountants, where the honesty and good standing of the members is incredibly important, will be required to have clean backgrounds.

Professions where an employee may have access to controlled substances, such as anyone working in a medical setting, including veterinary professionals, will also require DBS checks.

How do I Get a DBS Check?

An individual cannot request a background check on themselves. DBS checks will always be carried out at the request of an employer, usually through a specialist intermediary service such as

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An employer will get an application from the intermediary service, and passes the relevant portion on to the prospective employee, who must fill it out accurately and honestly, and provide documentation to prove their identity.

The employer sends the packet back to the intermediary who then takes care of the rest and provides the employer with the requested DBS information, giving them the confidence to hire their preferred candidate.

The DBS system gives peace of mind to employers, as well as those who use their services, as they can be confident that anyone employed in these important areas will be of good character.

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