A Guide to DBS Eligibility
As an Umbrella Body of the Disclosure and Barring Service, we work extremely hard to ensure that the DBS applications we process meet all the necessary eligibility criteria, promising a quick and easy process.
We’re regularly asked what level of DBS Check an applicant requires for their job role. We’ve put this handy blog together to answer your questions surrounding DBS Check eligibility.
What you'll find in this blog:
- What are the different types of DBS Checks?
- How do I know which level of DBS Check an applicant is eligible for?
- Eligibility required for each level of check
- What's the eligibility criteria for a Basic DBS Check?
- What's the eligibility criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check?
- What's the eligibility criteria for a Standard DBS Check?
- What's the eligibility criteria for a Volunteer DBS Check?
- Why is eligibility important?
- Our promise
What are the different types of DBS checks?
The DBS offer 3 different types of criminal record checks to ensure the correct level of information is accessed depending on the job role.
- Basic Disclosure – this is available for all individuals, regardless of their job role. This level of DBS check will look through an individual’s criminal history, showing any unspent convictions that the applicant may have.
- Standard DBS Check – this is only available to organisations or companies who are completing a DBS check on somebody's behalf in order to make a suitability decision. This will check an applicant’s criminal history for cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions.
- Enhanced DBS Check – similar to a Standard DBS Check, this type of check must be completed by an organisation or company on an individual's behalf (with their consent) and will also check an applicant’s criminal history for cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions. Additionally, Enhanced DBS Checks can also include a check of the DBS's Children's and/or Adult barred list. Local police forces are also able to add any relevant information they hold on the applicant.
- Volunteer DBS Check – we can process Standard or Enhanced DBS Checks for a discounted rate if the employee is a volunteer. These Checks will provide the same searches as is outlined in the above for Enhanced DBS Check or Standard DBS Check.
How do I know which level of DBS check an applicant is eligible for?
In order to establish the level of check you or your applicants are eligible for, a Personnel Checks advisor may ask several questions. Examples of these questions include:
- What types of activity will the applicant be involved in?
- In what type of establishment will the activity take place?
- How frequently the activity will take place?
We may ask these questions in order to establish which level of check you are eligible for. Gaining the following information allows us to make an informed decision to ensure you’re completing the correct level of check:
Activity = the types of activity the applicant is undertaking such as:
- Personal Training
Establishments = the place where the activities may take place, such as:
Frequency = how often the activity will take place within these time frames:
- How many hours per week
- How many days in a 30-day period
Eligibility required for each level of check
What’s the eligibility criteria for a Basic DBS Check?
There is no eligibility criteria for a Basic DBS Check. Anybody can purchase a Basic DBS Check for themselves at any time.
What’s the eligibility criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check?
You may be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check based on the following criteria. The criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check is different dependant on the role of the applicant or the types of people they work with: children, adults or other.
Working with children
Activity: if the activity is regulated activity (a role that involves working with children)
Establishment: if the applicant works in specialist environments that involve working alongside children (e.g. schools, academies, colleges, residential children’s care homes etc)
Frequency: The frequency of the activity is either 4 or more times within a 30-day period, or once or more times a week
How to establish eligibility when working with children, based on Activity, Establishment and Frequency:
For example, an applicant who is teaching a group of 10 children how to sew once a week within a school would be eligible for an enhanced check DBS Check.
Working with adults
There are specific regulated activities that you must be involved in to be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check when working with adults. These include:
Provided by any healthcare professional or under the direction or supervision of one
Washing, dressing, eating, drinking and toileting
In relation to adults, who are clients or potential clients, includes assessing or reviewing the need for health or social care services and providing ongoing support to clients
Assistance with household affairs
Anyone who provides day to day assistance to an adult because of their age, illness or disability, where it includes managing the person’s money, paying the person’s bills, or shopping on their behalf
Assistance with the conduct of affairs
Power of attorney/deputies appointed under the Mental Capacity Act
Conveying an Adult
For health, personal or social care requirements due to age, illness or disability. This includes hospital porters, patient transport services, driver’s assistants, Ambulance Technicians and Emergency Care Assistants. Please note transporting/conveying is not necessarily in a vehicle and could be in a wheelchair/stretcher
How to establish eligibility when working with adults, based on Activity, Establishment and Frequency:
Working with others
There are some job roles which enable an individual to be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check who are not working with children or adults.
Some examples of these job roles include:
- Individuals applying for or renewing an operating licence to run premises where gambling can take place
- Individuals applying for or renewing a licence to run the National Lottery or promote or sell tickets in relation to that lottery
- Individuals applying to be a Maritime armed guard on UK ships where they can carry, acquire or transfer weapons and/or ammunition
- Individuals applying for or renewing a taxi or private hire vehicle licence
Please note that these are just a few examples of job roles that meet the criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check, when working . Please find a full list of job roles that meet the ‘Other Workforce’ eligibility criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check here.
What is the eligibility criteria for a Standard DBS Check?
Those who meet the eligibility criteria for an Enhanced DBS Check (see above), would also meet the eligibility for a Standard DBS Check if their employers requested it on their behalf.
Additionally, there are particular job roles that make you eligible for a Standard DBS Check, some examples include:
- Positions in the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulatory Authority or the Bank of England, or organisations acting on their behalf
- Football stewards
- Applying for the membership of the Master Locksmiths Association
- On entry to the profession of veterinary surgeon
- On entry to the profession of barrister (in England and Wales) or solicitor
- Judges’ clerks, secretaries and legal secretaries
- RSPCA staff who carry out humane killing of animals
Please note that these are just a few examples of job roles that meet the criteria for a Standard DBS Check. Please find a full list of eligibility criteria for a Standard DBS Check here.
What’s the eligibility criteria for a Volunteer DBS Check?
In order to apply for the discounted Volunteer DBS Check, you must meet the eligibility outlined above for either the Standard or Enhanced DBS Check.
You must also ensure that you’re completing the job role for volunteering purposes only. The DBS define a volunteer as:
“Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative”.
If you’re still unsure which DBS Check you or your employees are eligible for, this Eligibility Checking Tool can advise you.
Why is eligibility important?
According to the DBS Code of Practice, it is a criminal offence for an application to be processed for the wrong level of DBS check, therefore it is extremely important that the applicant is eligible for the level they are applying for.
Asking these questions means we’re able to categorise an application correctly and avoid applications being queried and/or rejected by the DBS, therefore avoiding any unnecessary delays for you or your employees.
We help to ensure you’re purchasing the correct level of DBS check, aiding in speeding up the application process to help ensure all applications are sent to the DBS for processing within 24 hours of being submitted to us.
At Personnel Checks we take pride in an extremely low error rate in the applications we submit. Currently we have less than 0.1% of ‘potentially ineligible applications’ we submit to the DBS and continually strive to keep that number as low as possible.