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DBS Checks Terms of Use


This document sets out the terms on which the Personnel Checks DBS services must be used.  The service is subject to the use of third party intellectual property and rules of use which must be followed.  These Terms of Use form part of the contractual obligations and all users must comply with the terms.

These terms of use are subject to change from time to time and it is the Customer’s responsibility to ensure that it reviews these terms regularly to ensure compliance with them.  The Company is not obliged to provide notice of any change to these terms.



The following defined terms shall apply throughout these Terms of Use.

Applicant: means an individual who is the subject of or makes an Application.

Application Form: means the form which an Applicant must complete for the purposes of a Disclosure Application;

Authorised User: means an employee or agent of the Customer who is the person or one of the people within the Customer’s organisation registered with the Company (as required by the Company) for access to data from the Company via the Online Account.  Personnel Checks will only be able to exchange information with the named Authorised Users;

Company:  means Personnel Checks Ltd;

Contract: means a contract for the provision of services between the Company and a Customer;

Customer: means a legal entity in receipt of services provided by (or on behalf of) the Company;

Code of Practice: means the DBS’ code of practice for registered persons and other recipients of disclosure information through the DBS checking service;

Counter-signatory: means the person or people within the Company who are registered with the DBS to electronically and physically countersign Disclosure Applications;

Data Protection Legislation: means the Data Protection Act 2018 and all applicable laws and regulations relating to the processing of personal data and privacy, including where applicable the guidance and codes of practice issued by the Information Commissioner from time to time;

DBS: means the Disclosure & Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland, as appropriate;

Disclosure: means the disclosure result issued by the DBS in respect of the Applicant once a DBS check has been completed and/or the disclosure result issued from a Screening Check;

Disclosure Application: means an application made for a DBS check;

ID Verifier: means Authorised User responsible for verifying the identity of applicants prior to a Disclosure Application by following the current guidelines issued by the DBS;

Personnel Checks Portal: means the online portal provided by the Company which allows access to information held by the Company;

Recruitment Decision Maker: the nominated Authorised User’s who are responsible for receiving notification of the result of services to help them make a sound recruitment or suitability decision;

Registered Body: means an organisation which has satisfied the DBS’ conditions of registration and has registered directly with the DBS to use its services;

Self Service Tools: means the elements of the System (including third party systems) which may be used by a Customer to submit DBS checks itself;

System: means the Company’s IT systems, the Website and/or any Online Service;

Third Party Provider: means the third party provider of part of the System;


DBS1       Customers must ensure that they have all necessary consents or other lawful basis for processing and have complied with all applicable legal requirements (whether under privacy, confidentiality or data protection laws or otherwise) with respect to the processing of data by the Company (and any third party who shall process data) under a Contract or otherwise and that they have and shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations as appropriate to enable the lawful receipt of the Services by the Customer in accordance with a Contract (including all Data Protection Legislation).


DBS2       Customers must ensure that they do not use any data provided by the Company in such a way as to contravene the Data Protection Legislation and that they will not, through any act or omission do anything which puts the Company in breach of the Data Protection Legislation.


DBS3       Customers must ensure that they are and will remain compliant with the requirements of the DBS and shall take no action nor make or allow any omissions that put the Company in breach of any DBS requirement.


DBS4       Any rights are granted to a Customer only, and shall not be considered granted, if relevant, to any subsidiary or holding company of the Customer.


DBS4       Customers must acknowledges that, in order to enjoy the benefit of any services, it may be necessary to grant a licence to, or provide data to, any data provided by the Customer to third parties including, without limitation, the DBS.


DBS5       Customers must familiarise themselves with the Company’s policy for the secure Storage, Handling, Use, Retention & Disposal of Disclosure and Disclosure Information (the "Security Policy") which may be viewed here and shall:

  • put in place a security policy which is substantially similar to and at least as onerous as the Security Policy; and
  • ensure that said security policy is maintained and adhered to throughout the Term; and
  • ensure that each Authorised User understands and abides by the security policy.


DBS5       The Company regularly monitors how long all levels of criminal record disclosures take to be processed and often quotes average turnaround times. The DBS searches the relevant Police databases and is responsible for the turnaround time of each application. The Company cannot guarantee any turnaround time for any level of check, as the turnaround is determined solely by the DBS.


DBS6       The Company is not liable to a Customer or any other party for any delay in performance or failure to perform its obligations in accordance with a Contract where such delay or failure is due to a change in the Code of Practice, or a change in the procedures relating to the processing of Disclosure Applications by the DBS ("DBS Procedure Change").


DBS7       If a DBS Procedure Change takes place the Company shall use all reasonable endeavours to minimise any adverse impact on the performance of any services and will notify the Customer of any such impact.


DBS8       If the Company has reasonable grounds to believe that a Disclosure Application is ineligible in light of the requirements of the DBS, then the Company may refuse to process the Disclosure Application until the Customer has provided sufficient information to satisfy the Company that the Disclosure Application is eligible.


DBS9       In the event that any information revealed by a Disclosure Application and subsequent Disclosure is disputed by an Applicant or the Customer ("Dispute"), the Applicant is required to liaise directly with the DBS and the Company shall have no responsibility for liaising with any Applicant.


DBS10     All Customers shall:

  • ensure that all Applicants for relevant positions of employment are notified in advance of the requirement for a Disclosure and are notified of the potential effect of a criminal records history on the recruitment and selection process and on any recruitment decision;
  • discuss the content of a Disclosure with the Applicant before withdrawing any offer of employment;
  • provide a copy of the Code of Practice to the Applicant on request; and
  • familiarise itself with the Company’s policy for the Recruitment of Ex-offenders (the "Ex-offenders’ Policy") which may be viewed here and shall:
    • put in place an ex-offenders’ policy which is substantially similar to and at least as onerous as the Ex-offenders’ Policy; and
    • ensure that said ex-offenders’ policy is maintained and adhered to throughout the Term; and
  • ensure that each Authorised User understands and abides by the ex-offenders’ policy 


DBS11     In relation to each Disclosure Application, a Customer shall ensure that:

  • each Application Form is completed fully and that the information provided is true and accurate, and that the Applicant has not knowingly made any false declarations;
  • it has verified and validated the identity of the Applicant in accordance with the DBS’ guidance;
    Basic DBS Check ID Checking Guidelines
    Standard & Enhanced DBS Check ID Checking Guidelines
  • all Disclosure Applications are made in accordance with the Code of Practice and associated legislation.
  • they confirm that they have the authority of the applicant to receive the disclosure information and certificate issued.


DBS12     Customers must not and shall not permit any person to:

  • use the Services unless they are an Authorised User, Recruitment Decision Maker or ID Verifier;
  • use the Services for any purpose other than as set out in in an agreement with the Company;
  • attempt to copy, duplicate, modify, alter, adapt, merge, create derivative works from, frame, mirror, republish, download, display, transmit, resell, sub-licence or distribute all or any portion of the System software and/or documentation (as applicable) in any form or media by any means;
  • attempt to decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer or otherwise reduce to human-perceivable form all or any part of the System software;
  • use the System in a manner that may harm or impair any other person’s use of it;
  • use the System in an attempt to gain unauthorised access to any service, network, account or data by any means;
  • share Personnel Check Portal or Self Service Tool details with any party not explicitly authorised by the Company and shall only share Online Account details for the purposes set out in the agreement with the Company;
  • access all or any part of any services in order to build a product or service which compete with the services of the Company;
  • use the services provided by the Company to provide services to third parties, including the operation of a service bureau arrangement or outsourced service offering;
  • attempt to license, sell, rent, lease, transfer, assign, distribute, display, disclose, or otherwise commercially exploit, or otherwise make the Services available to any third party;
  • attempt to obtain, or assist third parties in obtaining access to the Services;
  • remove, deface or obscure any proprietary notices, labels or marks associated with the Company’s services;
  • disclose any information related to any Applicant or contained within any Disclosure Application or Disclosure to any member, partner, director, officer, employee, agent or subcontractor of the Customer (a "Personnel Member") unless a Personnel Member requires access to that information in the course of their specific duties in relation to  recruitment and vetting processes.


DBS13     Each Customer shall ensure that:

  • it uses all reasonable endeavours to prevent any unauthorised access to, or use of, the System and/or the services and in the event of any such unauthorised access or use, it promptly notifies the Company;
  • no data transmitted by it in connection with the services contains viruses or any other computer code, files or programmes which may interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  • any data uploaded to the System:
    1. does not contain any material that is illegal, obscene, pornographic, indecent or defamatory;
    2. does not infringe any third party rights, including Intellectual Property Rights; and
    3. does not contravene any applicable law or regulation.



DBS14     Recipients of disclosure information, through electronic means or via the Applicant’s copy of the disclosure, must note that it is an offence to disclose information contained within a DBS Certificate to any person who is not a member, officer or employee of the client organisation, unless a relevant legal exception applies. Furthermore, it is also an offence to disclose information to any member, officer or employee where it is not related to that employee’s duties and knowingly make a false statement for the purpose of obtaining, or enabling another person to obtain a Certificate.


DBS15     The Recruitment Decision Makers must handle all DBS related information provided to them by their employee or potential employee in line with the obligations under Data Protection Act 2018.


DBS16     The Recruitment Decision Makers must ensure they adhere to the DBS Code of Practice including the Suitability Policy.


DBS17     The DBS are committed to providing Disclosures for all volunteer applications that meet the DBS definition of a volunteer. This term is defined in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations 2002 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 themselves or a close relative.”

In order for an Applicant to qualify as a volunteer they must not:

  • receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses);
  • be on a placement;
  • be on a course that requires them to do this job role; or
  • be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification


DBS18     The Customer must confirm that it understands the DBS’ definition of a volunteer and acknowledges that any volunteer DBS application submitted by it to the Company shall meet with that definition. Should the DBS decline an application and/or find that an application does not meet the DBS’ definition of a volunteer, the Customer accepts full responsibility and agrees to pay any additional Fees that may be incurred.


DBS19     If a Customer chooses to verify the identity of an Applicant prior to the submission of an application for a DBS product, they agree to adhere to the current DBS Guidelines which can be found below;

Basic DBS Check ID Checking Guidelines
Standard & Enhanced DBS Check ID Checking Guidelines




From time to time the DBS carries out assurance audits of Registered Bodies. All Customers must provide reasonable assistance and access to such records and other data or information as may be requested by DBS and/or the Company in event of an audit being carried out in connection with any services.



The Company offers a service to provide List 99 checks to the Education Industry.  Should a Customer require a List 99 check the Customer shall have (and confirms) that it has obtained permission from the Applicant to apply on the Applicant’s behalf.



DBS Adult First is a service that can be used in cases where, exceptionally, and in accordance with the terms of Department of Health guidance, a person is permitted to start work with aduts before a DBS Certificate has been obtained.  This applies to adult services such as care home, domiciliary care agencies and adult placement schemes where DBS Certificates are required by law.  This service is only available to organisations who are eligible to access the DBS Adult barred list and who have requested a check of the barred lists on their DBS application form.  DBS Adult First is not a substitute for a DBS Certificate and providers must take care when making recruitment decisions prior to receiving a full DBS Certificate.  DBS Adult First checks should only be used in exceptional circumstances and when absolutely necessary.  Customer’s must confirm they are eligible for such services.