General Questions

What is a DBS Check?

DBS stands for ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’, and a DBS Check is a check carried out by an employer on an individual’s criminal history. A DBS Check will tell an employer if an individual has any previous convictions, cautions, final warnings or reprimands that may impact the individual’s eligibility for certain roles.

Are there different types of DBS Checks?

There are four different types of DBS Checks:

  1. Basic DBS: These show unspent convictions and conditional cautions.

  2. Standard DBS: These show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and final warnings.

  3. Enhanced DBS: These provide the same information as a Standard DBS, as well as any information held by the local police service that is considered relevant for the role in question.

  4. Enhanced DBS with Barred Lists: These provide the same information as an Enhanced DBS, as well as checking the individual against the list of people barred from doing certain roles.

Who is allowed to request a DBS Check?

A basic DBS Check can be requested by anyone over the age of 16.

Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks can only be requested by employers on behalf of their employees or volunteers, when the work requires such a check.

How much do DBS Checks cost?

A single DBS Check on our platform costs £10 + VAT. If you would like to see the other checks we offer, then please visit our product page.

How do you contact the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?

There are two ways to contact the DBS, either by phone (03000200190), or by e-mail (customerservices@dbs.gov.uk).

Employer Questions

What DBS Check should I be conducting?

Basic DBS checks can provide an extra level of confidence for staff or volunteers who don’t qualify for Standard or Enhanced checks. They are needed for roles such as security staff, taxi operators, and personal licensees.

Standard DBS Checks are suitable for roles where there is no regular contact with children or vulnerable adults.

An Enhanced DBS Check is suitable for roles that involve regular contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults, either working or volunteering.

It is vital that you conduct the correct check. If you conduct a check that is below the level required for the role, then safeguarding legislation hasn’t been met, and if you conduct a check above the level necessary, you would be illegally holding potentially sensitive information. If you are still unsure on what check you should be conducting, our platform recommends what checks should be being completed when told the role being filled.

How will I know when the check has been completed?

A DBS Check takes about 48 hours on average to complete. In many cases, there will be a wait for the paper certificate to arrive before you know the outcome of the check. With our platform, however, you can see the result of the check before the paper certificate arrives.


Can employees start work before their DBS certificate arrives?

This very much depends on the nature of the role.

If the role involves frequent contact with children or vulnerable adults, it is wise to wait for the certificate to come through before the individual starts work for legal reasons.

If the role involves caring for adults, then it is possible to start an individual before the certificate arrives. This can be done by using the DBS Adult First Check. This check will tell you whether the employee can start work while being supervised (no match found in Barred Lists), if you should wait for the results of the Enhanced Check, or the DBS certificate has been printed already.

There are two important points to note about the Adult First Check. The first is that, although this can be requested alongside the Enhanced Check application r afterwards, there is an additional fee involved. The other point is that this check is ONLY for roles involving regular contact with vulnerable adults, and should be used sparingly.

How long do DBS Certificates remain valid for?

There is no official expiry date for a DBS certificate.

It is important to note, however, that they are only accurate as of the date of issue, and do not update automatically. If an applicant for a role has a DBS Certificate from a few years previously, an employer may consider it prudent to request an up-to-date certificate.

In sectors where Enhanced DBS Checks are necessary (such as care and education), employers often have policies in place where new DBS Checks are conducted after a certain period of time (annually, every two years etc.).

Employee Questions

What documents do I need to complete a DBS check?

Typically, you will need 3 documents to complete a DBS Check:

  • At least one ‘Primary Trusted Document’ (such as a Passport or Driving Licence)

  • At least one showing your current address (such as a recent bill)

  • At least one showing your date of birth (this is most likely to be a Passport)

Is it possible to fail a DBS Check?

A DBS Check is simply the process of producing a certificate about an individual’s criminal record and background which is relevant to the role in question.

If the certificate reveals any previous convictions, cautions, final warnings or reprimands, then it is up to the employer to make a decision on whether the offences committed are relevant for the role being applied for. Having a DBS Check reveal previous convictions, therefore, does not necessarily mean an individual has ‘failed’ the DBS Check.

Some of The Checks We Offer

To ensure employees can work within care, we run basic, standard and enhanced checks.

DBS Checks

We help you strictly follow national guidelines when assessing a candidate’s right to work.

Right to Work Audit

We provide comprehensive work history and reference checks, our tool gives you flexibility to meet your needs.

Work History & Referencing

Some sectors require one to drive in a role, our DVLA checks ensure the validity of an individual’s driving license.

DVLA Check

Biometric & facial recognition technology allows instant & accurate identity verification.

Identity Verification

We collate the candidate's academic qualifications, ​course details, referees' emails & responses.

Academic Referencing

We check against regulatory standards for training, skills & behaviour & store details within your compliance record.

HCPC Registration Check

We check your candidate's Qualified Teacher Status, induction completion & highlight any prohibitive past.

QTS Check

We check a social worker is registered with SWE & store register details as part of your compliance record.

SWE Registration Check


Reduce costs

Reduce the costs of your vetting and compliance process with the use of significantly fewer resources

Reduce time to onboard

Speed up the time taken to onboard candidates, getting them and your business up and running quickly

Reduced Risk

De-risk your compliance process with electronic, auditable records and automated maintenance of documents and compliance status

Roled-based Compliance

By providing bundled compliance checks based on the role, we ensure standards are met from document capture to referencing

Cloud-based platform

Accessible anywhere, at anytime, our platform enables the management and processing of your compliance operations in one place with third-party integrations


Keep candidates in the driving seat via our app giving them full visibility of all the actions necessary to complete the compliance process

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