The Myths of DBS Checks – Know the Facts

There a few common misconceptions surrounding DBS checks which can be misleading. To ensure you are fully informed, we have done a little myth-busting of our own.

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Is It a Matter of Pass or Fail?

There is technically no pass or fail when it comes to the DBS checks. A basic DBS check will simply show any information that it held on any given individual’s criminal record. If they have no criminal record, the DBS certificate will have no information on it. If you have a criminal record (consisting of a caution, warning, reprimand or conviction), this will be detailed on the DBS certificate. By law, any potential employer must take into account the type of offence, how long ago it took place, and whether it is of any relevance to the role for which you are being considered.

DBS Checks Don’t Expire

Whilst there is no official expiration date on a DBS certificate, this does not mean that a single check will suffice for all of your working life. It will depend on the company how frequently a renewal will be sought, but they are usually requested once every one to three years. Alternatively, it is possible to register for an update service from the DBS service, which will enable an employer regularly review the DBS certificate over a certain period of time. The cost for this is 13 per year.

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Standard/Enhanced Checks Are Not Available to Individuals

It is true that an individual can only apply for the basic disclosure, which shows any unspent criminal convictions. Standard and enhanced checks can only be requested by an employer. Some companies such as now offer a service in which applications for DBS Checks may be completed in less than 60 minutes.

A Criminal Record Will Mean You Can’t Find Employment

A criminal record can limit the types of jobs you will be able to obtain. For example, if you have committed an offence which has led to you being banned from working with children or vulnerable adults, then you will not be able to work in roles in which this is necessary. If the offence is not relevant to the role you are applying for, then by law the employer must consider you despite your criminal record.

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