Obtaining a Disclosure

Employers can check criminal records in all roles. This is called a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

For certain roles an employer can request a more detailed DBS check, for example if you’ll be working with children or adults at risk .   The government website has a guide to the process of obtaining a disclosure, including managing sensitive situations.  An up to date link is here  


Refer to the government guidance about eligibility for different checks updated February 2020    There is also a handy online tool

Types of Disclosure available
  1. Basic check, shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
  2. Standard check,  shows any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  3. Enhanced check, shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
  4. Enhanced check with barred lists, which also includes whether the person is barred from doing the role
Obtaining a Disclosure

Complete an online or paper form from the employer or a ‘responsible organisation’.

These are organisations registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to process checks. There are different rules for getting a criminal record check in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mistakes and errors can cause delay.  It includes  proof of documents which prove identity. Send it to the Registered Body, there may be a charge involved.

Basic check     If the level required for your role is ‘basic’, an individual can  request their own basic check.  It costs £23.  They can then show it to the people they’ll be working for.  Basic checks take up to 14 days.

Standard or Enhanced Disclosures

Enhanced and standard checks usually take around 8 weeks. It may take shorter or longer, depending on the type of check and which police forces need to be involved in the check. You can track DBS check applications online.