What does DBS mean in the UK?

13th September 2022

Employers face a lot of problems when trying to recruit a person for the job. There is the hassle of finding eligible people, interviewing them, and then trying to see

whether they fit in with your organisation or not.

Even if you can find a good person for the job, there is also the issue of conducting a background check on them.

As an employer, you would want to know certain things about the person who is going to join your company such as whether they have been convicted by a court in the past or whether they have been in some kind of legal trouble.

Disclosure and Barring Service makes it easy to get such checks done on recruits. It will help you recruit people with a high degree of assurance.

If you are a business owner in the UK or are looking to start operations in the UK, you should be aware of the Disclosure and Barring Service; and, how you can use it for your benefit.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Disclosure and Barring Service, also referred to as DBS, is a public body in the United Kingdom that aims to help employers make safe recruitment decisions.

It issues a variety of checks on people so that employers can get information on a potential recruit’s criminal history, convictions, and more.

The body also regularly updates a list of people barred from engaging in certain regulated activities. Employers can also check these lists and take an informed decision when recruiting someone.

The DBS is usually active in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

DBS Checks

So, when a business starts looking for people to hire, they can ask for a DBS check as well. Once a person gets a check done, they are issued a DBS Certificate which they can submit to any recruiting organisation along with their job application.

There are four types of DBS checks in general –

  • Basic DBS Check
  • Standard DBS Check
  • Enhanced DBS Check
  • Enhanced with Barred List DBS Check

Each type of check looks for a different type of information on the person in question. Police records and a variety of other information maintained by several organisations are utilised to conduct a thorough DBS check. Every check will result in a DBS certificate.

Something to remember

While DBS is aimed at helping businesses make safer and smarter recruiting decisions, employers must keep a few things in mind –

  • There is a certain eligibility criterion to be met for a DBS check.
  • Only recruiters that are allowed by law to ask for a DBS check must do so. It is valid for certain specific positions and licences
  • A person younger than 16 years of age cannot be asked to apply for a criminal record check.