DBS Checks - What you need to know

Posted: Aug 27, 2015| Author: Alex Facta| 0 Comment

There is a certain degree of uncertainty surrounding police/criminal checks at the moment and it seems that different agencies and organisations will tell you different things with a confusing lack of consistancy. Some agencies will promise that all their candidates have been DBS checked, others will tell you that they only register candidates who have a valid DBS check that has been dated within the last year. The fact here is that any domestic or household staff agency that tells you that ALL their candidate's have been DBS checked are either breaking privacy laws in doing so, or they do not fully understand the laws surrounding these checks.

In view of this apparent confusion, we have felt it would be beneficial to both our clients and candidates to post this article in the hope that we can shed some light on how these checks work and how to ensure that clients are able to make constructive use of these facilities as part of the recruitment process.

Firstly, it should be understood that a DBS or police check is simply a snapshot of a persons record and is only accurate at the time it is issued. Secondly, it should be understood that only an employer or an agency are actually allowed to request certain criminal infomation on candidates and there are laws dictating the type of check that can be requested depending on the type of work that is being carried out. In addition, there are also laws that dictate how long you are able to store this information.

Keeping this information in mind, lets now break down the 3 different types of police checks

Enhanced DBS - This is the most rigourous form of check from the Disclosure and Barring Service and it includes information of all warnings and cautions as well as all spent and unspent convictions. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) became the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and so you may still hear the term CRB used a lot of the time. If you are employing a nanny to look after your children, an Enahnced DBS is the type of check you should be carrying out before engaging said candidate. The only people that are allowed to request these checks on employees, are the employer of staff that will be working in a 'regulated activity' (i.e. working with children or vulnerable adults) or an agency registering the candidate to work in roles which include regulated activity.

Standard DBS - This is still a Disclousure and Barring Service check, however it relates to employees that will be taking up employment in the financial or gaming industry sectors. This type of check is generally not relevant to the domestic staffing industry

Basic Disclosure Scotland - This check is not subject to the laws surrounding the DBS level checks above in terms of who can request this check or when. Anybody can request a Basic Disclosure Scotland check on a person and if required you can request this check on yourself. This check will include details of any unspent cautions, warnings and convictions on the persons record. If you intend to employ a member of staff in your private home but the role will not require the candidate to work with children or vulnerable adults, this is the check that should be carried out.

We currently stipulate as part of our registration requirements that all candidate's wishing to register with us to find childcare work, must present an enhanced DBS certificate dated within the last year and we are able to carry out this check for candidates should they not have one. However, this does not offer the employer maximum protection and it conflicts with the best practice advice on this matter. What we recommend to our clients, is that if you require a candidate to be DBS checked and you want the complete peace of mind that this offers, you should request that this check be carried out at the point where you are ready to make an offer to a candidate. This should be viewed as the final check in the recruitment procedure and it guarantees that at the point you engage them, there is nothing that would render them unsuitable for the vacancy.

If security is a high priority for the vacancy being registered, we would then urge our clients not to simply accept that a candidate has been DBS checked at some point and the safest method of managing these situations is to carry out a check at the beginning of their employment.

Marshall Harber offers a complete checking service for all levels of disclosures. For further details on criminal record checks, please contact your consultant and we would be happy to explain any of these elements in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

Prices for the checking service are as follows:

Enhanced DBS - £56 incl VAT

Basic Disclosure Scotland - £37 incl VAT


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