What is a DBS Check?

What is a DBS check?

Previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a record of an individual’s Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands and Warnings and can also include intelligence held by the police and/or the DBS that relates to that individual and their suitability for a job position.

We are also able to offer the basic disclosure via Disclosure Scotland.

Who Needs a check? 

If there is ever a safeguarding issue within your organisation and the people working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults have not been adequately checked, your organisation could be held legally liable.

VAR has produced a guide to help you discover whether a position is eligible for a DBS check, however anyone is eligible for the basic disclosure carried out by Disclosure Scotland.

Who can ask for a DBS check? 

Individuals or organisations (on the individuals behalf) can apply for basic disclosures.

Organisations can request that their staff, volunteers or applicants have DBS checks only if the post they are working/volunteering/applying for is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Do we have to check our staff or volunteers?

Anyone can have a basic disclosure, at any-time, which would show up any unspent convictions.

VAR recommends that all eligible volunteers and workers within your organisation are DBS checked.

What types of checks are there? 

There are four different levels of  check available:

  • Basic Disclosure (Via disclosure Scotland)
  • Standard checks
  • Enhanced checks Intelligence held by the police may also be included if the Police reasonably believe it is pertinent to a recruitment decision.
  • Enhanced with DBS Barred List checks

How long does a check take? 

Once we receive a completed form at VAR, we aim to process it within 3 working days. If everything is OK, we will then forward the application on to the relevant checking organisation (Disclosure Scotland or DBS UK).

Disclosure Scotland aim to complete:

  • 94% applications within 14 calendar days from receipt

The DBS aim to complete:

  • 75% of all applications within 14 calendar days from receipt
  • 90% of all applications within 28 calendar days from receipt
  • 99% of all applications within 60 calendar days from receipt

How long does a check last? 

A certificate is only truly accurate on the day it was issued. As such, there is no official expiration or renewal date for your check. However, VAR recommends that all checks be renewed at least once every 3 years.

Who will get a copy of the certificate?

If the certificate was issued on, or after, June 17th 2013, only the applicant will receive the certificate. It will be sent to the current address that the applicant provided on the application form. Certificates issued before this date will have been issued in duplicate, one copy would be sent to the applicants current address and one copy sent to our team here at VAR which we would then forward onto the organisation who requested it.

What is the DBS Update Service? 

The DBS update service is a yearly subscription service provided directly by the DBS for applicants. Currently the service costs £13 per applicant per year. If the DBS applicant subscribes to the service (this must be done around the time of their application) their DBS certificate will be securely stored online, allowing the applicant to check their certificate or present it to their employer at any time. The applicant can also register subsequent DBS applications with the service for no extra fee.

The service is fully portable – allowing applicants to carry their certificate between different employments, providing the new employment requires the same level of check.

The service also updates regularly – meaning that employers will only have to request a new DBS check be undertaken if new information has arisen since the last DBS check (or if they require a different level of check). This means the issue date of a DBS certificate will no longer be relevant as long as the applicant has subscribed to the update service.
How do I use the Update Service to check my personnel’s DBS certificates?

If the applicant has subscribed to the Update Service and you have their permission and DBS certificate information, log on to the Update Service  and enter your details, once you click through, you will be prompted to provide the information for the DBS certificate you wish to check. You will then be shown the status of that certificate.

The status shown will be one of the following:

  • This certificate did not reveal any information and remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue: Meaning no criminal or barring information is shown on the certificate, and that no new information has come to light since it’s issue – you can still accept the certificate and will not need to request a new check.
  • This certificate remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue: Meaning the certificate does hold criminal/barring information but no new information has come to light since it’s issue – You will need to see the certificate and perform a risk assessment on the information shown, however, you will not need to request a new DBS check.
  • This certificate is no longer current. Please apply for a new DBS check to get the most up to date information: Meaning you should request a new DBS check to be completed before proceeding.

The details entered do not match those held on our system. Please check and try again. Meaning you will need to double check the information you have entered is correct and try again. If you get the same result, it’s possible the certificate is not held on the update system and cannot be checked.

If you want to find out more about our service contact us on 01709 834460.