The Basics of DBS checks: What you need to know

5th Apr 2024

Welcome to ‘The Basics of DBS Checks: What You Need to Know

The Basics of DBS checks

What is a DBS check?

A DBS check is a type of background check. It is primarily used by employers and organisations to assess whether a person is suitable for certain roles, especially those that involve working with children or vulnerable adults.

The DBS check involves searching an applicant’s criminal record history for any convictions, cautions, reprimands, or warnings they may have received.


The different types of DBS checks

There are three main types of DBS checks:

Basic DBS check:

A Basic DBS check provides information on any unspent convictions or conditional cautions an individual may have. It is available to anyone, regardless of their profession or the nature of their work. Basic DBS checks are commonly used for roles that do not involve regular contact with vulnerable groups, such as administrative or office-based positions.


Standard DBS check:

The Standard DBS check provides information on both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, or final warnings an individual may have. This type of check is typically required for roles that involve regular contact with vulnerable groups, such as children or vulnerable adults. This may include social workers, healthcare professionals, and taxi drivers.


Enhanced DBS check:

The enhanced DBS check provides the most comprehensive level of information. It includes the same details as the standard check, as well as any relevant information held by local police forces or other law enforcement agencies.

Enhanced DBS checks are required for roles that involve substantial contact with vulnerable groups, such as working in schools, care homes, or hospitals. They are also commonly required for positions of trust or responsibility.

Additionally, enhanced DBS checks may include checks against the barred lists held by the Disclosure and Barring Service, which contain information on individuals who are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

The type of DBS check required for a specific role will depend on various factors, including the level of contact with vulnerable groups and also any legal or regulatory requirements associated with the role. Employers and organisations are responsible for determining the appropriate level of DBS check for their employees or volunteers.


Who needs a DBS check?

Certain roles and professionals require individuals to undergo a DBS check to ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable groups such as children and adults at risk. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the nature of the role and the organisation, here are some common examples of who typically needs a DBS check.


Roles involving work with children:

  • Teachers, teaching assistants, and other educational professionals
  • Childcare workers, nursery staff, and childminders
  • Youth workers, mentors, and coaches
  • Foster carers and adoptive parents
  • Social workers and child protection officers


Roles involving work with vulnerable adults:

  • Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and care workers
  • Support workers and caregivers in residential care homes or community settings
  • Mental health professionals and counsellors
  • Volunteers in settings where vulnerable adults are present, such as day centres or supported living facilities


Roles in certain sectors and industries:

  • Taxi drivers and private hire vehicle operators
  • Security personnel, especially those working in sensitive locations or with access to vulnerable populations
  • Some roles in the financial services sector, particularly those involving handling sensitive financial information or transactions


Positions of trust and responsibility:

  • Trustees and directors of organisations working with vulnerable groups
  • Volunteers or employees responsible for managing finances or assets of vulnerable individuals or charities
  • Roles involving significant responsibility for the safety and well-being of others, even if not directly working with vulnerable groups


Follow the link below to determine which DBS check your role may require:


How to apply for a DBS check

There are multiple ways you can book with us including our online form, email, and by telephone.

You will need to provide details such as:

  • Applicants full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone
  • Date of birth
  • National insurance number
  • Address history for the past 5 years including in the UK and abroad

You must also provide some documents such as:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Proof of address

After we have received all the required information, we will then complete the official paper application form. You will receive this for signing along with an invoice. You will need to sign and return back to us for processing. Lastly, we will email you your track and trace number, allowing you to keep track of the process of your DBS.


DBS checks are vital for safeguarding vulnerable individuals and maintaining public trust in institutions. By identifying unsuitable individuals and demonstrating a commitment to safety, DBS checks play a crucial role in creating safer environments for both employers and employees.


To learn more about DBS checks, visit