Top 5 Myths About DBS Checks: Busted

11th Oct 2023

Myths or Facts? Read our top 5 Myths about DBS checks!

myths about DBS checks

There are several myths and misconceptions about DBS checks in the UK. A DBS check is used to help employers make informed decisions about hiring individuals, especially when working with vulnerable groups. Here are 5 myths about DBS checks:

1. DBS checks are required for all jobs

DBS checks are only required for certain roles. The need for a DBS check depends on several factors, including the nature of the role, the responsibilities involved, and the level of contact an individual has with vulnerable groups, such as children or vulnerable adults. Employees should conduct a risk assessment to determine whether a DBS check is required for a particular position.

There are different levels of DBS checks available for different roles. Low-risk roles that don’t involve substantial contact with vulnerable groups may only require a basic check. On the other hand, high-risk roles that involve close and frequent contact with vulnerable individuals, will require a higher level of DBS such as Standard or Enhanced. For example, a teacher would require an Enhanced DBS check due to being in close and frequent contact with children.


2. DBS checks reveal all past convictions

DBS checks do not disclose all previous convictions. They only reveal certain types of convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands, depending on the level of the check (basic, standard, or enhanced).

Basic: A Basic DBS check will show any unspent convictions or conditional cautions the applicant has.

Standard: A Standard check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has.

Enhanced: An Enhanced check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has as well as any other relevant information held by the applicant's local police force.

3. You cannot hire someone with a criminal record

Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify someone from employment. Employers must consider the nature of the offense, its relevance to the job, and how much time has passed since the conviction.

4. Employers can request a DBS check for any reason

Employees must have a legitimate reason for requesting a DBS check. Employees can only request a DBS check if the job role falls within the legally defined categories where such checks are allowed, and if it is necessary for the role. It is important to note that employers cannot request a DBS check for any reason, and they should not request checks that are not relevant to the role.

5. Pass or Fail

A big misconception is that a DBS online application results in either a pass or fail for an applicant. This is not the case. DBS checks provide information about an individual's criminal history, if any, and it is up to the employer or organisation requesting the check to evaluate the information.

Start your application today by clicking here.

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