Why do you need a DBS check?

6th Jan 2023

If you are applying for a new job role there is a chance you will need to have a Standard or Enhanced DBS check carried out; but why do you need one?

If you are unsure about why a DBS check is necessary for your role or what the purpose  of a DBS check is – we have put together a short guide on the requirements and roles for these types of checks.

Policeman in road

What is a DBS check?

A DBS check is a Disclosure and Barring Service Check. It has three key purposes:

  • To prevent unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups
  • To check if there are any reasons why a potential employee may be inappropriate for the role they have applied for
  • To respond to referrals from organisations that are concerned that a candidate may not be suitable for a job due to the reasons above

Why would you get a DBS check carried out for your employees?

  • Protect vulnerable people – DBS checks are designed to prevent unsuitable candidates from working with vulnerable people. If you have employees who will be working with children or vulnerable adults, it is against the law to employ someone who is barred from working with these groups. DBS checks are a vital part of the safeguarding process.
  • Avoid risk – It’s illegal to employ someone to work with children or vulnerable adults if they’ve been barred from doing so. Avoid risk to both your organisation and the vulnerable groups it works with by carrying out DBS checks when required.
  • Company requirement – Depending on your organisation, you may require having DBS checks in place for your staff if you have audits or inspections carried out such as CQC.
  • Have confidence in your employees – DBS checks help give you peace of mind that you’re employing the right people for the job. If your employees aren’t eligible for an enhanced check, a standard check will give you that extra level of reassurance in your candidates.

What types of DBS can you get?

Cavity offer two types of DBS:

  • Standard DBS check – contains comprehensive criminal record information without a check against the barred list. It details spent and unspent convictions, as well as any cautions, warnings or reprimands they may have received.
  • Enhanced DBS check – this is the most comprehensive level of DBS check available, detailing spent and unspent convictions as well as the ability to check against the child or adult barred list. Police authorities may also disclose any additional relevant information. This level of check is only available for specific roles, typically those involved with working with children and vulnerable adults – all clinical dental staff need to have an enhanced DBS check carried out.

What jobs require a DBS check

Enhanced DBS checks are necessary in any workplace where employees are likely to engage with children or vulnerable people. These can include:

  • Dental – Dentists, Dental Nurses, Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Admin staff (if you want more than an standard check)
  • Schools – Teachers, LSA’s, Admin staff, Lunch staff
  • Hospitals – Doctors, Nurses, Admin staff
  • Care Homes

Additionally DBS checks are required for employees that handle sensitive data.

How can I get a DBS Check?

If an employer requires an employee to have a DBS check, they must apply on their behalf.

This can be done on our DBS website here.

You will be asked to complete a form with your personal information such as –

  • Full name and any previous names
  • Date of birth and place of birth
  • National insurance number
  • Address history for the past 5 years including in the UK and aboard

We will also require some documents from you

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Proof of address

Once we have received all this information we will complete the official paper application form which will then be posted to you for signing and an invoice will be included. Once signed please return to us for processing and we will email you your tracking number so you can monitor your application on the DBS website.

The DBS process has 5 stages –

Stage 1 – Application from received and validated- if they find any information missing or need further information the application will be returned to us for classification.

Stage 2 – Police national computer searched

Stage 3 – DBS children, DBS Adults and List 99 searched, where applicable

Stage 4 – Records held by the Police search. This can be delayed as the DBS rely on waiting to hear back from the Police. So the amount of time it takes each case is individual and some areas can take longer.

Stage 5 – Certificate printed and dispatched via Royal Mail to your home address. Only one certificate is issued and this is only to the applicant.

If you haven’t received your certificate in the post within two weeks, we can require a reprint but we can only do this within 3 months of the certificate being issued.

DBS says to allow up to 6-8 weeks for an application to be processed but around 80% of all applications are completed within 2 weeks.

How much does it cost to have a DBS carried out with Cavity?

  • Standard check - £18.00
  • Enhanced check - £38.00
  • Cavity service fee £12.50 + VAT (if more than three applications are being carried out we will give a 10% discount)
  • Document verification fee £10.00 +VAT (if more than three applications are being carried out we will give a 10% discount)

What is document verification -  We use Passbase, an online company which uses state of the art facial recognition and biometrics to verify your documents against your face to give a scoring to ensure you are the person requesting the DBS check.  You will find a link on our website to enable you to carry this out during your application process.

Why do I need a DBS check? – conclusion

DBS checks are a vital part of safeguarding for an organisation, as well as ensuring you are employing a suitable candidate.

While applying for a DBS check can be a confusing and sometimes lengthy process, it is important to consider having a standard or enhanced check in place for your staff.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a DBS check through our websites below, and find out more information about our service.

Alternatively, feel free to contact Shelley our Head of DBS if you require any further information at

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