A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a criminal record check. This was formally known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. This is a record of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. If someone has a criminal record then this will show up on a DBS check and may prevent them from being able to work with vulnerable groups (such as children and the elderly). The Disclosure and Barring Service are responsible for processing requests for criminal records checks and placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The DBS check is a vetting process which searches the applicant’s name and personal details against criminal records and other sources, including the PNC (Police National Computer).
A vulnerable adult is someone over the age of 18 who is or may be in need of community care services by reason disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
DBS Checks and licensing bodies can request a DBS check; an employee cannot apply for a DBS Check themselves. Instead, they can request a basic disclosure from Disclosure Scotland (you don’t have to be from Scotland to do this). An employer will get an application form from DBS or an umbrella body. An umbrella body is a registered body that gives access to DBS checks. The employer will then need to give the paper application form or online form to fill in. The applicant will then return the form, along with all the relevant documents to prove their identity. The employer will then send this to the registered body or DBS.
There are three different types of criminal record checks, standard, enhanced and enhanced with list checks. Standard checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. An enhanced check will check for same as a standard check. But this also checks for any information held by local police that’s reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for. Enhanced with list check is the same as an enhanced check and includes a check of the DBS barred lists. An employer can only ask for a barred list check for specific roles.
CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks came into place in 2002. Previously people were only checked against List 99. This is a list of those barred from working with children monitored by the Department for Education. The new vetting system offered by the CRB included the introduction of the local police authority checks. This allowed employers to have more information about a potential employee before making recruitment decisions. CRB Checks are now referred to as DBS Checks which means you cannot request a CRB Check. DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) was formed from a merger of the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) in 2012. Previously CRB did all criminal record searches and the ISA managed the Adults and Children’s Barred Lists. An enhanced DBS checks are able to provide any additional information from local police authorities.
This will depend on the type of offence you committed, the role in which you are applying for and the organisation itself. It will depend on whether your offence is considered to make you unsuitable to have access to certain groups and places. If you are applying to work with children or vulnerable groups, a higher level check will need to be done (Enhanced DBS Check). This means that some minor convictions will also show up on your check and you may not be employed. However if you are applying for a role in which you will not be working in these conditions, you may still be employed if you have minor convictions.
A criminal record is a list of crimes in which a person has committed. The information is held on the Police National Computer (PNC). Local police forces may also keep their own records. The information included in a criminal record and the existence of a criminal record varies between countries.
Safeguarding refers to protecting children and vulnerable adults’ health, wellbeing and human rights. All organisations that come into contact or work with children/vulnerable adults need to have safeguarding policies and procedures in place. This includes schools, hospitals, care homes, sports/activity clubs and community centres. A safeguarding or child protection policy is a statement that makes it clear what an organisation or group will do to keep children/vulnerable group safe. Safeguarding is defined in Working together to safeguard children 2013 as: • Protecting children from maltreatment. • Preventing impairment of children’s health and development. • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. Safeguarding is very important because it helps ensure that people unable to protect themselves are safe from harm.