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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

A DBS check may be needed for:

  • certain jobs or voluntary work – like working with children, or in healthcare
  • applying to foster or adopt a child

Who can ask for a DBS check?

Only employer can get a DBS check completed not an individual.

Normally, employers aren’t allowed to ask job applicants about spent convictions, but for jobs that need a DBS check this rule doesn’t apply.

The DBS eligibility guidance lists most roles that are eligible for a check. However, the guidance isn’t comprehensive, and you should contact the DBS if you’re unsure.

There are different rules for getting a DBS check in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If you’re the person being checked – ‘the applicant’ – the employer will give you a form to fill in and return to them along with documents proving your identity.

You can’t do a criminal records check on yourself.

If you need to run a check on yourself, you can get a ‘basic disclosure’ with details of any unspent convictions from Disclosure Scotland (anywhere in the UK).

If you need to perform a status check of a DBS certificate click here