Basic DBS Checks: Your FAQ’s answered

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If you’ve ever applied for a job that didn’t involve working with Children or Vulnerable Adults, chances are that your employer asked you to complete a Basic DBS Check. Although there is no legal requirement for this check, they are a normal part of the onboarding process for new employees and with the employee’s permission, allow organisations to view a person’s criminal history to assess their suitability for the role that they are applying for.


What is a Basic DBS Check, what does it show and when would you need one?

As the UK’s #1 processor of Basic DBS Checks in the UK, we have a vast amount of experience on this subject so let us help answer those questions for you.

A Basic DBS Check is the lowest level of DBS Check available for people working in England and Wales and details any unspent convictions or conditional cautions that an individual has.

‘Unspent’ either means that the conviction is for an offence that can never be classed as ‘spent’ (such as serious violent or sexual offences) or it has not yet reached the defined time to allow it to be considered a ‘spent’ conviction.

Unlock have created a really useful poster on the subject called ‘Is it spent?’ which can be found here.

If you have unspent convictions or conditional cautions, these will be contained on a ‘certificate’ but unlike a lot of certificates, this does not indicate that you have ‘failed’ your DBS Check. It also doesn’t mean that you won’t get a job because of them.

There is no legal eligibility for a Basic Check and no specific job title or industry that requires them, it is available to any person for any reason.


When would I need to conduct a Basic DBS Check?

As mentioned above, you may be asked by an employer to conduct a Basic DBS Check as part of their onboarding process. If you’re self-employed, you may wish to conduct a Basic DBS Check to show that you are of good character and to put potential clients at ease if you’re working in their home or at their property.

Away from employment, there are a number of occasions where you would need to conduct a Basic DBS Check including applying for a VISA or applying for a Personal Alcohol Licence.

An individual can even apply for a Basic Check for personal interest to allow them to see the information that the police hold about them.


How long will my check take to complete?

Completing the application form for a Basic DBS Check is easy and only takes a couple of minutes providing you have all of the information that you need in front of you. Once we receive the application, we aim to process it the same day and on average, most Basic Checks are completed by the DBS within 3-5 working days although in our experience, most complete sooner than this.


How do I apply for a Basic DBS Check?

If your employer is registered with Disclosure Services, they will be able to provide you with logins to enable you to complete the application. If they’re not registered with us, they can do that here. If you’re Self-Employed or looking to conduct a check for your own personal interest, you can do that via our Individuals platform here.

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