Being accused of a crime and having to go through the whole process of police interview, going to court and sitting through a trial can be traumatic. It’s easy to think that a “not guilty” vote at the end of the trial draws a firm line under the whole matter. With DBS checks carried out as standard on a wide range of professions working with children and other vulnerable groups, one of the main worries is that the fact that you were accused and the matter went to trial could show up on any future DBS check which your employer carries out. Is this a legitimate concern?

What Does A DBS Routinely Show?

The different levels of DBS checks show different types of information on the form. It is not up to the employer which type of checks they ask to be done; the rules are set by government. A basic DBS check will only show any unspent convictions, whereas the most detailed enhanced DBS check will contain both unspent convictions and spent convictions where relevant, cautions received from the Police which never went to trial along with “other relevant information”, which is where the issue of not guilty verdicts may come into play.

Other Relevant Information

Also sometimes known as police intelligence, other relevant information is only ever included on the enhanced DBS check. An enhanced DBS check is required for jobs which mean the applicant has close or one to one contact with children or vulnerable adults such as carers, teachers, nurses or nursery workers. Relevant information could be details of allegations made about the person which never went any further but were retained on file, arrests which didn’t result in charges or not guilty verdicts handed down in court. Relevant information will only ever be included on a DBS certificate when the Police feel that it has a bearing on the job being applied for. Police officers issuing the DBS certificates have to follow a complex decision-making framework when deciding what type of information should be included on a certificate. The must make sure not only that the information is relevant to the position but that the information or allegation comes from a credible source. They must also balance the chances of harm to vulnerable groups if the information Is not disclosed against the rights of the applicant to have a private life.

Dealing with Information

Police forces do not make decisions and issue DBS certificates telling an employer whether or not to employ the person concerned. They simply state the facts which they feel are relevant, and leave the decision making to the employer. Whether the employer decides to make a job offer will depend on the circumstances of the offence or nature of the information, as well as numerous other factors such as the job role and the length of time since the information was received. Applicants should discuss anything in their past with employers at the interview stage, and keep in mind that some police intelligence detailed on a form doesn’t necessarily mean the job offer will be withdrawn.