If you are asked for a background check or a potential employee does a check through the DBS, then it is likely you will have a few questions concerning this procedure.

There are different types of checks, depending on the position you are applying for, so it is handy to know exactly what these checks entail.


What is the difference between CRB check and a DBS check?

DBS and CRB is one and the same thing. Prior to 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Safeguarding Authority carried out background screenings. They merged eight years ago to become known as the Disclosure and Barring Service, although it is still referred to as a CRB check. It is much like our vehicle roadworthy test is still called an MOT, years after Ministry of Transport was dismantled.


Why are these checks carried out?

It is an employment background screening, which flags up any convictions and cautions you’ve ever received, as well as reprimands and warnings. In more advanced DBS screening checks are run against the adult and children’s barred list too. This depends on the nature of the job you are applying for, but is generally carried out if you are going to be working closely with young children or vulnerable adults.


Where does this information come from?

All convictions and cautions and other soft intelligence is held on the Police National Computer (PNC). Soft intelligence means that local police hold intelligence which about you that should be disclosed, as it is pertinent to your suitability of a particular job.


Why are there different CRB checks?

The Disclosure Barring Service has four types of checks. These levels depend on an individual’s job and what you will be expected to do in that role.

Basic – it is available to anyone who requires certification, but is available to anyone if they require this information. You can apply for this yourself. It contains any convictions or cautions that are unspent. This check is usually for personal licence holders and delivery staff.

Standard – this is for careers such as accountancy and law. Its information is more detailed than a basic n that it contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, reprimands and final warnings that are held on the PNC. This type of check cannot be carried out if the job you are applying isn’t eligible. So, for example, if you take a personal licence and your brewery decides you need a standard CRB check, this position won’t meet the criteria of the background screening and will be denied by the DBS. You cannot apply for this yourself and has to be requested by your potential employer.

Enhanced – this thorough check won’t be granted by the DBS unless it is relevant to the work you will be doing. It is the same as the standard DBS check, with any additional information held by the police that will be considered relevant to your job. Like a standard check, you can’t request this yourself.

Enhanced with list – this contains the same as an enhanced screening, but it also includes a check of the children and adult’s barred list. This is all individuals who are barred from working with vulnerable adults or children. This check is usually carried out by an organisation or a recruitment agent representing you for job involved in taking care of, supervising children or vulnerable adults.


How long does a CRB check take to process?

Enhanced and standard screenings usually have a quicker turnaround than a basic check. This is because having the right clearance in place for roles that involve high responsibility levels.

Enhanced and standard checks take about five working days and 80 percent of basic clearance will take 10 working days on average.