Basic DBS

Unlike other types of DBS checking, anyone can apply for a Basic DBS check, and people can even apply for a DBS check on themselves. As the name suggests, this type of DBS checking is the most basic type of check available, and has less detail than other types of checking which might be required for other roles. Basic DBS checks can be carried out on people living in England and Wales only. People living in Scotland can apply for similar checks through Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) and those in Northern Ireland to AccessNI.


What Do I Need for a Basic DBS Check?

There are two ways of applying for a Basic DBS check. If you’re applying for your own DBS for whatever purpose, this can be done online. If you are being asked for a DBS check by an employer or voluntary organisation, they will be classed as a Responsible Organisation and can help you with this process. In order to apply for a DBS check you’ll need first to prove who you are, and this is done by showing identity documents such as your passport, driving licence and utility bills to prove your address and identity. You’ll also have to complete a form giving details such as your name, any former names, date of birth, address and places you’ve lived in the past. You’ll also need to pay a fee, unless you’re applying for a voluntary role where checking is done free of charge.


Information on the Certificate

Once submitted, it takes around 14 days for your DBS check to be processed. The certificate will be sent to you in the post, not to any third party or employer. That allows you to have a look at the certificate before they see it and gives you the opportunity to challenge or correct any information which you think they have got wrong. Along with your basic details such as name and date of birth, a Basic DBS certificate will list only convictions and cautions which are considered to be unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. If your certificate has nothing listed, then either your police record is completely empty, or only contains convictions which are considered spent and will not be disclosed on a certificate. That means you’re under no obligation to tell your employer about any of those old convictions either.


Unspent Convictions

Under UK law, people have the right to have minor crimes “forgotten” under normal circumstances after a set period of time. This period of time varies according to the type of crime committed and the age of the person when the crime was committed. Very serious crimes will never be considered spent. This legislation is designed to recognise that people deserve a fresh start and shouldn’t have their career prospects damaged by a moment of madness in their youth. There is detailed guidance online to help you work out whether something which happened in the past will be considered spent or not.