A lot of the coverage about the ongoing Brexit negotiations regards the rights of workers to be in the UK. The way this topic is discussed, you’d get the impression that this is something new. That’s’ actually not the case, and employers are already running lots of checks before taking someone on. Some of these checks are compulsory, and others, like DBS are optional. There is a lot of confusion though about how all the checks work now, and will do in the future.
Thousands of students are excitedly confirming their University places after receiving their A-level results. For many students, taking up a university place goes hand in hand with getting a part time job to support their studies. A move into the world of work might mean a DBS check too, but are there special DBS rules for students?
There’s a lot of information about DBS checks, mostly concentrating on the things which can go wrong with your application. Detailed information has its place, but sometimes it’s better to think in more general terms. We’ve put together the basic rules and tips for DBS checks, whatever your situation and whatever type of job you are applying for.
Most of the articles you see online about disclosures and criminal records checks concentrate on the enhanced type of disclosure. This is the high-profile end of the disclosure spectrum. Basic disclosures are the least detailed, then standard disclosures, and finally enhanced disclosures. An enhanced disclosure details not only your most recent criminal convictions and cautions, but also older information which the police thinks might be relevant. It’s the most robust checking system which we have, but not every occupation requires such in-depth checking.
If you are applying for a position which requires some type of criminal records check, then the last part of the process is receiving the certificate in the post. This is also the step which causes the most stress as there is a lot of confusion about what exactly will be shown on the certificate. There isn’t a straight answer either, as the type of information will depend on the level of disclosure check.
Proving who you are is just part of the battle when it comes to getting a DBS certificate. As well as showing your passport or driving licence to confirm your identity, the DBS also asks for further documents which they call financial and social history documents.
A standard DBS check is the middle level of disclosure checking in the UK. It’s more detailed than the basic check, but doesn’t contain the same level of detail as the enhanced disclosure. There is a wide range of jobs and voluntary roles which might ask applicants to get a standard disclosure as part of the vetting process. Standard disclosures are available through the Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS, in England and Wales. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there are different systems due to the difference in legal systems. Applicants have to apply to the right body depending on where in the UK they live.
Getting a new job doesn’t just involve an investment in your time and effort, it can cost you money too. Very few organisations pay travelling expenses for interviews, you might have to buy a new outfit, take unpaid time off work – it all mounts up. It would therefore be natural to assume that the cost ends when you land your new job, but that’s not always the case. One of the most common expenses for people starting new jobs is getting their DBS certificate. But isn’t this a cost which the employer should be bearing?
Thousands of people up and down the UK volunteer every week. Volunteers help organisations both big and small, and can make a huge difference to their communities. Not all voluntary roles will require a DBS check, and charities have to conform to the same rules as other employers when deciding who needs a certificate. The good news is that volunteers who need a DBS check get their certificates free of charge. The less than great news is that the definition of volunteer isn’t as clear as you might first think.
It sounds like a very easy question; how long can you expect to wait for a DBS certificate to appear in your letterbox after you submit the form? However, there isn’t one simple answer. There are a number of factors which can affect how quickly your certificate comes back, and understanding these factors can help you reduce the time your check takes.