If you’re in the market for a new job, then you’ll be used to seeing the words “DBS Check” on job adverts. The Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS, is the government body which runs police checks on people applying for certain jobs. DBS applies in England and Wales only, with similar but separate bodies operating in Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are different levels of DBS checks but perhaps the one which gets most attention is the enhanced DBS check.
Getting a job should mean an improvement to your cash flow, right? Well in the long term that is usually the case. However in the short term, applying for new jobs can involve shelling out on new clothes for interview, travel expenses to get there and time off from your current job if you don’t have any annual leave. So it can come as a bit of a shock when the costs continue when you finally secure employment and you’re asked to pay for a DBS check.
Most of us are aware that working in certain occupations is conditional on having your police records checked. Depending where you are in the country, this might be organised through the DBS, PVG or AccessNI. Wherever you are, the system is broadly similar although different terminology might be used. When discussing levels of checks, we’re going to use England and Wales as an example for ease, but these concepts apply equally to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
When you apply for a DBS check, it’s not enough just to fill in the form and send it away. One of the main parts of the process is proving exactly who you are. This needs to be done for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it stops identity thieves from assuming someone else’s identity and getting a bogus DBS certificate. Secondly, and more commonly, it reduces the risk of your record getting mixed up with someone else who has a similar name, location and date of birth. There are however a few rules about documents which you should be aware of.
There are just under 5 million people self-employed in the UK. The number of people who are self-employed has been rising steadily over recent years and is now around 15% of the UK working population. Being self-employed, freelance or working as a contractor offers a huge number of benefits in terms of flexibility, but does come with some complications too. One of the main issues which causes confusion is what self-employed people can and cannot do in terms of police records checks.
There’s nothing more frustrating than being kept waiting around. If you’re desperate to start a new job but can’t because you’re waiting for your paperwork, then it’s even more frustrating. DBS checks, also known as criminal records checks or disclosure checks, are essential for many jobs. There’s also a general feeling that DBS checks take forever but is this fair?
If you’re waiting for a DBS certificate before starting a new job, then it can come as a shock when your certificate arrives with errors on it. How can this possibly happen? Surely we can trust the police to have the correct information about us? Unfortunately human error is a fact of life and despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes mistakes are made. But don’t panic. There are systems in place to help you get genuine errors fixed as quickly as possible.
If you’ve recently applied for a DBS check for work, then you might be surprised to find that it doesn’t have an expiry date on it. It’s unusual for government documentation, which is generally valid for a set period of time before expiring. There are however some very good reasons for why a DBS check doesn’t expire, and what you can to do manage the process.
If you are one of the many thousands of people in the UK who have had a minor brush with the law, then getting a DBS check can be a worrying time. Most people aren’t sure about the type of information which will be printed on a DBS certificate and worry about very minor offences from decades ago being disclosed. The process of filtering is best described as releasing information on a “need to know” basis. What is printed on your DBS certificate will depend on a number of factors.
Almost 900,000 people are arrested every year in the UK. In many of these cases the arrested person is taken to the Police station, questioned and then allowed to go home after the Police have decided they’ve got the wrong person, or that no crime has been committed. The person is then free to get on with their life, without any criminal record. Fast forward a few years, and the person who was mistakenly arrested applies for a job in a hospital, school or bank in a position which requires a DBS check to be carried out. Will that old arrest appear on their DBS form?