There are different levels of police checking certificates which are available to employers throughout the UK, and the more detailed type of check in England and Wales is called an Enhanced DBS check. This sort of check is carried out on both employees and volunteers who work with vulnerable adults, people who work in schools or childcare establishments, foster carers, healthcare professionals, carers and social workers. There are two types of enhanced checks, one which gives simply the police records of the person concerned, and one which also searches the barred lists of people working in certain occupations who have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. The type of check carried out will depend on the exact position being applied for, and in the majority of cases, the employer will know what type of check is needed.

What is Listed on an Enhanced DBS Check?

The enhanced DBS check is similar in a lot of ways to the standard checking. The process starts with the applicant completing a form with all of their personal details such as name and any previous names, date of birth and all previous addresses. The applicant then has their identity documents such as passport checked by the employer, who sends the form off to DBS. The form lists any criminal convictions, irrespective of whether they are considered spent or unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It will also list cautions, warnings or reprimands. In some cases, the certificate will also show whether the applicant’s name appears on the lists of people barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. If the person asking for the DBS has no record of any dealings with the police, the certificate will not just be left blank, it will state “no record found”. The DBS certificate does not say whether or not a person should be employed or allowed to volunteer; this decision is always left up to the employer. They will make their decision based on the type of offences or cautions which are listed on the certificate and the type of role which is being applied for.

How Long Will It Take For a Check to Come Through?

There is no simple answer as to how long it takes for a check to come through. The average time is 8 weeks, but for people with many previous addresses or changes of names, this could take longer. In other cases, the checks may be very straightforward and completed within less time. An employer who carries out lots of DBS checks will generally know how long they take to come through, and will either allow a person to start work under some restrictions while they wait for the paperwork, or will ask people to wait to start work until the certificate is issued. There is no expiry date listed on a DBS certificate, and each employer will have their own policies about how often it should be redone, if at all.