Although the Criminal Records Bureau ceased to exist in 2012, there are still many workers who have their old CRB certificate stored safely at home. The way we talk about police checking is slow to change also, and you’ll still hear people talking about “getting a CRB check” done rather than using the new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) terminology. If you’re employing for a job which requires some level of DBS checking, will your employer accept your existing CRB certificate, or will you have to go through the process again?

Employer’s Discretion

There is no law saying how often an employer should update the check information held on their employees. Most industries advise that new checks should be run every three years. As the CRB system was rolled into the DBS in 2012, any information held on a CRB certificate will therefore be at least five years out of date. Therefore, although candidates might want to show an employer an old CRB certificate to prove that there’s nothing on their record prior to its date of issue, the employer will want to conform with current guidance by running a new set of checks. Most employers will meet the cost of doing these checks, but there may be delays for the employee if they are not allowed to start work until checks come back. This isn’t always the case though, as depending on the role the employee might be able to start on restricted duties or accompanied by another member of staff as they wait.

DBS Update System

Having to keep applying for new checks every three years or when you move to a different employer is not only inconvenient, it’s time-consuming too. People who move jobs regularly or are likely to do so in the future should look into signing up with the DBS Update Service. This is an add-on to the core service and costs extra, but it has significant benefits for people who switch roles regularly. The DBS Update service is electronic, and allows both employers and employees to log into the website and see information in real-time. Any new convictions or cautions will be automatically added to the system, and when going for a new job, the employee can give their new boss the log on details and they can check right away without having to go through the whole process of applying for new clearance.
Although the additional cost of enrolling in the DBS Update service sometimes puts people off, the £13 per year it currently costs to join the service is money well spent. If you’re upgrading from an old CRB certificate for a new job or voluntary opportunity, consider using DBS update if there’s any possibility that you’ll switch jobs or start volunteering somewhere else which requires DBS within the next 12 months. It will not only save you or your employer money, it will streamline the process of you starting your new job too.