Over a year ago, the government changed their rules about identity checking for DBS checks. Many organisations and employers are still not up to speed with the latest changes and getting it wrong could result in your application being rejected.


Why Check Identity?

Ever since the DBS system came into existence a decade ago, there has been a requirement to verify identity. The reasons for this are two-fold. Firstly, if employers don’t check someone’s identity, they have no way of making sure they are running checks on the right person. It’s entirely possible that someone with a string of violent offences could say they are someone else, and get a DBS. Furthermore, checking up on identity allows the DBS to make sure they are searching the records for the correct individual, given that there may be several people all with the same name living in the same town.


Process for Identity Checking

The Disclosure and Barring Service, and the similar organisations operating in Scotland and Northern Ireland all have a long list of documents which people can show to prove who they are. In essence, you’ll need at least one form of identification with a photograph, like a passport or driving licence. You will also need bank statements, utility bills or other trusted documents to back up your application. People applying for a DBS check show their documents to the designated person at their employer. This person then signs to say they’ve seen the originals and have verified who the person is. They may also want to take copies for their own records.


What’s Changed?

Many of the changes implemented in August 2018 are designed to take into account changes in technology. Previously, the only way of verifying identity was to do it face to face, so that the person checking the documents could see that the person in front of them matched the photographs. This wasn’t always convenient for the applicant. The new changes mean that verification is permitted over video link too, allowing applicants to send their original documents in the post and then use Skype, Facetime or similar.

Also, the DBS has expanded the list of documents which can be accepted as proof of identity. Irish passport cards can now be used, as can residence cards issued by other EU countries, or correspondence from the Home Office stating that the holder has the right to work. Rules have also been relaxed for people holding UK immigration documents bearing their photograph as they no longer have to show their passport in addition.


Help With Documents

The DBS process is constantly changing and will change again in the future without doubt. The basic rule for anyone thinking of applying for a disclosure check and unsure about documents is to ask. The DBS has both a telephone helpline and dedicated email address to answer any questions about the application process. It’s always better to get proper advice from the experts at the DBS than to make an educated guess and hope for the best.