Many people believe that disclosure checks are only needed for people working with children. In fact, the system is much more extensive than that and covers a wide range of people who are in positions of responsibility too. However, for many people it will still seem strange that the latest occupation to be added to the list for checks are garage owners. What’s going on, and why do these people need standard DBS checks?


MOT Quality Control

The drive to ask garage owners and some mechanics to have DBS checks is all down to the DVSA, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. This is the government body which regulates everything to do with driving licences to checking vehicle safety. The DVSA also runs the MOT test system and the new requirements will affect both owners of MOT testing stations and the mechanics who carry out the actual tests.

The new requirement for all MOT testers and managers to have a DBS certificate is all about reassuring motorists about the integrity and honesty of the service. The DVSA already has ways of analysing passes and fails from various garages and making sure none are unduly harsh or lenient. The aim is to get away from the “dodgy backstreet” image which some people still have about garages in general, and to make sure that people applying to perform MOT tests or manage the business are honest.


The DBS Certificate

The disclosure system is a criminal records check. The applicant will fill in the forms when asked to do so by the DVSA. The DBS application form asks for your personal details like previous addresses and date of birth, and forms of identification to prove that you are who you say you are. The police then compare the information you have given to their database to draw up a list of any past convictions or cautions.

The level of detail on the DBS certificate will depend on the type of disclosure check. That doesn’t mean that everything on your record will be shown, however long ago it happened. The DBS uses a process called filtering, which involves looking at the type of offences, the job you are applying for and the relevance of the convictions. In general, the DBS prefer to give the benefit of doubt to the applicant, acknowledging that everyone deserves the chance to make a fresh start and leave their past behind. The exception to this would be serious or violent crimes, or crimes of dishonesty which might call into question the ability of the person concerned to be impartial and keep the integrity of the system.


Peace of Mind for Motorists

Will knowing that all MOT testers and garage owners have gone through the DBS check process give motorists more confidence in the testing process? That remains to be seen. The requirement for a DBS certificate is just another layer in the DVSA’s range of methods for checking up on the quality of service at the huge number of MOT testing stations across the UK.