A standard DBS check is the middle level of disclosure checking in the UK. It’s more detailed than the basic check, but doesn’t contain the same level of detail as the enhanced disclosure. There is a wide range of jobs and voluntary roles which might ask applicants to get a standard disclosure as part of the vetting process. Standard disclosures are available through the Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS, in England and Wales. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there are different systems due to the difference in legal systems. Applicants have to apply to the right body depending on where in the UK they live.


What sort of jobs need a standard DBS check?

Lots of different jobs require a standard DBS check. These mainly involve jobs which can be classed as positions of trust or responsibility, or involving handling other people’s money. In some cases, a standard DBS check is just done once, when someone first applies to register as a vet, accountant or insurance underwriter. In other situations, a new standard disclosure might be done each time the person switches jobs. On the government website there is an A-Z list of occupations stating what type of disclosure check is needed, and at which level.


Applying for a Standard DBS Check

Unlike the basic DBS check, you can only apply for a standard disclosure if you’re working in a listed occupation. Individuals cannot choose whether or not to have a disclosure check, and at which level. Only employers can process applications for a standard disclosure check. However, you still have your part to play.

Filling in the application form is the first part of the process, and it will save you time in the long run if you take time over this part and have it proofread before submitting. Give all of your previous names, and an address history going back five years. Then prove who you are by showing your employer some key identity documents like a passport or driving licence, along with utility bills or credit card statements. The DBS will then process the application, and send out your certificate to your home address.


What’s on the Certificate?

A standard DBS certificate will show all of your current, unspent convictions and cautions. The formula for working out how long it takes for a conviction to be considered spent depends on both the type of offence, and the age of the offender. This information is widely available and should help you work out what is spent. A standard disclosure check will also show older, spent convictions if they are not filtered out by the police. Filtering is the process of looking at all the information, and deciding whether it is in any way relevant to the job under consideration. The police have to strike the balance between letting people making a new start and stopping people with long records getting jobs where they could abuse their position. If you are concerned about what your DBS might show, seek advice from rehabilitation charities.