There’s a lot of information about DBS checks, mostly concentrating on the things which can go wrong with your application. Detailed information has its place, but sometimes it’s better to think in more general terms. We’ve put together the basic rules and tips for DBS checks, whatever your situation and whatever type of job you are applying for.


Check You Need a DBS

Because DBS checks are so widely discussed, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone needs one. That’s not the case. A Basic DBS certificate can be requested by any employer for any reason, and you can also request one on yourself if you wish. However, standard and enhanced DBS checks have to be done in connection with specific jobs which fall into the legal definition of “regulated activity”. Most jobs aren’t in this category, so don’t fall into the trap of assuming you need a DBS check at all.


Accept All Help

If someone at your new employer or voluntary organisation is offering help in getting your DBS check processed, accept it with open arms. There are no brownie points or extra credit for struggling with the form yourself. If your situation is unusual, or if you have recently moved back to the UK from overseas, get advice from the DBS helpline about how to proceed. Recent changes in DBS rules mean that rather than coming back to applicants and checking up on previous addresses, the DBS are just rejecting applications outright. So it’s more important than ever to make sure you submit the correct information.


Follow the Rules

The rules about completing DBS forms are there for a reason. Follow the instructions about writing in block capitals, using black ink and completing all compulsory fields. Read the guidance notes which come with the form and get clarification on anything you’re not sure about.


Get your Documents in Order

Everyone who applies for a disclosure certificate needs to supply a range of documents which prove who they are, and where they live. Get your documents in order at the same time as filling the form in, rather than waiting until you are asked to provide them. Request hard copies of bills and statements if you normally get bills digitally. If you don’t have many of the documents listed on the DBS website then ask them which combination of proof they will accept.


Ask About Work Pending DBS Check

Even if you are being recruited into a job which needs a DBS check, your employer might be happy to let you start while you wait for your certificate. This is especially the case if you have been employed in a similar role in the past and have solid references. The type of work will depend on the role, but many employers get candidates in to do compulsory training, or match them up with a disclosure checked member of staff for on-the-job training. This isn’t a legal requirement though, so will be down to the individual employer.