When applying for a job, businesses can ask a series of questions. Although some of these can seem invasive at times, companies are responsible for ensuring their work environment is safe for employees and the public. However, the type of background check carried out can vary.

The following is an overview of the different background checks used by employees in the UK.


Identity Check

When applying for a position, it isn’t unusual for employers to ask for photographic identification and proof of address. Although a person’s identity can be verified with other forms of background checks, businesses may also need to run checks to ensure the documentation they’re given is genuine.


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

Also referred to as a Criminal Record Check or List 99 Check, a DBS Check can be considered a mixture of both. There are three levels of DBS Checks which are as follows.


Basic DBS Check

A Basic DBS Check can be requested by individuals and businesses and is the lowest level of DBS Check. The certificate will show any criminal history, including convictions and cautions held on the Police National Computer.

A Basic DBS Check will be used by many employers and could be combined with other background checks depending on the role.


Standard DBS Check

A Standard DBS Check will show the exact details as a Basic DBS Check but will also contain details of unspent convictions in England and Wales and any condition in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Those applying for a role in financing or accountancy will often need a Standard DBS Check, as will others in positions of high responsibility.


Enhanced DBS Check

An Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of background check and will contain all the information held on an Enhanced DBS Check. As an Enhanced DBS Check is often carried out by those caring for children or vulnerable people, it will also detail whether a person is on the Children’s or Adult Barred List.


Credit Check

Although a DBS Check will show the criminal background of a person, further checks may be required to ensure a person is responsible with money. This is especially true for those giving financial advice or managing payroll.


Will I Know What Type of Background Check Is Carried Out?

In every instance, permission must be sought when making any form of background check. Any checks made will be detailed in the application, and there will often be an authorisation that needs to be signed for the checks to be carried out.

In most instances, a company will need to carry out a background check, especially for roles where the person is working with children and vulnerable adults.

However, those wishing to check their own details do have a couple of options available to them. People can carry out their credit search to see what information is affecting their credit score.

Those wishing to carry out their own DBS Check can do so but can only request a Basic DBS Check. Higher levels of DBS Checks need to be conducted by a business or organisation via a corporate account.