A wide range of jobs in the UK require a DBS check, and applying for one is becoming standard practice in many recruitment processes. A DBS check looks into your criminal record, and the level of details disclosed on the certificate will be determined by the type of job you are applying for. Whatever the level of the DBS check, the application route is always the same. First, the applicant completes a form, giving all of their personal information such as date of birth, address history and details of any convictions or cautions. The employer then verifies their identity by looking at a range of documents which prove they are who they say they are. It is at this stage of the process that you might be asked to provide bank statements and utility bills.


Bills, Statements and Financial History

Showing an employer your passport is the easiest way of allowing them to match your appearance to your photo and confirm that you are who you say you are. But in terms of DBS checking, that’s not the only thing which has to be verified. Employers or other organisations submitting a DBS check must also make sure that you live where you say you do, so that the police are checking the record of the person living at your address. This is particularly important as most of us don’t have unique names; there may be several other people living in the UK who share your name, and definitely several people who share your date of birth.


Approved Documents

There is a wide range of documents which applicants can submit for checking when they apply for their DBS. The full list of approved documents is listed on the DBS website, but the main documents used by applicants are:

  • Utility bills – gas, electricity, water etc. Also bills for things like landline phones or television services.
  • Bank statements – or similar documents about loan or mortgage repayments.
  • Government paperwork – letters from government departments about Benefits, a P60, or a letter asking you to complete a tax return, for example.

You are usually asked to provide at least two of these documents to the person who is checking your identity before submitting your DBS check. There are a few rules about what can be accepted. Firstly, you must submit original documents only. If like many of us you manage your accounts online, or receive statements by email, you might have to contact the bank to ask whether it would be possible to get a paper statement sent in the post.

Obviously, the bill in question must have your name on it, either as account holder or joint account holder. This can cause problems for younger workers who are still living at home, with parents named on the bills.

Finally, any document you submit must be recent. For bank statements or utility bills, this means within the last three months. If you want to submit something which is only issued annually, such as a P60 or council tax statement, then it needs to be the most recent you have.