We know that the whole DBS check process can be complicated. Sometimes it seems like you need a law degree to wade your way through the application. There is lots of detail in the legislation but it doesn’t have to be complex. We can help you apply for your DBS check, but before you do, check our 5 Golden Rules.
Golden Rule #1 : Do you even need a DBS check?
The first thing to remember is that not all jobs need to you apply for a disclosure check. There is a very long list of qualifying occupations on the government website. If you don’t have time to read through the list then in very simple terms, positions involving working with children, the elderly or vulnerable adults will usually need a disclosure. Other occupations involving trust and responsibility, such as being a prison officer or bank manager, might also need a disclosure check. Don’t just accept what your new employer is telling you – they don’t always get it right either.
Golden Rule #2: Get the right level of check
Your employer will know what level of DBS checking is required for the job you will be doing. Again, employers can’t decide which type of disclosure they want you to have. A basic disclosure applies to a wide range of occupations. This type of certificate will only show up any convictions which are not considered “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Golden Rule #3: Don’t think of it as passing or failing
A disclosure check isn’t like your GCSE Maths exam. There’s no pass or fail, no grade. It’s just a statement of the facts which were held on the police computer on the day the certificate was printed. Employers look at the information on the form and make the decision of whether to offer the job. Each employer has their own rules about who to recruit. If you know that you have a criminal record, it’s usually best to be open and honest at the interview stage. Don’t automatically assume that your past will go against you.
Golden Rule #4: Complete the form properly
OK, so it sounds blindingly obvious. But a large percentage of DBS checks are returned at an early stage because the applicant hasn’t filled it in properly. If you don’t understand the question, ask. Give all your previous names, and an address history covering the past 5 years. If you’ve been living abroad, or have other unusual address history, take advice from the experts.
Golden Rule #5: Think about joining the update service
In most cases, you need a new DBS check for every new job or voluntary position. If you’re the sort of person who changes job a lot, then take a look at the DBS Update service. This is a subscription service which you access online. You can control over who gets access to the account, and you can give the log in details to new employers. They can then immediately see your current DBS information. There is an annual fee for being part of the service, but it’s cheaper than having to do repeated DBS checks.