Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions for all levels of check

Basic DBS Check
Standard DBS Check
Enhanced DBS Check
DBS Check for Individuals
Disclosure Scotland
AccessNI
General Questions
Billing Questions

Basic DBS Check

A Basic check will show convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.

A Basic Check is sufficient when applying for a personal license.

Yes, anybody can apply for a Basic check on themselves through our website.

It will be up to an employer to decide whether or not it is still valid or whether a new Basic Disclosure is required.

Our typical charge for a Basic Check is £35 (inc.VAT)

We work on a volume based model, so if you are processing a significant number of applications per year, it’s likely that we will be able to lower the fee for you.

You can either call us directly on 01978 510100 and one of our team will be happy to help you or alternatively, you can use the DBS tracking service below:

For Basic checks: https://bit.ly/2LT6aCA

A Basic Check, with no content, can complete in hours or even minutes but the DBS state that most basic checks will be completed within 14 days although it can take longer than this depending on which police forces need to be involved in the check and the background information of the applicant that they’re checking.

Theoretically, a DBS check never expires. This is because the information that is contained in the check was true at the time of issue. However, best practise dictates that a DBS check should be renewed every three years or less as part of an organisation’s risk management policy although it is up to the organisation to determine how regularly their employee’s DBS checks should be renewed.

No, a DBS check will not reveal any details about the past employment of applicants.

No, a DBS check will only show your criminal record history rather than any employment history although an employer may carry out further verification checks that may reveal this information.

Standard DBS Check

FCA regulated positions, Football stewards, Master Locksmiths, Barristers, Accountants, Vets and Lawyers

Roles in positions of high responsibility require a Standard Check to prove that an individual has no prior offences for industry-sensitive matters such as financial misconduct or fraud.

A Standard DBS Check will only contain arrest information if further action was taken following the arrest.

Yes, a Standard Check shows both Spent and Unspent convictions

 

Our typical charge for a Standard Check is £35 (inc.VAT)

We work on a volume based model, so if you are processing a significant number of applications per year, it’s likely that we will be able to lower the fee for you.

You can either call us directly on 01978 510100 and one of our team will be happy to help you or alternatively, you can use the DBS tracking service below:

For Standard and Enhanced checks: https://bit.ly/1fbrri9

A Standard Check contains both spent and unspent convictions so usually takes longer than a Basic Check to complete. 56% of our higher level checks are turned around within 24 hours whereas our average is typically 5-6 working days. However, the police and the DBS have a 60-day service level agreement so some checks can take 8 weeks or more depending on which police forces need to be involved in the check and the background information of the applicant that they’re checking.

Theoretically, a DBS check never expires. This is because the information that is contained in the check was true at the time of issue. However, best practise dictates that a DBS check should be renewed every three years or less as part of an organisation’s risk management policy although it is up to the organisation to determine how regularly their employee’s DBS checks should be renewed.

No, a DBS check will not reveal any details about the past employment of applicants.

 

No, a DBS check will only show your criminal record history rather than any employment history although an employer may carry out further verification checks that may reveal this information.

Enhanced DBS Check

Our typical charge for a Standard Check is £52 (inc.VAT)

We work on a volume based model, so if you are processing a significant number of applications per year, it’s likely that we will be able to lower the fee for you.

Any roles that work regularly with children or vulnerable adults such as Teachers, Doctors and Carers will require an Enhanced check.

For an Enhanced DBS Check, a police force can, if they see relevant, add further information that they believe your employer should be aware of regarding the role that you’re applying for which can include past arrests and any other relevant police intelligence.

You can either call us directly on 01978 510100 and one of our team will be happy to help you or alternatively, you can use the DBS tracking service below:

For Standard and Enhanced checks: https://bit.ly/1fbrri9

An Enhanced Check will inevitably take longer as it contains both spent and unspent convictions. 56% of our Enhanced Checks are turned around within 24 hours whereas our average is typically 5-6 working days.

However, the police and the DBS have a 60-day service level agreement so some checks can take 8 weeks or more depending on which police forces need to be involved in the check and the background information of the applicant that they’re checking.

Theoretically, a DBS check never expires. This is because the information that is contained in the check was true at the time of issue. However, best practise dictates that a DBS check should be renewed every three years or less as part of an organisation’s risk management policy although it is up to the organisation to determine how regularly their employee’s DBS checks should be renewed.

No, a DBS check will not reveal any details about the past employment of applicants.

No, a DBS check will only show your criminal record history rather than any employment history although an employer may carry out further verification checks that may reveal this information.

DBS Check for Individuals

There are a number of reasons why an individual may need a Basic DBS Check:

  • Employment
  • Visa
  • Personal Alcohol Licence
  • Character Reference/Background

As an individual, you will not be able to apply for this yourself.

The DBS state that an individual cannot apply for a Standard or Enhanced level check. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • An individual cannot authorise and verify their own ID. If they proceeded to do so, their disclosure would immediately become invalid and removed from the system.
  • Individuals cannot ask themselves exempt questions i.e. do you have any criminal convictions?
  • Enhanced and Standard level checks require a disclosure recipient who is going to make an informed recruitment decision

A self-employed person who is eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check can ask the organisation that wishes to contract their services to apply for the check on their behalf.

Please ask them to register with us here

Individuals living or working in Scotland should still apply to Disclosure Scotland directly.

The easiest way to pay for your check is using a Credit/Debit Card but we also offer the option to pay using Apple pay.

Applying for a Basic Check as an individual is easy. Click on here to get started.

A Basic DBS check can complete within hours or even minutes. Our fastest turnaround time is 12 minutes but on average they usually take between 3-5 working days.

However, please be aware that the police and the DBS have a service level agreement of 60 days and once the application is with the DBS, there is no way to fast-track it or speed the application along.

  • Your five-year address history
  • Your National Insurance number
  • A debit or credit card
  • Proof of ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, birth certificate)
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill, council tax bill, bank statement)

An Individual Basic check shows convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.

A DBS Check will not have an expiry date and there is no specific period for which they are valid. However, a DBS check is only as good as the day it is printed so it is good practice to renew your DBS certificates every 3 years.

Disclosure Scotland

90% of applications are completed within 14 calendar days. You’re likely to receive your certificate within this time, although it might take longer if there are any mistakes or if Disclosure Scotland need to contact you for more information.

Simply click here to track your application online. You will be asked for the application reference number.

You can apply for each type of PVG disclosure record using a paper form. There are different forms depending on whether you are new to the PVG Scheme, or are already a scheme member.

The form is given to you by your employer or you can ask for one to be sent to you.

You’ll need to fill in and sign the form and return it to your employer. They may ask you to send it straight to us.

You’ll also need to show some ID to confirm your identity and address to your employer or the organisation managing their PVG records.

If you are an employer and would like to request PVG paper form please click here to register.

A disclosure check will not have an expiry date and there is no specific period for which they are valid. However, a criminal record check is only as good as the day it’s printed. Any information can be added to an applicant’s record after the issue date of the Certificate which would not be included on the Certificate.

All PVG Scheme records show the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • PVG Scheme membership number
  • Disclosure number of the Scheme Record
  • The type of regulated work the person is a PVG Scheme member for
  • Confirmation that the person isn’t barred from doing that work
  • If the person is under consideration for listing for that type of regulated work

If you’re already a member of the PVG scheme, you should update your record with Disclosure Scotland when you start a new job or voluntary role which involves regulated work.

Your new employer may ask you to complete an Existing PVG Scheme Member form. This will allow them to get an up-to-date certificate as well as be added to your PVG membership account. This update – known as a Short Scheme Record – costs £18. You can ask for the form to be posted to you to fill in.

AccessNI

Basic – 95% applications are completed within 14 days.

Standard – 99%  are completed within 7 days.

Enhanced – 70% of  are completed within 10 days, 95% within 21 days and 98% within 28 days.

Yes, you can apply for any level of check. If your role requires a standard or enhanced check, AccessNI will provide the check free to a volunteer who:

“…gives their time in a position in a non-profit organisation, free of charge, doing something for the good of the community or a voluntary group, for which they may get travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses, and which is not for their own benefit or for the benefit of a close relative.”

AccessNI charges for a standard or enhanced check if:

  • you are volunteering directly for a statutory organisation
  • you are volunteering for a non-profit organisation in a position which delivers statutory services under contract or in a specific project, where that organisation receives government funding to pay for volunteers’ checks

A statutory organisation is an agency established by government. A not-for-profit organisation is a non-governmental body which does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders.

Please note we charge an admin fee and VAT for each volunteer application.

  • PIN given to you by the organisation that asked you to get a Enhanced check.
  • your home addresses for the last five years
  • your National Insurance number
  • your driving licence and passport numbers (if you have these documents) and 1 further ID document

Once an application is completed, certificates are issued within 5-7 days.

General Questions

DBS Checks are background checks carried out on individuals that detail all or some of their criminal history. DBS stands for “Disclosure and Barring Service”, and this check replaced the “Criminal Records Bureau” check (CRB) as of December 2012. A DBS Check, also known as a Disclosure, will identify any convictions, cautions, final warnings or reprimands, relevant to the prospective employment and can also include intelligence from the police that may affect an individual’s suitability for certain employment.

There are three different levels of check:

A Basic check will show all unspent convictions and can be requested by an individual, or by a potential employer with the applicant’s permission.

A Standard check shows both spent and unspent convictions and is most suitable for individuals working in a specified setting. Standard level checks are mainly used for medical settings and in the financial industry if regulated by the FCA.

An Enhanced check is required where an individual is working or volunteering with young people, children and/or vulnerable adults or working in a specified establishment.

A DBS Check or ‘Disclosure’, will identify any cautions, convictions, final warnings or reprimands that are relevant to prospective employment. An Enhanced DBS Check can also include police intelligence that may affect an individual’s suitability for certain employment.

As you will be working with children on a regular basis, you will require an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the Child Barring List (List 99 Check)

There are two barred lists that are maintained by the DBS:

  • The adult’s barred list
  • The child’s barred list (also known as a List 99 check)

In order to prevent potentially dangerous people from being employed in a position that they’re unsuitable for, the DBS keeps a record of people who aren’t permitted to engage in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults.

For a DBS Check, the employment/recruitment decision must be made in England or Wales.

This depends on both the role that you’re doing and where you will be doing it.

There are several differences between the PVG scheme and a DBS check with the main one being the location that the applicant will be working.

To be eligible for the PVG Scheme the applicant must be working in Scotland and undertaking Regulated Work with children and/or adults.

A background check is not a legal requirement if an individual within an organisation is not working with children or vulnerable adults frequently or in regulated activity. However, from a risk management perspective, Disclosure Services believe its good practice for all organisations to perform a background check on their staff.

As an organisation, you can apply for Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks for your employees through Disclosure Services. Similarly, if you’re an individual looking for a Basic Check, Disclosure Services can help.

It is the decision of the employer to choose when to conduct a background check on an employee but they have to have permission from an employee to do so. This would typically be done before hiring the employee to check their background for any criminal history before making any recruitment decisions and may be done post-hire as part of their risk management strategy or to ensure that the business is staying compliant.

The CRB check was originally launched in March 2002, to check the criminal background of applicants for positions working with children or vulnerable people.

Theoretically, a DBS check never expires. This is because the information that is contained in the check was true at the time of issue. However, the best practise dictates that a DBS check should be renewed every three years or less as a part of an organisation’s risk management policy, although it is up to the organisation to determine how regularly their employee’s DBS checks should be renewed.

With an applicant’s consent, an employer, potential employer or organisation can request for a DBS Check to be carried out as part of the recruitment process. The role that the applicant is/will be performing will dictate the level of check.

An individual can request a Basic Disclosure on themselves for personal interest. This will contain any information about any unspent convictions and can be used for purposes such as obtaining a VISA or a personal licence.

Any unsupervised volunteers or employees who, on a frequent basis, have direct access to, work, or volunteer with children and/or vulnerable adults, will require a Disclosure and Barring Service Check. Similarly, any person that works within a regulated setting (e.g school or hospital) will be required to have a DBS check, their role will determine which level of check they need.

This will depend on the organisation and the level of the check requested. In some instances, the organisation requesting the check may pay for it for the employee; otherwise the individual will pay for it themselves.

An application can be held up for a number of reasons. There are certain times of the year when the DBS receives more applications than usual which will inevitably mean that checks will take longer. Another reason why an application gets held up is when the information that has been provided on the application is incorrect. It could also be due to the police forces that are involved in the check. They could be understaffed or the check could have had to go to several police forces to obtain the information so again, this will take more time than usual.

CRB checks were launched in March 2002 and enables organisations to make safer recruitment decisions which inevitably should mean that unsuitable candidates don’t get the chance to work with children or vulnerable adults. At Disclosure Services, we assist organisations with this; allowing them to safely recruit and stay compliant, whilst delivering a cost-effective and stress-free solution.

A Basic DBS Check is sufficient when applying for a personal licence

If you are volunteering/working with children and/or vulnerable adults on a frequent and intensive basis, you will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check. The level of check will depend on the role that you will be doing.

Many organisations will ask their prospective employees to undergo a Basic DBS Check as part of their recruitment process.

There is a certificate fee that is set by the DBS:

  • £23 for a Basic Check
  • £23 for a Standard Check
  • £40 for an Enhanced Check

On top of this, Disclosure Services charge a small Admin Fee.

The Admin Fee covers opening your account, registering you on our online portal and gives you unlimited access to our team of expert administrators. They will personally look over your application to ensure that it is correct when being submitted to the DBS which means that any delays due to errors will be reduced.

You can either call us directly on 01978 510100 and one of our team members will be happy to help you alternatively, you can use the DBS tracking service below:

For Basic checks click here

For Standard and Enhanced checks click here

You can only apply for a Basic DBS Check on yourself by navigating to the Individual Basic Check section on our website. If you require a Standard or Enhanced level check, this will need to be done by an organisation on your behalf.

Depending on the level of DBS Check that you have applied for, this will depend on how long it takes to complete.

A Basic Check, with no content, can complete in hours or even minutes but the DBS state that most basic checks will be completed within 14 days although it can take longer than this depending on which police forces need to be involved in the check and the background information of the applicant that they’re checking.

A Standard or Enhanced Check will inevitably take longer as it contains both spent and unspent convictions. 56% of our Enhanced Checks are turned around within 24 hours whereas our average is typically 5-6 working days. However, the police and the DBS have a 60-day service level agreement so some checks can take 8 weeks or more depending on which police forces need to be involved in the check and the background information of the applicant that they’re checking.

When the Criminal Record Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012, they formed the DBS; Disclosure and Barring Service. As a result, a CRB check became known as a DBS check. This was done as one of many changes that occurred following the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

DBS checks are NOT transferable between organisations unless the individual has signed up to the update service. Once an individual has signed up, they are able to keep their DBS certificate up to date with the organisation they work with by paying an Annual fee of £13. However, a certificate will only be transferable as long as their name hasn’t changed, their role hasn’t changed and the workforce that they work with hasn’t changed.

No, background checks are not free.

For a Basic Check, the DBS charge a £23 certificate fee as well as the small Admin Fee that we charge.

However, if the role is eligible for a Standard or an Enhanced check, and it meets the definition of a volunteer as set out by the DBS:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than, or in addition to, a close relative.’

The DBS will waive the certificate fee meaning that the only charge to the applicant/organisation is the Admin Fee from Disclosure Services.

For the DBS to waive their certificate fee, the applicant must not:

– Benefit financially from the position for which the application is being submitted
– Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
– Be on a work placement
– Be in a trainee position or undertaking a course of study that will lead to a full-time role/qualification
– Be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster care household

A DBS check may not provide a full disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record when outside of the UK as the DBS are unable to access criminal records from overseas.

This may not be accurate enough to be used in other countries.

This will depend on the level of check that you are applying for. A Standard DBS Check will only contain arrest information if further action was taken following the arrest. For an Enhanced DBS Check, a police force can, if they see relevant, add further information that they believe your employer should be aware of regarding the role that you’re applying for which can include past arrests and any other relevant police intelligence.

On the 29th May 2013, the Government introduced a filtering system and as a result, not all cautions and convictions are shown on a DBS Check. It doesn’t mean that the convictions or cautions will be wiped, they will still be held on the PNC.

The filtering system should be split into two; a system for cautions and a system for convictions. Both systems have a list of offences that are eligible for filtering and a list of offences that will always be disclosed, irrespective of when the offence took place.

For more information on filtering, please click here

A DBS Check is not a test and as a result, there is no pass or fail. A DBS Check is a certificate that highlights any information about an individual’s criminal record (if they have one) relevant to the position they are applying for. If the certificate contains a conviction, caution, warning or reprimand, this does not mean that the individual has ‘failed’ the DBS Check.

By law, employers must abide by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and take into consideration whether the offences committed, and the length of time that has elapsed since they were committed, are relevant to the role the individual has applied for.

If you’re applying for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, these will show both spent and unspent convictions to an employer. A Basic DBS Check only shows unspent convictions.

This will depend on the role that the volunteer will be doing and so will the level of check that they need. A volunteer will require an Enhanced DBS check if they are working with children and/or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis or in regulated activity.

For a Basic Check, the DBS charge a £23 certificate fee as well as the small Admin Fee that we charge.

However, if the role is eligible for a Standard or an Enhanced check, and it meets the definition of a volunteer as set out by the DBS:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than, or in addition to, a close relative.’

The DBS will waive the certificate fee meaning that the only charge to the applicant/organisation is the Admin Fee from Disclosure Services.

For the DBS to waive their certificate fee, the applicant must not:

– Benefit financially from the position for which the application is being submitted
– Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
– Be on a work placement
– Be in a trainee position or undertaking a course of study that will lead to a full-time role/qualification
– Be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster care household

No, a DBS check will not reveal any details about the past employment of applicants.

No, a DBS check will only show your criminal record history rather than any employment history although an employer may carry out further verification checks that may reveal this information.

Unless the employee gives permission for the organisation to do so, employers should not share any information obtained from an employee’s DBS check.

The majority of checks that are submitted through Disclosure Services are done via our online portal. It’s the safe, secure and stress-free way of completing a DBS application.

However, both Disclosure Scotland and DBS applications can be completed using the paper route for Standard or Enhanced applications should you not wish to submit it online.

Yes, DBS checks can be carried out on anyone over the age of 16 for any unsupervised volunteers or employees who work/volunteer with children and/or vulnerable adults. Children under the age of 16 can not have a DBS Check.

Companies may charge extra to ‘fast-track’ an application, which basically means that it will be processed quicker than other applications within their work queues.

At Disclosure Services, we endeavor to send every application to the DBS the same day we receive it and because a human checks over every application before it is submitted to the DBS, our turnaround time is on a par with or quicker than most companies that charge you extra for the same service.

When an application gets to the DBS, there is no way to fast track it. The police and the DBS have a 60-day service level agreement and as an Umbrella body, we have no control over the length of time these checks take. However, we guarantee that every effort will be made to make sure that the application is as accurate as it can be for the DBS to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Billing Questions

A Pay as you go customer can pay by debit or credit card directly on the web portal, under ‘Request Top Up’ section. On Account (credit) customers can also settle any unpaid invoices by accessing ‘Finance’ section.

Accepted cards: Visa, MasterCard and Maestro.

Yes, we do offer the Direct Debit scheme which is fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. Payment is collected 14 days from invoice receipt in a safe and secure way. This option is only available for credit customers.   

You can either pay for your check using a Credit or Debit Card or by using Apple Pay. We are looking at introducing PayPal payments soon so please watch this space!

Yes, both PAYG and credit customers can pay by BACS although funds will take longer to reflect on the account balance. Payments should be made to Sort Code 20-35-47, Account Number 50560804. When making BACS payments, please quote your account reference or invoice number which is found on your invoices. This will speed up the process and help to ensure funds are allocated to the correct account.

Finance team can be reached by email on accounts@disclosureservices.com or telephone +44 (0)1978 510100 between 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri.