Types of Criminal Record Check

There are four different levels of criminal record checks available dependent on the area of work that an individual is involved in and the level of contact with children and/or adults.

Enhanced with a Barred List Check

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To be eligible to request an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s and/or adult’s barred list, the position must be eligible for an enhanced level DBS check (as below) and be specifically listed in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations as being able to check the barred list(s).

An enhanced check with barring lists is only available for those individuals who are in regulated activity and a small number of positions listed in Police Act regulations, for example, prospective adoptive parents.

It contains the same PNC information and check of police records held locally as an enhanced check but in addition will check against the children's and/or adults barring lists.

To be eligible for an enhanced level DBS check, the position must be included in both the ROA Exceptions Order and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations.

An enhanced DBS check will reveal spent and unspent convictions and any other known relevant information that is held by the police.

To be eligible for a standard level DBS check, the position must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. A standard level DBS check will reveal spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC).

Individuals can apply for a Basic Disclosure, for any purpose. Unlike a Standard or an Enhanced Disclosure, there are no eligibility criteria that must be met to apply for a Basic Check.

A Basic Disclosure contains only convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The DBS Children’s Barred list (previously List 99) is a list of individuals who have been barred from working with children. There is a legal duty to check this list before a person starts working with children in regulated activity.  A DBS Children’s Barred list (previously List 99) check can be undertaken as part of an Enhanced DBS check for posts which have been identified as regulated activity.

A separate DBS Children’s Barred list check is only required if there is a requirement to start the individual prior to the results of the DBS check.

DBS adult first is a service available to organisations who can request a check of the DBS adults' barred list. Depending on the result, a person can be permitted to start work, under supervision, with vulnerable adults before a DBS certificate has been obtained.

Applicants that are eligible for DBS checks can register and pay an annual subscription of £13 to have their DBS certificate kept up to date and transfer it from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required.

More information on the DBS Update Service and how to register can be found on the gov.uk website.

Further information about the different levels of check available can be found below: