CB Screening Frequently
Asked Questions

This is a comprehensive list of our most frequently asked questions and their answers. If your question does not appear below, or you require support, please feel free to contact us directly.

What does DBS stand for?
DBS is short for ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’. This is an agency part of the UK Home Office which carries out specific checks on individuals.
What is a DBS check?
A Disclosure and Barring Service check (or DBS check for short) is the term used for the analysis and record of a person’s past, looking specifically at any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings they may have received.

DBS checks, also known as disclosures, will often include intelligence held by the police, which may affect an individual’s suitability for a job position.

These services were previously known as Criminal Records Bureau (or CRB) checks, but have been known as DBS checks since December 2012.
What is the difference between a CRB and a DBS check?
There is no difference between a CRB and DBS check.

After the publication of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 many changes were brought about. One of which was the coming together and merge of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), under the new title of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The new entity took on the responsibilities of the previous fractions and continued to complete the checks and functions, apart from the discontinued ISA Registration Scheme.
Are there different types of criminal checks?
Yes. There are three levels of disclosure. The level you require will depend on the job and the contact of care you will provide. These levels of disclosure are:
  • Basic level disclosure – this is a non-specific check that is available to anyone who requires certification. It is commonly used for personal licence holders, couriers or similar.
  • Standard level disclosure - this level of disclosure is subject to eligibility in accordance to legislative criteria. This more in-depth check is often required for careers such as accountants or solicitors.*
  • Enhanced level disclosure – this detailed check is also subject to eligibility in accordance to legislative criteria. Individuals who wish to work with vulnerable people will require this disclosure.*
  • Enhanced level disclosure and barred list check – the most comprehensive of all checks, this disclosure will also look at the barred lists. This is necessary for an individual intending on working in a ‘regulated position’ where they have a duty of care and responsibility for vulnerable people.
If you would like to learn more about these types of DBS checks and your eligibility please click here.

*Be aware that the standard and enhanced levels are completed by the DBS, however, the basic level is produced by Disclosure Scotland, an executive agency of the Home Office.
How are barred lists accessed?
If you require an enhanced level disclosure and barred list check access must be requested in line with legislation in accordance to the individual’s role.

There are two main barring lists that are checked
  • Adult’s Barring List - this checks if an applicant has been barred from working with vulnerable adults. This can only be looked at if the applicant will be partaking in certain roles, such as providing adult care or healthcare services.
  • Children’s Barring List and List 99 (Section 142 Education Act 2002) - These lists are checked if the applicant has been barred from working with children and young people. Like with the Adult’s Barring List, this can only be accessed in reference to a specific job role, such as teaching or the provision of childcare.
  • The responsibility of ensuring the correct level of disclosure lies with the employer.
What is the definition of a vulnerable adult?
'Vulnerable adult' is a complex term. It was once used to describe a person who is vulnerable due to their age, a disability or their circumstances. However, this was deemed inappropriate and it is now defined as, a person aged 18 or over who receives one of the following:
  • Health care
  • Relevant personal care
  • Social care
  • General household assistance by reason of age, illness or disability
  • Relevant assistance in the conduct of their own affairs
  • Conveying
What is the definition of a child?
A child is an individual under the age of 18 years old, as per Section 60 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
How long does a disclosure certificate last?
Criminal disclosure certificates do not have expiry dates, only when they were issued, and therefore there is no set period that they are valid for. Some employers, however, require update checks every few years or so. This will depend on the industry regulator for each job position.
Is a criminal check portable? Can it be reused?
As previously outlined, there is no validity period on criminal disclosure certificates, so in most instances they can be reused at the discretion of the employer or organisation.

An employer should check that all certificates are the correct level, for the correct workforce and that barred list checks were carried out if necessary.

Although a separate disclosure per employer is not necessary, it is recommended that applicants subscribe to the Update Service to ensure their disclosure is up-to-date at all times. Not doing this may result in complications when attempting to reuse a certificate.
What is the Update Service?
The Update Service is a DBS facility scheme which registers a disclosure certificate and ensures it is kept up-to-date. An annual subscription to the Update Service may mean an individual will never need another DBS check again.

The individual is responsible for this when submitting an application to the DBS. However, if you use our services we will undertake the registration and complete the management for you. Our system will then automatically alert you via email if any changes are required in the future.
Who can request a DBS check?
Organisations can request for individuals to be checked if they will be working or volunteering in a position that is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This is valid for current staff, job applicants and volunteers.
Can individuals obtain a DBS check on themselves?
No. Individuals cannot request a personal disclosure check. DBS checks were designed to aid organisations make recruitment decisions, therefore only an employer or recruitment company may apply.

Here at CB Screening we can, however, offer a basic level disclosure. This is because these checks are not job specific and, in theory, can be used for any purpose.
Should we request DBS checks on our staff?
Whether this is a requirement, or not, will depend on your industry. However, it is recommended that all job applicants, staff and volunteers within an organisation are DBS checked.
How long does a DBS check take?
If you decide to request a DBS check using our services, expect a timescale as follows:
  • 85% of enhanced disclosures returned within 5 working days
  • 95% of standard disclosures returned within 5 working days
  • 80% of basic disclosures returned within 10 working days
On rare occasions an application may exceed 60 days. In the unlikely event this happens we can escalate the application along as a priority.
Is there a DBS fast track service available?
As stated above, disclosures should take around a week to complete. There are no fast track options available.

If an individual is required to start a role immediately a List 99 or Adult First check may be considered.

List 99 Checks
A List 99 check refers to the access of the Department for School Children and Families (formerly DfES) List 99 database, which details names of those who have been barred or restricted from working with children by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, under the terms of the Education (Restriction of Employment) Regulations 2000.

It will ascertain if a person is barred from teaching in Northern Ireland or has been removed from the Register of Teachers by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. A List 99 check will also show if an individual is on the Department of Health Protection of Children Act (1999) list, also known as (POCALS), and has been barred by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.

The results of a List 99 check will take just 24hours to be returned. An email notification will be sent detailing the outcome within hours of the application and therefore is popular among organisations that require an individual starts straight away.

DBS Adult First Checks
The Care Standards Act allows the Department of Health to maintain a list of people who are perceived to be a threat to, and should not work with, vulnerable adults. An Adult First Check refers to this, in particular looking at the health sector.

These checks should only be done in exceptional cases when they are absolute necessary. If this is the case, once requested an email will be issued with one of two responses:

Option 1: Employer must wait for the DBS certificate

Option 2: No match exists for this person on the current Vulnerable Adults Barred List

If Option 1 is received, something may have been found, and further investigations may be required to determine if the person is indeed on the barred list.

A DBS Adult First Check issued through CB Screening will take anywhere up to 2 days, however, most requests are completed within 24hours of submission.

*Checks are not done on weekends or bank holidays.
Who receives the DBS certificate?
Although an organisation requests the disclosure check, the certificate is sent to the applicant’s home address.

Before this is received, you will be sent an online notification stating that the check has been completed and whether any criminal information has been found and held. Our solutions will provide you with a full audit trail and a printable summary of the disclosure check.
What ID documents are required to be validated for a DBS check?
ID is required to be validated with every disclosure check, and there are 4 routes in place for doing this. These can be found here.

We would recommend that Route 1 is taken wherever possible, as this will reduce costs and ensure a timely service.
Who pays for disclosure applications and how is this done?
In most cases the organisation requesting the check will pay for the disclosure. However, here at CB Screening our online payment solution requires the individual to make a payment prior to submission of the disclosure application.
What is the definition of a volunteer?
The DBS defines a volunteer in accordance to the Police Act 1997 (criminal records). This states:

Any 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 and not a close relative.

If this is the case, an individual may qualify for a free-of-charge criminal record check. In order to be granted the person must not benefit from the position that the DBS application is being submitted for. They also cannot:
  • Be on work experience
  • Receive any payment
  • Be on a course that required participation
  • Be a trainee at the organisation
Make sure to tick the designated box in section 68 of the application if the individual is a volunteer. If not marked correctly the DBS may try to recover the application fee and the DBS application may be cancelled.
Can an individual with a criminal record be employed?
A criminal record does not automatically result in unemployment, however, it must be considered when a job application is received. An employer or organisation may also decide to complete further checks in order to determine the suitability of the applicant for the job role.
Which workforce category should be selected?
When making a DBS application you will be asked to select a workforce. This will dictate what information is relevant to the role and what details should be disclosed.

These workforces are explained below:
  • Child workforce - for positions in regulated activity with children, which fall under the pre-September 2012 definition of regulated activity in relation to children or for adult household members where a foster child placement takes place.
  • Adult workforce - for positions in regulated activity with vulnerable adults, which fall under the pre-September 2012 definition of regulated activity in relation to vulnerable adults or for individuals who manage others participating in these roles.
  • Child and adult workforce - if a role specifically deals with both children and vulnerable adults.
  • Other workforce - for roles which require a DBS check but do not deal with children or vulnerable adults. For examples, legal, financial or security services.
What is the definition of a healthcare professional?
The DBS defines a healthcare professional as an individual who is regulated by one of the following professional regulators:
  • General Medical Council
  • General Dental Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Health Professions Council
How do I get a DBS check for my personal licence?
You will only need a basic level disclosure for a personal licence. You can apply for this here.
What will a DBS check show?
The information displayed varies depending on the level of check you apply for. Standard and enhanced checks will highlight any unspent convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands an individual may have. However, the enhanced check will also detail intelligence held by the police if deemed necessary.

If the applicant was an adult (18+ years old) at the time of the offence it may be filtered if:
  • it has been 11 or more years since the conviction
  • no other offence has been committed
  • no custodial sentence was required
  • the offence in question does not appear on the list relevant to safeguarding
If the applicant was under the age of 18 years old at the time of the offence it may be filtered if:
  • it has been 5.5 or more years since the conviction
  • it is the only offence committed
  • no custodial sentence was required
  • the offence in question does not appear on the list relevant to safeguarding
Filtering Cautions
The rules are slightly different with cautions. If the applicant was an adult at the time of the caution it may be filtered from results if it has been more than 6 years since the date of the caution and the incident does not appear on the list of offences relevant to safeguarding.

If the person was under 18 years of age at the time, the caution may be filtered if it has been 2 or more years since and the incident does not appear on the list of offences relevant to safeguarding.

Filtering is a relatively new development, so if you would like to learn more about this service please click here
Can disclosure certificates be reprinted?
Yes. If you did not receive the original certificate for whatever reason, you can request a reprint.

To order your reprint, email DBSReprints@dbs.gsi.gov.uk
  • Your forename
  • Your surname
  • Your address
  • Your postcode
  • Your date of birth
  • Your place of birth
  • The date the certificate was issued
If the original certificate was received, but you have lost or damaged it, the DBS will reissue rather than replace it. This new certificate will be sent to the address on your application form when requested within 3 months of the original issue date.
How can I contact the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?
If you would like to speak directly to someone at the DBS you can email your query to customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk or give them a call on 0870 909 0811.
How can I contact Disclosure Scotland (DS)?
Contacting the DS is easy. Simply email info@disclosurescotland.co.uk or call 0870 609 6006.

Do you have a question about our services, the DBS or anything mentioned on this page? Then give us a call on 01443 799 900 or email at info@cbscreening.co.uk.
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