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  • Heather McGee

An Intro to Enhanced DBS checks

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

An Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of criminal record and barring check available in England and Wales. It is obtained through the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) and is usually used by employers to vet candidates who will be working with vulnerable adults or children in industries such as healthcare or education.

What does an Enhanced DBS cover?

The DBS Certificate contains details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings as well as any additional information present on the Police National Computer (PNC) that the police service believe is relevant to the role being applied for.

What is not covered in an Enhanced DBS?

The following are not disclosed in an enhanced DBS:

  • Fixed penalty notices such as speeding tickets and littering fines

  • Allegations, if candidates have been accused but not prosecuted of a crime

  • Filtered cautions or convictions, see more about filtered cautions and convictions here.

How to get an Enhanced DBS for an employee?

Whether online or by post, the method of obtaining an Enhanced DBS involves the following steps:

  • Request an application form through DBS or your umbrella body

  • The applicant completes the form and provides identity documents

  • Send the completed application form to DBS or your umbrella body

Which job roles require an Enhanced DBS check?

An enhanced DBS check is required for any role for any role which is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults in regulated activity such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, teacher and optician will typically require an enhanced DBS check.

There may be several other occasions where an employer may request an enhanced DBS such as working within the judicial system.

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