What is an Enhanced DBS Check?

The Enhanced DBS Check processed by the DBS (formerly CRB) searches the applicants’ criminal history for any cautions, warnings, reprimands or convictions both spent and unspent.

Additionally, the Enhanced DBS Check can also search the children and vulnerable adults ‘barred lists’ to see if the applicant is barred from working with either group (if the job role is eligible and requires the applicant to engage in regulated activity). The Enhanced DBS (CRB) Check process gives local police forces the opportunity to add any relevant or ‘soft’ information they may hold about the applicant. For example, if someone is being investigated for a crime but has yet to be charged.

Organisations are legally responsible to be in line with The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. It is illegal for anyone barred by the DBS to work, or apply to work with the sector (children or vulnerable adults) from which they are barred. It is also illegal for an employer to knowingly employ a barred person in the sector from which they are barred.

What are the benefits of an Enhanced DBS check?

The benefits of an employee having an Enhanced DBS Check are:

  • Enhances your safeguarding processes and helps to reduce risks
  • Enables you to make safer recruitment decisions
  • Identifies candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that which may involve children or vulnerable adults
  • Provides wider access to criminal record information
  • Legal compliance in the UK for regulated activity employers and organisations

Who can apply for an Enhanced DBS (CRB) Check?

This level of check is only available for employers to obtain on behalf of their employees to make suitability decisions.

Individuals must apply for this level of check through an employer or contractor. If you are self-employed, you are unable to apply for an Enhanced DBS check for yourself. You will need to apply through an association or organisation that uses your service.

Enhanced disclosures are recommended for those working in regulated activity. Here are some examples of occupations that will require an Enhanced DBS Check:

  • Care
  • Charities
  • Childcare
  • Dental Practices
  • Drivers and transport
  • Education
  • Fostering
  • Leisure and sport
  • Medical/Health
  • Private Tutors
  • Religion and faith
  • Social work
  • GP surgery staff

How long will it take to process?

Apply online for your Enhanced DBS Check and it will fast track the process of completion compared with applying via paper applications. We regularly run analysis on completion times and on average 40% of the Enhanced DBS Checks we process for our clients return within 24 hours. Around 70% complete within a week but some can take longer due to police processing times.

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