Criminal Background Checks: CRB & DBS – What Jobs Require Checks & What Do They Show?

Many jobs require criminal background checks before an applicant starts work. This is usually because the job involves contact with vulnerable individuals. The main employment areas which ask for these checks are jobs involving working with children or vulnerable adults, and healthcare workers. Other jobs which commonly request background checks might involve security, or responsibility for finances or sensitive data.

man and woman at desk conducting a criminal background check

CRB & DBS Checks

It’s estimated that around 20% of the UK population have some kind of criminal record. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was set up to allow employers to run criminal background checks on applicants they are considering offering work. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) then merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The check does not cover all occupations but is designed to protect children and other vulnerable sections of the community. This means employers can ensure that any candidate who is offered a job is suitable for the role and that nobody who comes into contact with that person is placed at risk.

There are various jobs where it is necessary to assess a candidate’s suitability by running a criminal background check.


What Shows Up In Criminal Background Checks?

There are a few different level of DBS checks, these vary depending on the nature of the role.

Basic DBS Check

This shows any unspent criminal convictions or cautions.

Standard DBS Check

Covers all convictions whether spent or unspent. It will also show cautions, reprimands, and final warnings.

Enahnced DBS Check

Enhanced checks cover all the same things as a standard check. The check will also include any information held on police records considered of relevance to the role.

Enhanced DBS with List Check

These checks cover everything an enhanched DBS check does, but will include a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service’s adult and children barred lists. These lists record adults who are barred from working with vulnerable adults and children.


Who Needs DBS Checks For Work?

There are many employment sectors which will commonly require checks into the criminal record of employees.

Working with Children

Anybody who intends to Work with Children under the age of 18, or who may even come into contact with them during the course of their job, are subject to a DBS check. This includes teachers, classroom assistants, child minders, people applying for adoption and people applying to become a foster carer. If the contact is to be in a person’s own home, then everybody living in the house will be subject to a background check, regardless of whether or not they are the ones making the application to work with children.

Working with Vulnerable Adults

The background check extends to anybody who will be looking to work in the provision of care services to vulnerable adults. This incorporates working with people over 18 who have a learning or physical disability or a physical or mental illness.

Healthcare Workers

Anybody intending to work in the healthcare profession is also subject to a CRB check. For example, GPs, nurses, midwives, surgeons, dentists, psychologists, osteopaths, vets, chemists etc.

Other Occupations Requiring Checks

Many other professions are also subject to being vetted through the CRB before a person can be deemed suitable to take a job within the profession. Some of the more common professions include people who work in the private security sector.

For example:-

  • Wheel clampers.
  • Doormen.
  • Security guards.
  • HM Customs & Excise employees.
  • Some financial and legal services roles.
  • SPCA inspectors.
  • Firearms dealers.
  • People who work in gaming or betting establishments.

Benefits to the Candidate

The CRB check process is not designed to be intrusive upon an individual’s private life or background but to simply safeguard vulnerable sections of society. In fact, in having passed the check, you will be provided with the Disclosure which states that you have passed which you will then be able to use to apply for other similar roles. Having passed the check, it also demonstrates your commitment to applying for specific roles which require the Disclosure.


Can I Still Apply For A Job with a Criminal Record?

One of the most common reasons for people being put off applying for jobs that require a CRB check is that they might have a criminal record. This could be for something entirely unrelated to the job.

However, you should not be discouraged from applying as it is against the law to discriminate against anybody who has a criminal record where the crime committed has no bearing on the risk factors of them being able to carry out the job.

Likewise, not all applicants will receive a CRB check, only those who the company or organisation have decided to offer the job to in principle, will be required to have a CRB check run on them.

For more information about the Disclosure and Barring Service, check out the Government Website

12 thoughts on “Criminal Background Checks: CRB & DBS – What Jobs Require Checks & What Do They Show?

  1. Chris says:

    Hello, I would need some advice please. I quit my job after 9 years for a new one and realise after a week that this is not for me. I don’t have any contract yet, only a job offer by email. If I dismiss after two weeks give my notice (for which I ignore the length) what to do if he refuses to pay me? What are my right and what should I do if it happens? Because so far, I don’t have a contract, I don’t hand over my p45 yet and they don’t have my personal detail like bank account for instance. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Chris

  2. Sommo1 says:

    Hi I my workplace has began children’s bootcamp working with children under the age of 16… I have virtually asked for a DBS check to covet my own back but they are yet to do so and probably won’t! I have been told i still have to teach the class!?

  3. Caz says:

    I have a DBS check. Am i allowed to be left alone with children with this in place? Or does there always have to be a second adult present? What about being left alone with mu own children in the work place? Same rules?

  4. Pedro says:

    Hi i am looking to get my background check done so that i can gain coaching qualifications to help coach my 7 year old sons football team can i get a step by step guide how to do so as i paid online previously and got nothing back. Regards Peter

  5. red says:

    I am a Australia living in Thailand , I know of a Uk man that is going to Thailand lots , My concern is this man was sending my 15 year old son mail that he should not have been doing , 2 he is going to thailand lots and has been in the red light disrick all his time and around people that is traffic under age kids , someone was telling me he is working with kids …..Oh No I hope not can you look into this please his name is Andy Wright and he is have a youtube channel Andy wright travel and lots more .

  6. bahrath laden says:

    How well the criminal background check will be helpful for an organization and how can a company can get benefited. It is a very helpful blog. thanks keep updating.,

  7. Reddwalf says:

    Hi, I want to work as a nursery assistant, but a few years ago my daughter made a false allegation that I threatened her. She later admitted she lied to the police. But will this come up on the enhanced CBD check as I was questioned about the allegation before she admitted she lied.

  8. SAMBA says:

    Hello, I got my previous Enhanced DBS with you which expired in June 2019. Would it be possible to renew it with you and if so how? Kind regards, Janice Schilderman

  9. Cat says:

    Allegation, at were I used to a colleague, as made a allegation of neglect against me, which I strongly Denis, as I only work with her for 3 day’s. And the client was settled and asleep. Will this go against me, as they are making a referral to DBS, about it, My DBS as always been spotless. I have always work in the health care, will this affect future work.

  10. KJ says:

    My step daughter has a part time job for which she requites CRD/DBS checks on a regular basis. Her employer has said the rules have changed and cannot accept a copy of her certified with certificate. They have informed her without the original BC she will fail the checks and loose her employ. We are very worried. Can anyone shed any light on what we can do

  11. Kingy says:

    My has obtained aDBS check use falls references fro people she new and been working with for company could fullbridge in Peter bough in children’s homes and realy. Worried as bit unstable at times don’t no why she got people to lie should say anything if so who I love her wot if something serious happens help

  12. Winnie says:

    Hi my daughter has been offered a sports coaching job, working with children, her DBS has come back with a caution from 6 years ago saying handling stolen goods, she had a false number plate on her motorbike, she accepted the caution because she was terrified in the police station, is this not a motoring offence, she is devastated this is her whole career down the pan, which she’s worked towards for the last 3 years I thought it came off after 6 years Kind regards L Lawlet

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