What Does a DBS Check Show Up? Convictions & Cautions Guide

What does a DBS Check show up before you start a new job? If you’re concerned about a criminal record check, our guide will look at the different checks and detail what shows up on them.

The Basic check will not be as detailed or as probing as the other three levels of DBS check.

The Disclosure and Barring Service is there to help employers find the right candidates for their job roles. The service is there to keep vulnerable people,  such as children, safe in their environment.

DBS checks cover England, Wales, The Channel Islands and the Isle Of Man. These types of checks were previously called CRB checks and some individuals will still have this type.

Whilst a Basic check will show up details of any convictions, the Standard and Enhanced checks will contain details on both spent and unspent convictions.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS Check lets employers check the criminal record of someone applying for a job. An employer has the right to request possible candidates have a DBS check carried out before they begin their job role.

The Disclosure and Barring Service is there to offer protection for the Employer and any vulnerable people such as the elderly. Employers can check any previous crimes you may have committed so that they can make a well-informed decision on hiring you or not.

Some types of checks are more thorough than others and the one you need depends on your job title and what your potential employer requires.

Certain job roles require a DBS check such as childminding, and a childminder cannot start work without one.

There are 4 levels of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, Enhanced and Enhanced With Barred List(s). 

What Does a Basic DBS Check Show?

A basic DBS check shows any unspent criminal activity or conditional cautions that are held on your record. If you have old convictions or cautions which are now spent, they will not show up.

The amount of time it takes for convictions and cautions to not show up on a basic DBS check will vary depending on your age at the time, and the type of offence. Some types of conviction will always be disclosed. You can find out more about rehabilitation periods on the UK Gov site.

What Does a Standard DBS Check Show?

A standard DBS will show details of both spent and unspent convictions held on your record. A standard check also includes any cautions and warnings you may have received. Youth cautions, reprimands, and warnings will not show up.

However, recent changes to UK law mean some offences will be filtered. These are also referred to as protected cautions or convictions.

Some types of offence will be filtered after an appropriate period of time has passed. However, cautions or convictions for serious offences which would pose a safeguarding risk will always be shown on a standard DBS check.

What Does an Enhanced DBS Check Show?

An enhanced DBS check will show the same information on convictions and cautions as a standard check. It will also contain other information from police records that might be relevant to the job role.

For example, an arrest for a crime which might pose a safeguarding issue could show on an enhanced DBS check. Enhanced DBS checks are mainly used in the childcare and healthcare industries.

Due to the importance of safeguarding within these industries, this information could be considered relevant to the job role even if a conviction was never made.

Enhanced With Barred Lists DBS Check: This check is basically all the information included in the above Enhanced check but it also has one or both of the Barred Lists. People on the barring list may have an automatic barring offence, a disclosure or a referral.

What Does a DBS Check Always Show?

Below are some examples of what will always show up on a DBS Check. The information returned will depend on which of the 4 levels of check you are undergoing. For higher levels of check, old arrests which did not lead to a conviction could also be disclosed.

  • Offences involving extreme violence such as GBH, ABH & affray.
  • Involvement in supplying drugs.
  • Offences of a sexual nature.
  • Safeguarding offences.

There are over 1,000 offences which will always show on a DBS check. You can review the full list of offences on the UK Government website.

DBS Filtering Rules

From 28th November 2020, there were new rules introduced around DBS filtering which means while some cautions and convictions will be displayed, others may not automatically be included.

This filtering process means that some offences may remain protected and won’t be disclosed on a standard or enhanced check.

The Police National Computer (PNC) will automatically show any information relating to all convictions for specified convictions, adult cautions for specified offences and any convictions that resulted in a custodial sentence.

One of the key changes to disclosures includes youth offences such as reprimands and final warnings which will now not be included. In addition to this, eligible offences can be filtered out of checks as long as the correct period has passed.

List of Offences That Will be Filtered (Non-Specified)

The following offences will not show on a DBS check once the qualifying period has passed. The time for them to stop showing up on your check will depend age when convicted or cautioned.

  • Shoplifting
  • Common assault
  • Theft
  • Drunk and disorderly charges
  • Possession of Class B drugs
  • Criminal damage

List of Offences That Will Never Be Filtered (Specified)

It does not matter how much time passes, these types convictions will always show up on a DBS check.

  • Safeguarding offences
  • Sexual offences
  • Many violence charges
  • Drug supply offences
  • Kidnapping
  • Civil offences
  • Terrorist charges
  • Threatening convictions

Spent Convictions & Cautions

Convictions and cautions from the “Non Specified” list will no longer show up on a DBS check after a period of time.

  • Informed Warnings: Remains on your criminal record for 12 months for both adults and under 18 years of age.
  • Cautions: This will stay on an adult’s record for 6 years and a child’s record for 2 years.
  • Diversionary Youth Conference: A guilty verdict under 18 years old will have this detailed on their check for 2 years.
  • Convictions for non-specified offences: Over 18 years will have this filtered after 11 years and under 18 years after 5.5 years.
  • Cautions for non-specified offences: Filtered after 6 years for over 18s and 2 years for under 18s.

Our more detailed guide looking at what cautions will show up on a DBS check has more information on cautions and filtering.

If you are concerned about driving offences showing up on a DBS check, our detailed guide looks at what will and won’t be recorded.

When starting a new job, you might be asked to do other types of pre employment screening. Our guide takes a look at what to expect.


Does a caution show on a DBS check?

Some cautions may be filtered out if they are considered minor and in the past. Cautions may show up on a DBS check depending on what the caution was for and how long ago it occurred.

Do spent convictions show on enhanced DBS?

In some cases, spent convictions won’t be disclosed on a DBS and will be filtered. These details, however, will not be wiped from the police’s records.

Do arrests show on enhanced DBS?

Any arrests or charges may well show up on an enhanced DBS. That means it is worth being prepared to answer any questions your employer may have. Answering honestly will give you the best chance at satisfying your new potential employer and won’t necessarily mean you will not get offered the job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *