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Disclosure and Barring Service

Disclosure and Barring Service LogoThe Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) aims to help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. DBS checks identify candidates who may be unsuitable to work with children or other vulnerable people. The force's dedicated DBS disclosure team checks locally held details for applicants on behalf of the national DBS.

The team deals with between 4,000 and 5,000 DBS applications a month. Application numbers continue to grow as more organisations take advantage of the checks available.

There are 3 types of check. The employer or organisation running the check should provide the applicant with more information about the level of check required.

DBS check applicants must be 16 or over.

The time it takes to process a DBS check depends on:

  • The level of check.
  • If the details given for the check are correct.
  • What police forces need to be involved in the check.


This checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.


This includes the same as the standard check plus any additional information held by local police that's reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for.

Enhanced with list checks

This is like the enhanced check, but includes a check of the DBS barred lists.

Jobs that involve carrying out certain activities for children and adults may require an enhanced DBS check with a check of the barred lists.

This will check whether someone's included in the 2 DBS 'barred lists' (previously called ISA barred lists) of individuals who are unsuitable for working with:

  • children
  • adults

People on the barred lists can't do certain types of work.

There are specific rules for working with children- known as working in a regulated activity with children. These are different from the rules for regulated activities for adults.

For more details on making an application visit the Disclosure and Barring Service website.