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Subject Access for Employment Purposes

Criminal Records Checks

If a request falls within the category of 'vetting', this goes to the Home Office Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), which is an agency set up by the Government to provide vetting checks for employment purposes. If your work involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children you should contact DBS on their information line 0870 90 90 811 and NOT submit a Subject Access application.

Types of criminal records check

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.

  • Standard (£26) This checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
  • Enhanced (£44) 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 (£44) This is like the enhanced check, but includes a check of the DBS barred lists.

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

Generally, it can take around 8 weeks to get a DBS check.

Basic Checks

It should be noted that there is a 'basic' check available, provided by Disclosure Scotland. They offer a 'basic' level check that is suitable for the majority of employment purposes and, in most cases, it only takes two weeks to receive the response. The 'basic' level check costs £25 and can be applied for online. This check will not show convictions classed as 'spent' under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, unlike a check carried out for Subject Access which lists all of a person's offences regardless of whether or not they are spent.