Criminal records

Disclosure and Barring Service

There are three types of DBS checks. Standard, Enhanced and Enhanced with list checks.

Standard DBS check

This check covers spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. This check is not sufficient for people wishing to work in childcare.

Enhanced DBS check

This check covers all of the checks in the standard DBS check and any additional information held locally by police forces that's reasonably considered relevant to the post applied for.

Enhanced DBS with lists check

This check covers all the checks of an enhanced check but also includes a check to ensure the individual is not listed on the two DBS "barred lists". The two barred lists record individuals who are not suitable for working with 1.children and 2.adults.

The enhanced DBS check was previously known as an enhanced CRB check.


The update service

Any check can be registered with the update service. This eliminates the need to carry out a new check when moving jobs within the same workforce. The holder of the check can provide information to prospective employers which allows them to check that there have been no changes to the checks.


Why certain employees need a DBS check

Normally, employers are not allowed to ask job applicants about any spent criminal convictions, but for certain jobs, such as childcare which requires a DBS check, this rule does not apply. Childcare jobs are covered but section 40 and 41 of the DBS eligibility guidance.


Why is a DBS check necessary?

Jobs that involve caring for, supervising or being in sole charge of children or adults require an enhanced DBS check. It is against the law for employers to employ someone or allow them to volunteer in this kind of work if they're on one of the barred lists. 

This also applies to employment agencies and employment business.

Individuals however cannot do a criminal records check on themselves. Nannies and childcarers are able to obtain a DBS check through a Nanny Agency and with the Update Service are able to pay a fee to allow prospective employers to directly verify the status of their DBS check with the DBS.


DBS checks and OFSTED

Nannies and childcarers wishing to register with OFSTED can apply through the CAPITA portal at using the code OFSTEP, no password required. Applications submitted through CAPITA must be countersigned to verify your identity. As a general rule if somebody is able to sign a passport application they are able to verify your identity for a DBS e.g. doctor, teacher, Minister of Religion, Police Officer. OFSTED require your DBS to be registered with the Update service. If it is not registered you will need to obtain another check. Checks registered on the Update service and carried out by organisations other than CAPITA are accepted but you will need to submit your DBS to OFSTED so that they can check the information disclosed.


Disclosure and Barring Service

Information Line: 0870 90 90 811

For more details information visit Disclosure and Barring Service

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