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Criminal background checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service enables employers to access the criminal record history of people working or looking to work in certain positions, especially those that involve working with vulnerable groups.

We are a registered body with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We provide a criminal record checking service, which supports our recruitment process and provides an umbrella body service for non-registered organisations. We act as an intermediary between umbrella organisations and the DBS, offering support that helps speed up the process.

For those individuals working in certain positions, a valid DBS disclosure is a legal requirement. Some may also need a subsequent check of the children and adults barred lists. The barred lists contain details of individuals who have harmed or pose a risk of harm to vulnerable groups including children. Individuals on the lists are, by law, prevented from working with these groups. It is a criminal offence for barred individuals to apply to work with vulnerable groups and for employers to knowingly employ them.

There are different types of check available. The level is dependent on the area of work that an individual is involved or the level of contact with vulnerable groups.

We have a secure online system (e-Bulk) for processing DBS checks. Our online system provides the following benefits:

  • faster recruitment times as faster processing of application reduces the time taken to recruit
  • system validation and mandatory fields ensures that online forms are fully completed prior to being submitted to the DBS team
  • tracking of applications throughout the lifecycle of the application
  • secure transfer and retention of the applicant's personal data via the system, rather than sent through the post

For any DBS checks carried out on paper forms please refer to the guidance attached to this page.

More information on DBS Disclosures and those eligible for a DBS check can be found on the DBS website.