Q&A Series – DBS Eligibility – Veriphy Home

Q&A Series – DBS Eligibility

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“How do I decide which level of DBS check my applicant requires?”

Stay compliant- Disclosure and Barring Service- Code of Practice

Veriphy is committed to ensuring that firms and businesses across the UK have ample knowledge of the legality of the Disclosure and Barring Service, to help you stay compliant with the DBS code of practice when carrying out criminal record checks.

We understand the process of deciding which level of check someone requires can be somewhat obscure as there are numerous prerequisites that fall into each disclosure.

However, the most important thing to remember is that an organisation cannot decide for themselves that standard or enhanced DBS checks are required for every person that it employs. Rather, the decision of which level of DBS check is needed is largely based upon the nature and responsibility of the specific job role.

As an employer, there is a legal requirement that you determine the eligibility of your employees against the guidelines of the different levels of disclosures. You must use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that each application submitted is eligible for the level of check you have requested.

If you are found to run in-depth DBS checks without reason, you could be at risk of breaking the law.

What's the difference?

The law

The Rehabilitations of Offenders Act 1974 was passed to protect individuals with minor convictions. This meant that those who have passed the rehabilitation period and did not re-offend do not have to disclose their criminal background.

However, it was decided that some professions and job roles needed to fall outside these protection measures. The Exceptions Order 1975 was passed to allow employers the right to, under certain circumstances, request information of unspent and spent criminal information. These distinctions have led to three main levels of disclosures…


Basic: Shows the candidates' convictions and cautions which are not spent.

Standard: Shows the details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and final warnings held on police records.

Enhanced: Normally reserved for those working with children or vulnerable adults. Involves an additional check under the DBS children’s and adults barred lists.

Veriphy's Key Points to Consider...


  1. The level of check needed is determined by the nature and responsibilities of each individual job role and is not necessarily determined by an organisation.
  2. Any employer can request a basic DBS check for a candidate, and it is suitable for all sectors.
  3. Standard checks include roles that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and are normally reserved, for example, FCA ‘approved persons’ roles, entering the profession of Solicitors/Barrister, actuary, chartered accountant e.c.t
  4. Enhanced checks include roles exempt from the Rehabilitations of Offenders Act and included in Police Act Regulations. Normally includes roles which work with children and vulnerable adults such as teachers, social workers, NHS professionals, carers e.c.t

Both online and offline DBS services are available to access via Veriphy's secure system

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