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The Different Types of DBS Checks


We’re quite commonly asked about the different levels of DBS checks as it can be confusing to decipher. Therefore, we thought it might be useful to break down the different DBS checks that you can secure for your staff, to give you a more of an understanding of which one would be right for your organisation and hiring procedures.

What is a DBS?

A DBS check is an official record which states a person’s criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings. These are important because this lets employers find out whether a candidate is suitable to work in their organisation. DBS checks are required for a number of sectors, but most commonly they are needed when a potential employee will be working with vulnerable groups like children or the elderly.

What are the different levels?


This is the lowest DBS check level that details any unspent convictions. All individuals and employers can ask for this information as there is no eligibility criteria to obtain the certificate. Many different types of industries use basic disclosures to ensure their candidate is fit for employment. However, many roles will require a higher level of DBS check.


This is a higher level of DBS check, and the certificate will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which are not subject to filtering. Standard DBS checks can only be undertaken if the specific role, or the specific activities conducted within the role are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, an example of roles requiring a Standard Level Check are certain financial services positions. To check whether a position needs a Standard DBS you can either use the DBS eligibility tool or get in touch here with our helpful eSafeguarding team.


The enhanced DBS check is similar to the standard but is used for roles with a higher level of responsibility that fall under both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Police Act 1997, which is prevalent in sectors like education and health and social care. The certificate will contain the same details as a standard certificate, but it may also contain non-conviction information supplied by relevant police forces if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate. However, employers must request this certificate on behalf of the candidate. To check whether a position needs an Enhanced DBS you can either use the DBS eligibility tool or get in touch here with our helpful eSafeguarding team.

People working with children or adults that undertake Regulated Activity with them would also need a check of the associated Barred List. The Children’s Barred List check would also be required for certain individuals that live or work in premises where childminding takes place or live-in fostering households.

Regulated Activity guidance can be found here and here.

As you can see, all three levels address different needs and help to give a clear picture to employers of who they’re hiring. If you have any questions about the level of DBS you might require, be sure to get in touch with our friendly team on 0115 911 1177 or email info@www.esafeguarding.co.uk so we can guide you on the correct type for any current and future employees.

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