DBS checks – what happens if you do not have a clear certificate

DBS checks – what happens if you do not have a clear certificate

If you are seeking a childcare position in England or Wales, you will be required to have a DBS check. This is a check of your criminal record by the Disclosure and Barring Service. For these purposes, there are three types of DBS checks: standard, enhanced and enhanced DBS with list check.

Standard DBS check

This shows details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on central police records. It does not include protected convictions and cautions, which are those convictions and cautions that are removed from a criminal record via a process called “filtering”.

Enhanced DBS check

This shows details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on central police records. It also includes any additional information held on local police records that are reasonably considered relevant to the job in question. It does not include protected convictions and cautions.

Enhanced DBS with list check

This is the same as an enhanced DBS check with the addition of a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service children and adults barred list. The barred list is a list of people who are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Will a criminal record stop me from getting a job working with children?

Not necessarily. The precise answer depends on the type of offence, the time that has elapsed since it was committed and whether the offence is relevant to the role for which you are applying.

Some convictions and cautions will always show up on a DBS check. You can refer to the full list here but some of the most common include certain sexual offences, ABH, GBH, robbery, affray, safeguarding offences and offences relating to the supply of drugs.

Whether or not other offences appear depends on a number of factors.

A caution will be filtered and consequently not appear on a DBS certificate if:

  • it is for an offence that is not included on the list of offences that will never be filtered;
  • it was received when you were under the age of 18 and a minimum of two years have elapsed since the date of the caution; or
  • it was received when you were 18 or older and a minimum of six years have elapsed since the date of the caution.

 

A conviction will appear on a DBS certificate if:

  • it is for an offence on the list of offences that will never be filtered;
  • it resulted in a custodial sentence; or
  • you have been convicted of more than one offence (whether or not this was at the same court appearance).

 

A conviction will not appear on a DBS certificate if:

  • you received a non-custodial sentence for a single offence that is not on the list of offences that will never be filtered; and
  • with regards to convictions imposed when you were under 18 years of age, a minimum of five and a half years have elapsed since the date of the conviction; or
  • with regards to convictions imposed when you were 18 years of age or older, a minimum of eleven years have elapsed since the date of the conviction

 

What if my DBS certificate contains wrong or irrelevant information?

Your DBS certificate is sent to you, not to your prospective employer. This gives you the opportunity to check its contents and to apply to challenge any wrong or irrelevant information. You can do this by completing a certificate dispute form, which asks the Disclosure and Barring Service to carry out a review of the contents of the certificate. You must do this within three months of the date of the certificate. The police may then decide to remove or amend the contested information, in which case the DBS will send you a new DBS certificate. If the police decide not to remove or amend the contested information, the matter will be referred to the Independent Monitor. If the Independent Monitor agrees with you, they will direct the DBS to issue an amended certificate. If the Independent Monitor does not agree with you, you would need to seek the assistance of a public law solicitor.