New basic checks for England and Wales


In October 2017, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) started the transitioning process of the basic checks from Disclosure Scotland to cover England and Wales. By the end of 2017 the DBS on boarded all their Responsible Organisations, so candidates have been able to apply for basic DBS checks through Responsible Organisations.

From 17th January, candidates who need a basic check for a job in England or Wales, should apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). However, candidates who need a basic check for a job in Scotland should apply to Disclosure Scotland. If candidates want a check for personal reasons rather than work purposes, they should request the check from the relevant organisation in their area – DBS if they live in England or Wales and  Disclosure Scotland if they live in Scotland.

On the 17th January the DBS have launched their online application route for individuals on the GOV.UK website. 

Now the DBS service for basic checks is online-only with two application routes: one for individual customers and one for organisations that wish to process applications in bulk via Responsible Organisations. The online application route for individuals is for their use only, with security validation that only they can complete. The individual application route is set up to enable the applicant to pay by either credit or debit card in a single transaction. Organisation applying for a basic check on behalf of an employee or someone else, can use a ‘Responsible Organisation’ (RO) – a third party registered with DBS.

It is important that individuals and organisations send checks to the appropriate organisation, DBS or Disclosure Scotland, so that the correct Rehabilitation of Offenders (ROA) Act rules are applied. There is a risk of legal action if incorrect ROA rules are applied and impact a recruitment decision. 

Thanks to the improvements introduced by the DBS, approximately 50% of checks require no human intervention to complete and in some cases results are issued within 2 minutes. This new online system is anticipated to have a great impact on the efficiency of the safeguarding work carried out by the DBS.



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