Protect Your Business: Get Interviewees DBS Checked!


Are you a small to medium business owner or perhaps a budding entrepreneur? Then it’s likely that you’ll be dedicating a lot of your time and money to your work, and you’ll want to ensure your efforts pay off.

You’ve probably thought about insurance and finance, but have you considered the legalities of hiring staff? It’s not as simple as just hiring the best person for the job. Here we’ll tell you all about pre-employment screening and how it can protect your business.

What is a DBS Check and Why Do You Need Them?

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, formerly known as a CRB check, is a form of background screening carried out by employers to ensure a job applicant is legally allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults.

There are three types of DBS check you can register for. These are:

Basic Disclosure Check – This is a check with Disclosure Scotland, which will detail any unspent criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. Anyone can apply for a basic disclosure, for any purpose, as they aren’t job specific.

Standard DBS Check – This is a little more in-depth. A standard DBS check will detail any spent or unspent criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings stored on the Police National Computer.

Enhanced CBS Check – The most detailed of the three, an enhanced DBS check covers the same as the standard version, with the addition of checks with local police to see if there is anything they feel is relevant to the position being applied for.

If you knowingly refrain from running these checks when required, you will be breaking the law. As will the person seeking the position once they engage in any regulated activity.

Who Do You Need to DBS Check?

As an employer you are legally required to run a DBS check if the position in question is a profession included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and prescribed in the Police Act 1997. You can see if the position you are hiring for is one of these by reading the DBS eligibility document here.

These checks apply to any paid or unpaid staff and volunteers who will be working for you, including any governing boards or trustees.

Please note: An individual can only do a basic level disclosure on themselves, an employer must apply on their behalf for DBS checks in line with current legislation.

Should You Run Any Other Checks on Potential Employees?

There are a number of different background screening checks available for more specific job areas, such as a FCA screening for the financial industry or Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) for the security screening. However, in the majority of cases a criminal check alone is suitable. You can check this on the Disclosure and Barring Service website here.

Besides criminal background checks you may also decide to carry out pre-employment vetting to ensure a job applicant hasn’t lied on their CV. A screening service provider will be able to run the appropriate checks and verify an individual’s qualifications and work history for you.

Validating a person’s ID and right to work in the UK is also important because if you hire an individual who isn’t legally allowed to work in the UK, you can receive a civil penalty and be fined anywhere up to £20,000. This huge amount could cripple a small business, so stay protected and run the appropriate checks!

So, get interviewees DBS checked and verify their highest qualifications. It may cost you a small price now, but it could save you, vulnerable groups and your company in the future. And can you really put a price on safety?

(image: thetaxhaven under CC BY 2.0)

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