While background checks are not mandatory for all sectors and jobs in the UK, there are some sectors and positions that need background checks to be carried out for current and prospective employees. There are 3 types of checks available in the UK also called DBS checks – Basic, Standard and Enhanced.
While the Basic check only covers limited information, the Standard and Enhanced are more detailed. Of the three, the Enhanced check covers complete information about the criminal record of an applicant. However, this check is only to be done if the position has the applicant getting in touch with vulnerable adults or children. Some of the sectors where getting an enhanced check is legally required include teachers, social workers, those working in health and foster care etc.
Enhanced checks involve two types of checks. The first is a comprehensive criminal record of the applicant if they have one in the PNC. The second type includes checking the barred list which is divided into two categories one for children and the other for vulnerable adults. The type of enhanced check requested will be subject to the needs of the employer and the work the position entails.
Generally, enhanced checks are more common in the education and healthcare industries, however, there are other industries also starting to include these kinds of checks as part of their employment procedure. These include entertainment, technology, security and logistics etc.
What all information is included in an enhanced DBS check?
As with the other criminal record checks the applicant needs to provide information like legal name, date of birth, previous addresses for 5 years etc. Before an enhanced check is conducted, the employer needs to confirm the documents that are sent for checks to the DBS.
An enhanced check will include the following information:
- Any kind of cautions including conditionals
- Reprimands issued
- Unspent and spent convictions
- Final warnings
- Search the barred list if specifically asked for
- Any additional information that may be on the records of the police database.
Once the search is done if the applicant does not have any kind of criminal record, the certificate will state that there were no records under each category. Like with other types of checks the enhanced check alone will not influence the decision for the employee to be hired as that rest with the employer. After the employer receives the DBS certificate and scrutinises it carefully it is up to them to decide whether they want to hire or decline the applicant.
How long will it take for the completion of an enhanced check?
In the majority of applications completing the enhanced DBS check takes anywhere between 48 hours to two weeks. The certificate is sent by the postal service and should arrive between 4-8 weeks. Although, in some cases, it can take even longer, depending on the information sought. There can be several reasons for these certificates to get delayed. These can range from incorrect to insufficient information provided by the employer or a long backlog of applications to be processed with insufficient staff to get the job done.