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Types of DBS Checks and Who They are For (DBS Eligibility)

****Basic DBS Checks are coming soon (expected October 2017) Click here for more information. ****

1.  Types of Criminal Record Check available

Effective from 10th September 2012, there are 4 levels of Criminal Record Checks available: 

  1. Basic Disclosure Check (sometimes called a Basic DBS Check)
  2. Standard DBS Check
  3. Enhanced DBS Check - excluding barred list check
  4. Enhanced DBS Check - including barred list check - this is for "Regulated Roles" identified within relevant law. 

2.  What Searches are included in each type of DBS Check?

Information Searched

Type of Criminal Record Check


Standard DBS

Enhanced DBS

Enhanced DBS 

(incl. barred list check)

Unspent convictions


Spent convictions


Cautions,Warnings,Reprimands note: this does not include fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, or any other police or other out-of-court disposal


Other relevant police info.


Childrens or Adults barred list


3.  How to Determine if you can obtain a DBS check on a person.

DBS Eligibility criteria is strictly regulated by the law.

DBS Checks can only be obtained for employment/recruitment  purposes and can only be obtained for certain roles.  

Factors to consider when determining if a role is eligible for a DBS check:

3a. Can you obtain a DBS check for your staff member or volunteer?

To be able to obtain any type of DBS check (Standard or Enhanced DBS) you must first check that the position/role of your member of staff or volunteer must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and / or and in Police Act Regulations.  

Roles that meet this criteria are listed in our easy-to-read DBS eligibility guide provided further down this web-page below.

3b.  If you can't obtain a DBS check you can obtain a Basic Disclosure check instead

A Basic Disclosure check is a criminal record check that can be obtained for anyone for any reason.  

It checks for any unspent convictions that a person has.

3c.  Now you've determined that you can obtain a DBS check, which level can you obtain?

-Standard DBS Check 

-Enhanced DBS Check - excluding barred list checks - the role must meet the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.  

Roles that meet this criteria are listed in our easy-to-read eligibility guide below.

-Enhanced DBS Check - including barred list check - this is for "Regulated Roles" identified within the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012).

Roles that meet this criteria are listed in our easy-to-read eligibility guide below.

4.  Other Factors to Consider:

4a.  Volunteers

Roles that meet the DBS definition of a volunteer are eligible for a reduced processing fee.  

Does your role meet the DBS definition of a volunteer?  Click here to find out (Question EL5) or refer to the DBS Volunteer Guidance.

4b.  Workforce Type

The workforce type needs to be entered onto  the DBS Application form.  

What workforce type does your role come under?  Click here to find out (Question EB5) or refer to DBS Workforce Guidance.


Further detail on eligibility criteria for DBS Checks, please refer to the DBS website.

Please note:  This information is for guidance only and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. It is the responsibility of the employer/recruiting organisation to determine if eligibility exists in line with the current legislation.

5.  DBS Eligibility Criteria - Roles which you can obtain a DBS check on

 5a.  Basic Disclosure Check (Basic DBS)

A Basic Disclosure is available to ANYONE throughout the UK, for ANY purpose; for example

A role where it is in the interest of a customer/employer to obtain a criminal record history; e.g: working in a position of trust, or working in premises unsupervised.

Alcohol / personal licence, Visa Applications, Aviation Security sector

Individuals can obtain their own Basic Disclosure check through our sister website:

5b.  Standard DBS Check:

STANDARD DBS Checks are for employers based in England & Wales & should be obtained for...

**NB: This is a summary of eligible roles.  Other roles may be eligible but not detailed here**(

People working in an NHS setting who have contact with patients (not a healthcare role) - Workforce Type = "Child and Adult Workforce".

e.g.: maintenance workers, engineers, trades persons, catering staff, drivers, porters, cleaners, admin

Staff/volunteers who do not provide health care but who have access to personal sensitive medical records about children and vulnerable adults (Workforce Type = "Child and Adult Workforce"); 

e.g.: staff in GP or dental surgeries who do not provide health care e.g: medical receptionist, medical secretary

People involved in the Legal Profession e.g: barrister, solicitor, registered foreign lawyer, legal executive, receiver appointed by the Court of Protection, Judicial appointment, Chartered Legal Executives (CILEx)  - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

Financial Services positions e.g: chartered accountant, certified accountant (FCA Financial Conduct Authority previously called "FSA" and Prudential Regulation Authority; PRA) - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

People working in the Security Industry, Traffic Wardens, Veterinary surgeons- Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

Special Guardians and those aged 18 years old and over living in the same household - Workforce Type: Child Workforce

Those working in the following types of organisations,where they have contact with children as a consequence of carrying out their duties or have access to sensitive or personal information about children:

- Adoption services or agencies, including voluntary adoption services.

- Fostering services or agencies.

- Children’s Homes or residential family centres.

**Any role that is eligible for an Enhanced level DBS, is also eligible to obtain a Standard level DBS check.

5c.  Enhanced DBS Check (excluding barred list check):

ENHANCED DBS Checks are for Employers based in England/Wales & should be obtained for...

**NB: This is a summary of eligible roles.  Other roles may be eligible but not detailed here**(

Staff/volunteers who work with vulnerable adults once a week or more, or 4 days in any 30 day period, or overnight in the following roles (Workforce Type = "Adult Workforce"):

a.     Teaching or training (excl personal care) or

b.    providing advice or guidance.

Staff/volunteers who work once a week or more, or 4 days in any 30 day period, or overnight in (Workforce Type = "Adult Workforce"):

a.     an adult care home or

b.    an adult detention centre (e.g.: prison, remand centre).

Armed security guards working for a government department, for example:  The Home Office - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

To assess an individuals suitability to possess, remove or transfer a weapon or ammunition,to or from others when acting as an armed guard on UK ships - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

To assess if someone is suitable to carry out a role where the work is for National Security Purposes- Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

Members of peer support groups (e.g.: Alcoholics Anonymous) - Workforce Type = "Adult Workforce".

Temporary contractor in a school - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

Volunteer who (Workforce Type = "Child Workforce"):

a)     works with children, and

b)    who is supervised on a day to day, ongoing basis, and

c)     who works in a specified place or in a specified role (see regulated activity below)

Note: Unsupervised volunteers in specified place or specific role  will require the Enhanced CRB incl. barred list check

People in certain positions of responsibility, such as a vulnerable adults' charity (Adult Workforce) or children's charity (Child Workforce) trustee or a school governor

Roles authorized to deliver Probation services - Workforce Type: Adult Workforce

Staff working within the Gambling Commission - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

5d.  Enhanced DBS Check (including child and/or adult barred list check): Regulated Activity

The enhanced check with barred list check(s) is only available for those individuals who are carrying out regulated activity and a small number of positions listed in Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations, for example, prospective adoptive parents and taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licences.

An enhanced level certificate with barred list check(s) contains the same PNC information and check of information held locally by police forces as an enhanced level check but in addition will check against the children’s and/or adult’s barred lists.

ENHANCED DBS Checks are for Employers based in England/Wales & should be obtained for...

**NB: This is a summary of eligible roles.  Other roles may be eligible but not detailed here**(

i.  Regulated Activity in relation to CHILDREN; under 18 year olds (Workforce Type = "Child Workforce"):

Staff/volunteers in relation to CHILDREN (under 18 years old); working (Workforce Type = "Child Workforce"):

a)      unsupervised and

b)      once a week or more, or 4 days in any 30 day period, or overnight and

c)      in a specific role OR in a specified place (see below):


Specific child-related Roles: supervising, caring, teaching, training, instructing, providing advice/guidance, providing therapy/treatment, transporting, providing assistance, moderating a public electronic communication service to be used mainly by children.

Specified Places: educational institution (e.g.: school, under-18 further education), nursery, children’s hospital, detention centre (e.g.: prison, remand centre), children’s home, childcare premises, children’s care home

ii.  Regulated Activity in relation to (VULNERABLE) ADULTS; over 18 year olds (Workforce Type = "Adult Workforce"):

Staff/volunteers engaged in any of the following activities with an ADULT (18+ years old) because of their AGE, ILLNESS or DISABILITY (Workforce Type = "Adult Workforce"):

1.   Provision of Health Care by a regulated healthcare professional, or are acting under the direction or supervision of a regulated healthcare professional, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and physiotherapists.  Health Care roles include:

a.            Physical care, mental health care and palliative care

b.            Diagnostic tests and investigative procedures,

c.            Non-medical procedures such as taking blood (blood donations) and cosmetic surgery,

d.            Psychotherapy and counselling.  This includes the provision of psychotherapy and counselling over the phone. Note: Life coaching is excluded from regulated activity.

e.      First aid, when any person administering the first aid is doing so on behalf of an organisation established for the purpose of providing first aid (for example, St John Ambulance Service), this is regulated activity. This includes first aid given by Community First Responders.                             

Note:  Individuals employed for another purpose who volunteers, or is designated, to be that organisation’s first aider is not in regulated activity. For example, a person who works in a department store whose role includes being a first aider is not engaging in regulated activity.

Exclusions to supervision of healthcare:  Staff in GP surgeries or dental practices who do NOT provide health care (for example, medical receptionist) is NOT classified as regulated activity - a Standard level DBS check will be sufficient; please refer to Standard eligibility criteria above(.

2.   Providing Personal Care:

a.            Assisting or prompting an adult with:

-               eating, drinking, washing, bathing, dressing, oral care, skin/nail care

b.            Training, instructing, or offering advice or guidance to an adult in relation to personal care

c.            Supervising someone providing personal care

3.   Providing Social Work; activities of regulated social workers (relevant social work has the meaning given by section 55(4) of the Care Standards Act 2000 and a social care worker by virtue of section 55(2)(a) of that act))); including:

a.            Assessing/reviewing the need for health or social care services

b.            Providing support

4.   Assistance with general household matters (day to day assistance in relation to the running of a household of the person concerned where the assistance is the carrying out of one or more of the following activities):

a.            Managing a person’s cash

b.            Paying a person’s bills

c.            Assistance with shopping

5.   Assistance in the conduct of a persons own affairs:

a.            Lasting/enduring power of attorney (not including family)

b.            Appointed adult’s deputy

c.            Independent mental health advocate

d.            Independent mental capacity advocate

e.            Providing independent advocacy services

f.             receiving payments on behalf of an adult under the Social Security Administration act

g.      an order by the court of protection

6.   Transporting / Conveying:

a.      Drivers or assistants transporting adults because of the age, illness or disability to, from or between places where they receive healthcare, personal care or social work (not including family, friends).  

This includes:  

    • Hospital porters
    • Patient Transport Service drivers and assistants
    • Ambulance Technicians
    • Emergency Care Assistants.


iii.  Other activities requiring barred list check:

A day to day manager or supervisor of somebody engaging in Regulated Activity (see ii and iii above) with children or adults

The following Child-related roles,  even if done only once (without time constraints specified above) - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce":

·       Assisting an ill or disabled child to eat or drink

·       Assisting a child that is ill, disabled or required due to age with toileting, washing, bathing or dressing

·       Health care to children: (treatment/therapy) all forms of physical / mental health healthcare incl. palliative care

People communicating with children by telephone, internet or other electronic means (once a week or more, or 4 days in any 30 day period, or overnight) - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

Foster Carers - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

Family or friends of Foster Carers who live in the foster carer’s home - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce"

Prospective adoptive parents or special guardians and anyone aged 18 and over who lives in the adoptive or special guardian household - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

A person living at the premises where a childminding or day care service is provided or who regularly works on the premises at a time when the childminding takes place - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

Childminder agencies (effective from Sept 2014):

  • registration as a childminder agency or managing a childminder agency
  • Registered Childminders or Child-Carers
  • prospective childminders or childcare providers
  • or anyone over the age of 16 who lives or works in the premises where the childminding or childcare takes place and has the opportunity to have contact with the children
  • work relating to a childminder agency in a quality assurance role visiting day care or childminding premises.

Roles that provide hosting for under 18 year olds - Workforce Type = "Child Workforce".

Applicants for a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) license (child and adults barred lists) - Workforce Type = "Other Workforce".

Please note:  The above is for guidance only and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. It is the responsibility of the employer/recruiting organisation to determine if eligibility exists in line with the current legislation. 


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