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DBS check – What is it?

DBS check – What is it?

Criminal record checks have been around for some time helping employers to find suitable people to work with children and vulnerable groups. However, this process has become increasingly complicated and lengthy so the government has replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Moneymagpie explains all you need to know about the DBS.

What is a DBS check?

moneymagpie_working-with-childrenThe Disclosure and Barring Service replaces both the Criminal Records Burea (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). It is a way for an employer to verify a prospective or current employee’s response to the question “Do you have any criminal convictions?”

Usually, you only really need a DBS check if you are planning on working with vulnerable people and children- other jobs might not require this.

Your employers would apply to have a check done on your behalf. A DBS check will determine whether or not it is appropriate for a person to be a placed or removed from a barred list in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When a check has been processed by the DBS and completed the employer and individual will receive a DBS certificate.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974, criminals who have served a prison sentence of less than two and a half years and do not re-offend during a set ‘rehabilitation’ period after their release will have their conviction spent, which means it doesn’t show up any more and is no longer relevant when the person is being considered for most jobs.



Who should get a DBS check?

moneymagpie_DBS-check-what-is-it_working-with-children(2)Generally speaking, if you plan on working with children or vulnerable people you will probably need a DBS check. Employers may wish to look at the DBS eligibility guidance list which runs down most roles that are eligible for a check. However, the guidance isn’t comprehensive, and you should contact the DBS if you’re unsure.

If you’re the person being checked, your potentially new employer will give you a form to fll in and return to them along with documents proving your identity such as a passport, current driving licence and proof of address.  You can find more information on what documents are accepted here.


How do DSB checks work?

Employers should only arrange a DBS check on a successful job applicant. They can withdraw a job offer if the results show anything that would make the applicant unsuitable. These are the basic steps for an employer who wants to perform a DBS check:

  1. Get the application form from DBS or your umbrella body.
  2. Ask the candidate to fill in the application form.
  3. Send the application form to your umbrella body or DBS.
  4. If your organisation is registered with DBS the counter signatory has to sign the form. DBS will send you a certificate.

There are several parts to the DBS, here is a quick breakdown:

Disclosure:Nurse and elderly man spending time togetherThe DBS searches police records and barred list information before deciding to give the applicant a certificate giving them approval to work with children and vulnerable people.

The applicant would then give this certificate to your employer so they can make an informed decision about hiring you.

The certificate will contain extremely sensitive and personal information so there is a code of practice for recipients so you know the information is being handled fairly and used properly.

Referrals:  Referrals are made to the DBS if an employer or an organisation such as a regulatory body has concerns that a person could harmful or be a future risk to vulnerable groups including children. In this case, the employer must make the referral to the DBS as it’s not obligatory for regulatory bodies.

Barring This is a critical bit of the DBS check because if you are barred, your employer might not consider you appropriate for the role. The DBS do try and make the baring decisions as fair as they can be, looking into each individual case.

There are two main ways a case can reach them.

1. Autobars

There are two types of automatic barring cases, firstly where a person has been cautioned or convicted for a ‘relevant offence’ and barred without representation offences. Secondly, you could face being on the barred list an automatic bar if you will be placed on the barred list if you have representation offences.

However you might be considered by the DBS if you have representational offences. Automatic barring can also occur regardless of whether you are currently or have previously worked with children and vulnerable groups.

2. Referrals

As mentioned this is put forward by an employer or organisation rather than the individual.

moneymagpie_DBS-check-what-is-it_referralA registered body is an organisation that has the right to ask the questions that are exempt under the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act or can countersign on the behalf of another organisation who are themselves entitled to ask these questions. Basically they’re in charge of making sure that your application is kosher and will countersign it once they’ve processed it to say that all your information is genuine. Before they do this they will:

  • Check and validate the information you give them
  • Make sure you are who you say you are
  • Check that your application form is correctly filled in and that you haven’t told any porkies

Make sure that the application process complies with the DBS’s code of practice.



What’s the difference between the CRB and the DBS?

The DBS replaced the CRB in December 2012 to make the process more efficient and simpler. Unlike the CRB, the DBS has a new system meaning that for the first time, individuals will be able to apply to have their criminal record check kept up to date and employers will be able to go online to see if the information released is still current and valid.

The new online service – costing £13 a year to keep your criminal record up to date online – comes into effect from June 17. This means you can take the certificate with you from role to role, within the same workforce, without having to apply for a new one each time. When subscribing to this service, you would only have to seek a new criminal record check if the system tells you something has changed.


How do I get a DBS check?

You can’t do a criminal records check on yourself.  For individuals who are self-employed, getting a DBS check is difficult. If you need to run a check on yourself, you can get a ‘basic disclosure’ with details of any unspent convictions from Disclosure Scotland. You can also get checked through an organisation you belong to, like your church or a sports club, whereby they act as your third party.

You can also get your check with the UK Umbrella service which provides checks for the self-employed. However if you cannot get your hands on the DBS check, a good alternative is a Subject Access Report which you can obtain by filling out a form online or going down to your local police station. The report costs £10 and shows anything that is on your record. It should take around four weeks to process.


How much do DBS checks costs?

There are three types of check each with a different price.

Type of check and cost What it will check for How long it normally takes
Standard – £26 Spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, final warnings About two weeks
Enhanced – £44 As above – plus any additional information held locally by police forces that’s reasonably considered relevant to the post applied for About four weeks
Enhanced with list checks – £44 As above – plus a check of the appropriate DBS barred lists About four weeks

However, on top of these charges you will pay administration fees which will vary according to the different Registered Bodies, but are usually in the region of £20 plus VAT.

  • DBS checks are only valid in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For Scotland you must get your check done by Disclosure Scotland. All checks carried out cost £25.


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318 responses to “DBS check – What is it?”

  1. Lewisstacey says:

    Hi, my daughter was beaten up in university by her ex partner and he is due to attend court, he has since stated she pulled his hair in a night club and has made a complaint to the police, they have advised she will probably receive a minor caution, she has not been interviewed yet, however she is studying a teaching course and attends a school as part of the course. How will this caution affect her, will she be kicked out of UNi, is there anyway she can get of the caution, he didn’t receive any injuries and no complaint was made until after the incident with him
    Beating her up

  2. jade says:

    I am currently studying for a degree in social policy and hope to teach within the prison sector.I am worried however as i was arrested in connection to my ex partner for some serious offences i.e kidnap.I was never charge with it as it was clear I had no involvement.Will employers be able to hold this against me when applying for jobs and should i explain the circumstances before hand?

  3. don1 says:

    I want to teach. I’ve got my Ba and plenty of experience in that field But everywhere I go there is a crb check . Also my convictions are all spent years and years ago. This crb initially started as a prevention for child abuse and guess what. I really think this Nazi state had something else in mind- long term when they started this assult on a large portion of the population.

    When I say large ‘portion of the population’ I mean the “working Class.” Even at university Benjamin and Jemima did not want to compete with me as a working class hero- from the deprived and depraved inner London council estate. This is all I can see. middle and upper class people DO NOT have to suffer from the same amount of ignorance that I had to to get to where I am today. Therefore the crb check is a classist act.

    • mick says:

      I totally agree with you. The CRB check is classist and also rascist against the Indidinous population. I just read about an immigrant mass murder who was working in a nursing home, he must have had a check but obviously they haven’t got records for immigrants.
      I just got my check back and it has an offence on from 1973 when I was a child.
      They have destroyed my life and hopes for the future.

  4. says:

    This has been a usefull resource for our customers.

  5. mick says:

    I would like a career change which would involve working with vulnerable adults.
    I have a few minor convictions from over 30 years ago each resulting in a small fine. I haven’t had anything since and consider
    myself as a decent citizen.
    Will I be allowed to work with vulnerable adults or do you think I should give up on the idea?

  6. Alicia Boyce says:

    Hi, I’m currently gaining a volunteering position and I need to do an enhanced disclosure CRB check. When I was 14 (not proud of this) I hung out with some kids and we drunk alcohol etc. Some neighbours called the police and to be honest I’m not sure what it was they gave me, all I know is that the reason was “anti-social behaviour”, they gave me this card and left. Now I’m 20, but 1) what was it? And 2) do I have to say yes on the convictions, reprimands and cautions section of the form?

  7. Nick says:

    for how long does an allegation appear on the other relevant information of my CRB? what if i have moved to another city for the last five years?

  8. jay says:

    can empoyers get hold of any statements or more detailed information from the police apart from what come up on my crb check?

  9. Kate says:

    hello, i am at university now and i am hoping eventually to get a career in social work, prison work, teaching, working with vunerable adults/children etc, all these things you need a CRB check for. i already hold a CRB check as i volunteer at a youth group for disabled children. however i have been wondering if when i come to apply for jobs if my any convictions of my partner will show up?
    if they will if we live together or only if were married etc.
    or if certain convictions would show up e.g. sex offences and not others e.g. robbery, things like this
    is anyone able to help me out as i have looked everywhere for this information and cannot find anything anywhere!
    thanks, kate x

    • jay says:

      no only ur convictions will come up as it is you they are employing not ur partner.

      • Me says:

        Actually, it depends. If your partner has a past conviction for, say, theft, then no, it won’t show up. However, if your boyfriend is some Mr Big crimelord, or has a relevant offense, then you will probably be known to the police as a “known associate”. This will appear on the final section of an Enhanced Disclosure, under the section where the police can declare other information they think is relevant. If you want o work with kids, but are living with a paedophile, that’s relevant information.

  10. PB says:

    I run an area at music festivals and have been contacted by some individuals who want to do a kids workshop session. Two of them already have CRB checks, but i was wondering how i’d go about getting checks for others. They are not being payed for this, but will be receiving a budget for materials/bits and pieces.

    I would also like to get a check done for myself… When I was 17 I got caught taking a look inside a phone cab box and as i had removed some dessicant silicone gell bags was cautioned for the theft of “variuous dessicant silicone gell bags”. This was over 10 years ago. A couple of years ago I had to sign an admittance of possession of cannabis form for the police for a very small lump of cannibis but received no caution or conviction. Both these acts are not something i am proud of but I fear they are going to haunt me for life…

    Will these show up on either level of the CRB checks?

    What comes back from the CRB check?> Does it say pass or fail, or does it include information and then the company has to make the decision on whether that person is safe to be round kids?


  11. Phoebe says:

    Hi. I have applied for a job in the prison service (office/admin work) and been offered the job pending ECRB check. Last year I broke up with my partner and during the breakup I phoned his parents house where he was staying, 3 or 4 times in an hour because he wouldnt pick up the phone. His mother phoned the police who then came to my house because she said I was harrassing her. I didn’t have to go to the station and I didn’t sign anything, they just asked me not to phone her house again. Is this a caution? And more importantly will it show up on my CRB check? I didn’t even think of it when I was filling in the form and I think I should have disclosed it. I’m now worried that I’m going to lose out on this great job because of this silly thing that I should have remembered. Any advice appreciated.

  12. Sharon says:

    I have just been appointed in a position at my local council. The role is subject to an enhanced CRB check which I am just filling out the form for. My question is that in 2004 I got a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt, I paid the fine and thought no more of it. However when I moveed here 4 months ago and updated my driving license etc, I received a letter stating that the fine was still outstanding! I hadn’t heard anything in all this time and didnt have anything to prove I paid it due to the time. When I rang, the girl on the phone said a warrant had been issued for my arrest! I therefore just paid the fine again. I wanted to know if this will show on my enhanced CRB check or not. I realise it isnt a criminal conviction however wanted to check.

  13. Ade says:

    I had a conviction in 1999 for which I served a 100 hours community service. My understanding is that the conviction has now been spent. I have had a sucessful career in the City and I am currently doing my MBA.
    I am now looking into applying for jobs abroad (Asia, Australia etc) but a question that keeps popping up is “Have you ever been convicted in a court of law in any country?”.
    What should I answer to this question?
    Will the embassies do a CRB check?
    Does having a criminal record (spent) mean I will be denied a working visa?
    Should I answer ‘No’ as my conviction is spent?
    Please help me.

    • Anon says:

      Under the ROA act your conviction became spent in 2004 but really It’s a tricky one and very much dependent on the country you are going to.

      As I understand it, the US would require you to cough up convictions that are spent as well as unspent.

      However, Australia would require only a basic certificate so your con wouldn’t show.

  14. lol says:

    please help….my son got into alot of trouble when he was 15 and had a few convictions for assault on lads his own age but was not sent to prison,he is now 20 and has been out of trouble since 15.he has passed all his plumbing nvq2 and has worked for the same company since he was 16.they have now done a crb check which he did tell them about his past and have said they have to finish him as some of the jobs are in schools.he is gutted as he is not working alone with children or anything like that so why does he have to lose his job.he is even going to college at the moment doing his level 3 but is thinking af packing it in as he wont be able to do his plumbing job anywhere with another company.this seems so unfair

  15. barbara says:

    in 2001 i was cautioned for leaving my children in the care of a 14yr old girl while i went to get nappies, i stated this to the tutor of the nd in ccld course i applied to, and was excepted on, i retold her when we applied for the crb checks, we were then told we had cleared the crb check and could start our placements. when i recieved my copy of the crb, the caution was put down as: 1 caution wilfully assaulting/illtreating/neglecting child or young person. so i went to the college to query if i could do workplacement, i have since been told no i cannot do the course anymore, and i cant work with children or for caring for the elderly. is this correct?

    • Hi Barbara,
      Sorry for the delay – I have asked an HR professional about this and she says:
      “Initially I was surprised about this – a caution is defined as an instance where “it is not considered to be in the public interest to institute criminal proceeds” – it is a formal warning given to an adult who has admitted an offence. You don’t have to declare it if you are asked “Do you have a criminal record?” or even “Do you have a caution?” This is because all cautions are automatically spent. However, it may appear on a Standard CRB check, and is likely to appear on an Enhanced CRB check. Even after five to 10 years, the caution can still be disclosed if you apply for certain types of jobs, e.g. in the police force, as a teacher, or jobs working with children and vulnerable adults. It will be disclosed if it is relevant to the job you are applying for. So this would appear to be the sticking point.”

      • Anon says:

        The field of work you wish to work in will always require an enhanced cert and under the legislation the disclosure system operates, your caution is, and will always be disclosable.

        PNC, under the current data retention rules laid down by ACPO, will continue to record your caution until you reach 100 years of age.

        In short, unless there is a change in either the disclosure legislation, or the PNC retention rules, your caution will always be disclosable so you’ll really need to be upfront with employers and find out what there policy toward it is.

  16. Allie says:

    Hi, i have an enhanced crb going through at the moment and its been over 4 weeks, it states on the crb website that 90% are aimed to be completed in 4 weeks, trust me to be in the 10% thats not. I was just wondering if anyone knew how long they are taking at the moment, like what the turn around time of completion?? Thanks!!!!

    • shaun says:

      Hi Allie,
      I hate to be the bringer of bad news but i submitted mine on the 15th August, The first three stages are straight forward, It is only when it reaches stage four ( police check) that this drags on. The police have had mine since the 26th August to present day, and despite two escalations that i have requested by the crb also a letter sent by them last Saturday, As yet i have heard nothing. Apparently the police have 10 days to comply after the sixty day period, Then if this is not complete by then they are advising that they will do it as soon as they can!! Be prepared for a long wait!!. Oh and by the way i have been advised that if i am a phillipino national i can have it fastracked within seven days!. Hope this helps.

  17. Kevin fairbairn says:


    I received a caution for assault in April 06, I’ve been told I need to fill in a crb check form to help with my boys football team (under 8s) how long does the caution last and do u think it will affect my application?

    Any advice would help greatly

    • bennodalove says:

      The law changed in October 2009, so cautions/reprimands will stay on the police computer system forever. Whenever you are required to do a CRB check, the police will disclose it.

  18. Paul Manning says:

    I am thinking of retiring to the Philippines with my filipina wife. The Philippine Embassy want a CRB check as part of the application process. Obviously the Embassy will not do this on my behalf so does anyone know an Umbrella Organisation who can obtain the check for me?

    • I have asked an HR specialist about this and she says: “As I understand it, an individual cannot make an application for a Disclosure directly, as the applicant cannot ask an exempted question of themselves. It is for the organisation asking the exempted question to assess an applicant’s suitability. If someone is self-employed, they can apply for a CRB check by registering with an agency, though this wouldn’t help in this case. You are able to make a “subject access” request to your local police force under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, which will provide up-to-date details of any criminal records in the UK.”

  19. JM says:


    My daughter (5) has recently started at a new school where I would like to volunteer when I can. About 5 years ago I was issued a caution for what was suggested to be a domestic violence case – is this something that will appear when the school perform their CRB checks?

    • I would doubt it since it was a caution rather than a conviction, and even if it were a conviction, they are “spent” at different durations.

      • jolene says:

        A CRB check does show a caution and repremand even after so many years, if it is working with children it defo will.

        • bennodalove says:

          The law changed in October 2009, so cautions/reprimands will stay on the police computer system until the persons 100th birthday. Whenever you are required to do a CRB check, the police will disclose all cautions.

  20. JJ says:

    I had a conviction and recived a 4 month suspended sentence for 2 years, for overpayment, i want to start my own business and will be visiting schools on occasion, so need a crb this was 5 years ago next week will this show on my crb check if i apply after the 5 years.

    • Simon Willmore says:

      Hi JJ

      I would suggest speaking directly to The CRB Office – – and they should be able to help!

  21. Natasha says:

    Hi, I am applying for Camp America and as part of which will receive an Enhanced CRB check. I got a reprimand when I was 15 for a minor shoplifting offence (I took something worth £3.50, stupid I know) and was told by the police officers at the time that this would be wiped from my record when I turned 18 and I am now 19, nearly 20. I am worried as I have read others testimonials that this will still show up on my CRB and I may be denied a J-1 Visa to America and will not be able to go on Camp America, and it may also affect my training to be a teacher in later life. Is there any way to get a reprimand completely removed from your record?

    • Simon Willmore says:

      Hi Natasha

      I would suggest speaking directly to The CRB Office – – and they should be able to help!

  22. Dan says:

    I am the Director of a CRB Umbrella body, Completely CRB. We are a company that carries out CRB checks on behalf of organisations.

    Most companies do not charge thier employees for CRB checks. Quite often agencies do as thier workers usually work on contracts for services, which is similar to being self employed.

    Both parties are sent a copy of the CRB (the applicant and the employer).

    Umbrella Bodies CAN carry out CRB checks for an individual as long as they are running thier own business and have a genuine reason to require a check according to CRB guidelines. This might include self employed taxi drivers or people running a care related business. It is at the discretion of the CRB umbrella company as to whether they are willing to carry out a check for such an individual.

    My company regularly carries out checks of this kind for people who need them. Please let me know if we can help.

    • Chris says:

      You are breaking the CRB code of practice if you carry out CRB checks on self-employed individuals. The must ALWAYS be an ’employer ‘ or ‘association’ who you report back to with the result of the disclosure.
      This is because, very occassionally, the CRB will have ‘additional’ information about an applicant that does not appear on their copy of the disclosure. This comes to you (as the Umbrella Body) in a separate letter & you must pass it on to the employer. You cannot share this information with the applicant (by law). If you did a disclosure for a self-employed person & then received serious additional information about that individual – where do you go with it? Potentially you could have a self-employed person with a clear disclosure & you’re holding very serious information about that individual & no ’employer’ to report it to. Please check the CRB website for information on self-employed applicants.

  23. Leah says:

    I have worked at a particular place for nearly 8 years now, for all previous CRB checks done the company has paid for them, last year we were taken over by a different company, I had to do another CRB check this year but the current company are making all emplyee’s pay for this! The only feedback is that employee’s have to pay for it as it is for them personally although you have to have one to work there and they do not accept any CRB’s done by other companies or one’s done while self employed etc. Does anyone know if this is A. allowed and B. If CRB’s are a personal document etc just a little baffled as to how this all works!!

  24. Carol Kent says:

    The CRB has had my form for five weeks and for four weeks and three days of this it has been waiting for the final check from the police search. Is there a time limit on this and if no why not? People are being held up and cannot start new jobs without this check having been completed.

  25. lauren says:

    Hi if I want to do any teaching assistant roles paid or volunteering they all say I need a CRB check within the last 12 months. But I cannot apply myself for one so therefore cannot apply for any roles. Is there a way of getting around this. Could I pay an umbrella body to do the check and then they hold all the details so any possible employers can see my CRB because it has already been done.

    • Hello Lauren

      I have asked an HR friend about this and this is what she says: “he organisation they are doing it for should seek the check. They’ll either be registered to do it themselves or have an agreement with an umbrella organisation. Checks for volunteers are free of charge.”

  26. Kate says:

    Last year after returning from a celebratory dinner I received a Fixed Penalty Notice for being drunkenly sick on a railway platform in a town that has zero tolerance. It was a silly mistake as I hardly go out or drink heavily, the policewoman was very apologetic, but she had to issue the notice. I paid the £80 fine immediately and she said it would not show up on any records, I was devastated as I have worked in the legal profession for 13 years and have never been in trouble before. However, in January I obtained a Subject Access Request from the police to go volunteering abroad and the FPN showed up. I am about to apply for a job at a charity working with drug and alcohol abusers and they have asked for a CRB check. Will my FPN show up? I’ve been told disclosure is at the police forces discretion – is this true? Will all my future career paths be affected?

    • That sounds rotten Kate. This is what my HR friend says: “CRB disclosures do show up spent convictions. That’s why there are very strict rules around the sort of jobs you can get them for and who can see them etc. The point is that most organisations only take account of relevant convictions in terms of making the appointment decision. This is why only persons registered with the CRB should see the disclosure cert and why, at my company, for example, we have to shred them promptly and can only record a pass or fail – not the details of any convictions.”

      • Lee says:


        As I understood the rules regarding CRB checks, you are not allowed to make any reference to the outcome of the check. A pass or fail would therefore not be acceptable. The only information you should retain is the Cert. Number and the name of the candidate. You can retain the Cert. for as long as is reasonable for any disagreements to be rectified, this is usually around 90 days. The Cert must also be kept in a separate lockable container which cannot be removed from the premises. It cannot be held in the same personnel file as the candidate’s other information.

  27. amanda says:

    i need help !!!!!!!!!! well advice

    i sent off for a c.r.b in june its been with the local police since 1st july and is still showing it is at stage 4, i could have started my new job supervised but my pova first check has sent back option 1( do not employ until c.r.b check has been received) when applying for this job i was told when i got the job to hand my notice in at my previous job so i did, i have now been outta work for 2 weeks no income coming in, 2 years ago i was working in a care home and there was allegations of neglect myself and a nurse was arresyed and questioned it all came back no further action i have been honest and told my new employer this , do you think this will appear on my check

  28. Lynn says:

    We are about to start the process of fostering. My husband was in an argument with another man who was drunk and aggressive to me, my husband punched him and was charged with ABH this was in 1986. On the day he was due to appear in court the man dropped the charge and we received no further information about this. will it appear on his CRB check? He is really worried it will wreck our chances of becoming foster parents.

  29. Louise says:

    Just to fill you in on latest progress. I posted a couple of weeks ago. My CRB has come back and it is clear. I was amazed it only took a week from it arriving at CRB. So doing the police access check was helpful because it confirmed what the CRB states. Thanks again for your help. Louise

    • Luke says:

      Hi Louise
      Your post gave me some hope.

      I am applying for a ten year visa to live abroad and I need a Subject Access thingie. 32 years ago I was a victim of police entrapment in a public lavatory a la George Michael (they used what were called “pretty police” in those days) and I was fined 50 pounds. “If you plead guilty, we’ll keep it out of the papers etc.”

      Now, I am worried witless that this will come back to haunt me a generation later when I have to submit my Subject Access for Visa approval. Especially as I am applying to live in a Islamic country, It is so unjust that these ‘offences’ can lie on the record and be revealed for purposes of getting a Visa to live outside the UK.

      • Paul says:

        Same happened to me as writer #68 (reply 1 by Luke). I was caught in a similar homophobic sting back in 1994 in the toilets of a small market town and fined £250 for ‘soliciting for immoral purposes’. No straight person would, in practice, get done for that crime since the mindset wouldn’t have thought anything wrong about a man trying to hook up with a woman. I must emphasise no prostitution of any sort was implied or involved. I was caught cruising but was not having sex with anyone when arrested. A ‘pretty policeman’ hit on me in the agent provocateur routine that was common then. In every sense it was a victimless crime, whatever one’s personal views might be about gay sex or about the means of picking someone up to take them somewhere else in private. It wouldn’t happen now, not merely because I am that much older but also because networking opportunities are so different now because of the internet. I was told to plead guilty, pay the fine and that it would go away because it wouldn’t have got into the papers. That was true until the arrival of the CRB. I am facing a CRB check shortly for a job involving children and vulnerable adults. Since that means an enhanced check, does that mean I have to prepare for the worst? i.e. that my application will not be carried through? There was no question of either children or vulnerable adults being victims of any crime. The context is simply an outdated search for gay partners. What can I do about this? Will prospective employers take an outdated gay offence seriously? This is really embarrassing to me.

  30. Bekah Spencer says:

    4 years ago I was given a reprimand/caution/warning for theft from a shop (it was actually my friend that was doing it but as I was with her I was a accessory) I was 14 at the time and was told that this would be removed from my record at 17 and a half. I was recently offered employment at the prison near when I live, just in the cafeteria for visitors and they carried out a PNC on me and this offence has now come up and I have been refused employment, I am absolutely gutted as I was a juvenile and stupid at the time. Is this something that the company Aramark can refuse me employment on?? Many thanks.

  31. Louise says:

    I had a conviction in 1982 but I have done subject access that has come back clear. Also, in 2003 I had a clear enhanced crb. I am about to have another enhanced crb, will this come back clear.

    • Good question. there’s a possibility that it won’t because they have changed the criteria for what is reported and what is not. I have heard of people with convictions earlier than yours who have suddenly found that it was mentioned on a crb check where it wasn’t before. Might be a good idea to phone the crb people and ask.

      • Louise says:

        Thanks very much.

        I have had a check done with the police and they say that there is no record of me on the police national computer. I wouldn’t mind but I never even did the crime but was accused and had a fine. Six months later somebody else admitted to it but I never did anything about it at the time because I was 17 and was told it would cost me to have it removed through the courts, didn’t think it would come back to haunt me.

        • Hmm, well if the police say that then you should be all right. Also, if it did come up then you can explain the situation. If someone else did admit to the crime then they will have a record of that. That should sort it out. Let us know if there is a problem though.

          • Louise says:

            Thank you so much for all your help. I am taking my CRB form to be checked on Thursday. When I get it back I will let you know how I got on.

  32. sarah says:

    im about to start an apprentiship course in childcare and of course have to have a crb check done but they are sayng that i need to pay them to get a crb check done but as im a school leaver i dont have the funds.
    is there anyway i can go about this? any methods etc.


    • Good question – as far as I know there isn’t a way you can get round it. It costs. However, different agencies seem to charge different amounts. My mother runs a nanny agency so I will ask her if she knows of agencies that charge less than others (she doesn’t do credit checks anymore I’m afraid). Jasmine

  33. deborah reynolds says:

    hi there, i had a crb check done in 2007,i started work for a care company whilst waitng on this check coming 2003 i was taken to court by a lady i was caring for by another care company.i was accused of taking out money from her account,at the start of the court case i was found not guilty the lady in question did not turn up i was acquitted from this accusation but yet when i got my crb back what that happened with this lady is on my crb check is there anything i can do to have this removed

    • j pidsley says:

      i sympathise with you very strongly on this,as the same happened to me,unfortunately as far as this issue is concerned the police and other bodies seem adamant you are guilty untill proved innocent,i was locked in a cell,interrogated,humilliated,
      and for a year i have tried to get this accusation off my crb,i even employed a barrister,and the best result i got was ….ok its off your crb now,but,its still on the database, what purpose does it serve and where is the logic?its as if to say ,if i accuse the police superintendant of theft and he is found not guilty he will still have this stain on his character,but u know what ,i bet the rules would become very different in this case,i have been out of work and unable to secure a job because of this for 12 months now,just because of the perverse way the so called law works

  34. lalit kumar kumbhani says:

    i submited application for CRB check 0n 4th march 2010 by one recruitment how can i see that my crb will check out or not,and when i got copy of crb ,how long time tack for crb checking,
    i came in UK at 26 DEC2009, i have indian nationality.
    so ,pls reply to me,
    Many thanks.

    • Leanne says:

      Hello Lalit
      The CRBs take at least seven weeks to process.
      The CRB will be sent to you and a copy will be sent to the agency. Everyone has to wait a long time but it will be good when it arrives

  35. Jummy says:

    I did 40hrs community service 11 years ago for shoplifting. I’ve worked at my current job (Secretary at NHS) for 13 years. Manager now wants to do a CRB check and has given me the form to fill. Will this show up? Can I be fired? I don’t work directly with vulnerable adults or children.

  36. Julie says:

    Hi, I have a CRB check that was done a few months ago with my current employer. it shows that i have a conviction for theft (during an incident that happened during an upsetting time when i was getting divorced in 2001-3) it clearly shows a court case covering 2 and a half years. I was convicted of theft and had a sentance of 1 year imprisonment, which I served 7 weeks of before being released on licence. it was a one off incident. I work for a training provider as an assessor and deal with adults in their workplace. I told my current employer I had a record and they accept the CRB check and never asked me about it when it came in.

    I have applied for a new job, again as an assessor and was wondering if they can exclude me from this job because I have a record for theft?

    Any advice gratefully received

  37. Sara Owen says:

    We are a small playgroup with 3 staff who run the sessions three times a week less than 2hrs per session. The staff are paid and the sessions charged for but as we are a small charitable group are not sure where we stand on CRB or ISA checks? Do we need to have these done and if so how do we go about it?

  38. emma says:

    need help?
    hi there,
    I have just been on a step into childcare course through sure start. and now that it has finished I have found a placement in a local school which has a nursery, as I want to be a nursery nurse. so I can do my nvq there over 16 hours per week and an assessor will come out to me and asses me, which is good but I need a crb check and the school wont pay and sure start wont pay ether so how do I get one should one of them pay or me. I am a volunteer I don’t get paid
    thanx Emma

    • Jean Birtles says:

      Hi Emma
      At Top Notch Nannies we go to:
      Bligh Appointments
      70 North End Road
      W14 9EP
      Opposite West Kensington Underground
      Telephone:0207 603 6123

      They charge £40 per CRB

      Hope you find that helpful

    • Leanne says:

      Hi Emma,

      As a volunteer you CRB is free. The following off the CRB website.
      “To apply for this type of a “free of charge” Disclosure the Countersignatory must:

      Satisfy themselves that the person meets the criteria; and
      Ensure that the position applied for in section B18 describes the role of the applicant e.g. “Sunday School Teacher” DO NOT just use the word “Volunteer”; and
      Place a cross [X] in the volunteer box in section Y8 on the application form. Failure to do so will result in the relevant fee being charged; and
      If your organisation has Payment on Account, DO NOT cross out the [X] in the POA box, but place a cross [X] in the box Y8 marked “Volunteer – no payment due”.

      I think you can apply for the CRB through the school but ensure you tick the “volunteer box”

      Hope this helps.


  39. barbara cherry says:

    If I have a crb check passed with one employer would it still be valid with another employer or would I have to have a new crb check done if, for instance I worked for 3 care homes, doing the same work, and moving from one to another home with no breaks and within a 3 month period? ie – are crb checks only valid for one employer and period of employment?

    Similarly, if I was involved in agency work where I was working for more than one agency and more than one employer – would I have to have a crb check for each agency and employer even though it covered the same period?

    • Hi Barbara. I asked Leanne at Top Notch Nannies ( and she said this: “To the best of my knowledge CRB are specific to a particular employer. My other half has had to have a CRB issued by the school and one issued by the church as they fall in different boroughs. Generally they are valid for a period of 1 year. Each care home would have to do a new CRB check at the start of employment.”
      “Yes. I know that some agencies are happy to use the CRB check issued by another agency as this saves them having to do it themselves. However if you are working with children and vulnerable adults you will need to have a POCA(Protection of Children Act) and POVA(Protection of Vulnerable Adults) check done.”

    • Jean Birtles says:

      Hello Barbara
      Sadly the answer is not straightforward! If you are going for temp. jobs then one CRB check can go with you, but if you go for a Permanent job the new employer MIGHT ask for a new CRB. The situation seems to vary among employers. If you work in Care Homes then each #home usually expect a new CRB.

      Best wishes


  40. elaine says:

    I agreed to an enhanced CRB check for a careres job, it came back clear but i decided job was not for me! they have sent me a bill of £46 for the CRB check, on calling CRB was told it was £36? My question is and I need to be accurate on this! is am I legally required to pay this? and if so, do I have to pay £46 or £36 only? I realy dont need guessing on this. Does anyone know 100% who is legally responsible for the payment. Especialy as I dont want the job…

    • Hi Elaine, I’ve asked an HR professional about this and her answer is: “I think that should she ever wish to work for this company again, she pay it but if she doesn’t want to work for them, I don’t see how they could get her to pay, unless it was through the small claims court. I would need a bit more detail, like timeframes, but it’s more of a legal one.”

      Hope that helps!

  41. I would like to get a CRB check done as I teach singing to children privately in my home. How can I go about this?

    Thanks for your help.

    Linda Gerrard

  42. george says:

    I applied for CRB in july unfortunately I have not received the feed back yet how longer should I still wait

  43. The group itself should get everyone to have a check done as a matter of course if they regularly work with children and young people.

    If it is a one off that you are working with children and young people then possibly not., although it is seen as good practice for you to do them.

    If you are unpaid then yes you are a volunteer and in theory your check is FREE, but if you need to do these through another agency they may add on an admin fee.

    For a list of agencies who can check you see look under umbrella bodies.

    • Yes I agree it is not, at present, a legal requirement to have a CRB, although it is considered good practice.

      With the Vetting and Barring scheme starting to get individuals to register from July 2010 it WILL become a legal requirement for anyone (paid or unpaid), to register themselves on the database if they have regular contact.

  44. Nigel Kelly says:

    Hi all

    I am hoping to start my own part-time business being a clown/kid’s entertainer. One slight problem, I have a conviction for assualt (a moment of drunken madness). Would I be better off not pursuing my goal? I’m not sure where I stand on this important issue.

  45. Hi
    I run an underwater hockey junior team and have been doing so for 12 years, a result of which both my Son and Daughter play for GB squads as do 2 of our other players, they are now in their 20’s but we have an ongoing youth program. We are not a registered organisation as we are too small, and only volunteers. we monitor helpers by having no one in a vulnerable situation without being observed. I have a CRB check from being an emergency response volunteer but trips to the police station and viewing the mass of unfriendly web sites has led nowhere Our funds are small and even our national body the BOA ( are not large enough too offer checks. If there are too many hoops we are going to close and disappoint many young people. What do we do?

    • The CRB says that anyone (paid or unpaid), working with children, young people or vulnerable adults should undertake a check if they work 3 days or more in any 30 day period. This will be the same when the new Vetting and Barring scheme starts asking for individuals to register from July 2010 (new entrants), or April 2011 for current workers.
      CRB checks are NOT portable and need to get one for each organisation you work for. a list of umbrella bodies who can assist you with your checks.

  46. deborah sumner says:

    What I would like to know is what happens if you have lived abroad for 2 yrs previous in an EU country, does the form have to be checked in the relevent country also?

    • Tessa says:

      I am moving back to the UK to work as a registered nurse in January. I am joining a british nursing agency and they have said they can’t start the CRB check until they see me at an appointment in person. Then the enhanced CRB will take 4 to 6 weeks. During which time I can’t work as a nurse. Is there anyway around this. Can I start the CRB from abroad.

  47. lily says:

    hi there, i have been searching for information on how to get a CRB if you are self emplyed and Umberella organisations CANNOT request them on behalf of the self employed. it needs to be done by a trade association or agency that employs or accredits you.

  48. Lejla says:

    Interesting what you say on disclosure because on the CRB web site they state that individuals should be sent a copy of the records by the checking body.

    Which one is true now?

  49. clare mm says:

    I am unable to fully agree with the above. The Metropolitan police have a target of 100% in 60 days and last month dropped to completing only 39% in this time frame. Given that the both the CRB and my PCT created a 4 week delay due to their own admin error i have now waited 11 weeks, salary free and at risk of losing both home and job. The police are swamped. They deal with checks in date order only so it makes no difference that I have been at my address for 12 years, am a crime-free UK national and have worked in the NHS for the majority of this time too. I only went on maternity leave but a i return to a different post so need the check again. I think it is faster elsewhere in the country but that really doesn’t do me any good, like a lot of people, i live in London.


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