Changes to UK criminal record checking

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Important information for DBS Standard and Enhanced disclosure applications

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are introducing a number of changes to the way in which Standard and Enhanced disclosure applications will be processed. This will change the way that individuals use their criminal record check and how employers check their suitability.

The changes to the DBS process are part of the Government’s aim to put the individual in greater control of their own data. Individuals will now be able to challenge the information the DBS release before it is seen by their current or prospective employer.

In summary, the changes coming into effect are:

• Filtering certain old and minor offences from criminal record certificates. (Effective immediately)
Recent changes in legislation mean that, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be removing certain specified old and minor offences from criminal record certificates issued from 29th May 2013.

• Applicant-only DBS certificates and electronic results (Effective 17th June) 
A duplicate copy of the disclosure certificate will no longer be sent to HireRight (or any other Registered Body) for us to forward on to the employer. Instead, employers will need to ask applicants to present their certificate. Users of HireRight’s electronic DBS (eDBS ) service will be able to get an indication of results electronically. The availability of electronic results will offer a dramatic reduction in response times for clear disclosure results by cutting down on exposure to postal delays.

• Update Service (Effective 17th June)
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 Update Service is designed to reduce the number of criminal record checks people need to have and is aimed at those working in the care, education and health sectors.

We expect that there will be further updates in the coming weeks as the new DBS service continues to evolve and we will communicate further information as soon as it become available.

Please note, the above changes by the DBS only affect Standard and Enhanced disclosure applications. Basic disclosure applications are processed through Disclosure Scotland and are unaffected by these changes.


The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any statutes or laws cited in this article should be read in their entirety. If you or your customers have questions concerning compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations, we suggest that you address these directly with your legal department or outside counsel.

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