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Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Check

The Disclosure and Barring Service has released a report stating how many DBS checks they do monthly; on average they do 500 thousand checks monthly. This includes basic, standard and enhanced checks. Disclosure and Barring Service has also posted on their LinkedIn that some checks take longer than others to process, for example, an Enhanced DBS check takes around 10 days and a basic one just 1 day.

What is the difference between these types of checks and why is their processing time different? Read below to know more.



As the name suggests, a basic check is the least detailed type of disclosure. It’s also the only type of criminal records check which you can request on yourself. Anyone can pay for a basic DBS check at any time. A basic DBS certificate shows your current, unspent criminal record only. The idea of “spent” refers to rehabilitation law, which allows people to discount some criminal offences after a set period of time. The length of time will depend on how old the person was at the time of the offence. Very serious crimes are never spent, whereas very minor convictions or cautions as a teenager disappear off your record in as little as a year. There’s lots of information online to help you work out what’s current and what is “forgotten”.



Standard DBS checks can only be requested if you are applying for a job which requires it. The government draws up a list of the types of jobs which need checks, and it’s against the law for an employer to ask you for a disclosure if the job doesn’t require it. A standard DBS check is more detailed than the basic in that it will look into spent convictions as well as unspent ones. As most of the people asking for standard disclosures are going into jobs in the court system, financial services or other positions of responsibility, a long record from years ago may still be relevant. When preparing the certificate, the police go through a filtering process to look at the person’s criminal record and assess the type of information against the role they will be doing.



This level of disclosure is the one which get the most attention. Enhanced disclosures are needed when working with children or vulnerable adults. It’s also the most detailed level of check and shows not only all the relevant convictions and cautions on the police computer but also police intelligence too. For example, if someone’s name has repeatedly been mentioned in burglary cases, and has been charged several times but never convicted through lack of evidence, this might be disclosed if they are thinking of working as a locksmith.

Most enhanced disclosures also involve a search of the barred lists. These are registers of people who are legally blocked from working in certain fields. Individuals might be barred from working with children, adults or both. Employers can’t ignore information on the barred lists as it’s a criminal offence to employ someone whose name appears.


Enhanced DBS checks take longer to be processed because they need to be checked in depth. For example, if someone has lived in a different city when the check is with the police, they need to contact the local police of those cities to confirm if the person has had any convictions or not.


Do you know someone who may need a DBS check? You can now join our Referral Scheme and enjoy many benefits.

Call us today for more information: 0333 880 5331

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