Useful links to help guide you through the DBS application process

Understanding DBS checks

Role eligibility and different levels of check

  • DBS checks: Working with Adults in the Charity Sector. Explains eligibility for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for people working with adults in the charity sector and overseas aid organisations. This guidance applies whether the individuals are paid or unpaid.
  • DBS checks: Working with Children in the Charity Sector. Explains eligibility checks for people working with children in the charity sector and overseas aid organisations. This guidance applies whether the individuals are paid or unpaid.
  • DBS checks: childcare providers. Ofsted’s position on Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks for childcare providers who register with Ofsted.
  • DBS eligible positions guidance. A collection of documents that you can use to decide whether a role is eligible for a basic, standard or enhanced DBS check.
  • Online Eligibility tool. Use this tool to find out what type of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check you can get for your employee.
  • Workforce Guidance. Guides to help you identify the types of work eligible for an enhanced DBS check in each workforces, including regulated activity.
  • Adult First checks. Employers providing care services for adults – eg in a care home – can use a service called DBS Adult First. This will confirm, usually within two days of receipt at DBS, if the applicant can start work, as long as they’re supervised or should wait for the results of an enhanced check. Requests carry strict criteria.
  • Checking a job applicant’s right to work from overseas.
  • Checks for overseas applicants. Who can apply, how to apply and contact details for criminal record checks overseas.

Regulated Activity

  • Regulated Activity – Adults 
  • Department of Health guidance
  • Regulated Activity – Children
  • Scope
  • Children England – Our Decision guide. Includes a decision chart and sections on the background and policy context of changes in relevant legislation and guidance, assessing and managing risk and processes and tools to help organisations adapt to these changes. It also provides links to further resources and is part of a wider range of support for safeguarding and governance provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service itself, and by Children England and NSPCC as part of the Social Sector Safeguarding Partnership, led by NCVO.
  • Department for Education – Supervision of activity with children.


Understand the DBS barring process

  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Exceptions Order 1975. Explains the difference between spent and unspent convictions, outlines which convictions must be declared when applying for jobs and any exceptions.
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders – Is it Spent Now? A brief guide to changes to the ROA
    The ROA has been reformed as a result of changes in the law in 2012.  These came into force on the 10 March 2014.  The changes are ‘retrospective’, which means they apply to convictions received before the 10 March 2014, and in most cases the rehabilitation periods are reduced.  Detailed guidance is available here.
  • Police Act 1997
  • Referrals and barring. Legal duty to refer guidance about making referrals. Also includes information about relevant offences.
  • Unlock. Unlock is an independent award-winning national charity that provides a voice and support for people with convictions who are facing stigma and obstacles because of their criminal record.
  • Nacro. The helpline gives advice and information on disclosing convictions and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act along with advice leaflets for prisoners, ex-offenders and others. Resettlement Plus Helpline Tel: 020 7840 6464.
  • DBS Filtering guide. Filtering is the term used to describe the process that identifies which criminal records will be disclosed on a Standard or Enhanced DBS certificate (DBS check). Certain old or minor offences may not be disclosed on DBS certificates. These are known as ‘protected’ offences.
  • DBS sample policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders – policy paper. All employers must treat DBS check applicants who have a criminal record fairly.


Completing the application form

Essential forms

Here’s a list of useful forms to help you with your application process:

  • DBS Request form – UK National:  all DBS application forms must be accompanied by this form which should be signed by the authorised signatory who completed section W of the application form
  • Route 2 Consent form: if you are unable to confirm an applicants identity using Route 1, an external ID check will be needed. We are able to process a Route 2 check for you for an additional fee of £15, the applicant must sign a consent form to confirm they are happy to have the check done on their behalf. Please return the consent form with the applicants DBS application form
  • Continuation form – please use if all the applicants details will not fit onto the application form
  • DBS application form checklist  – use this form to check the DBS application form is filled in correctly before submitting
  • DBS Request form checklist – use this for to check the DBS request form  is filled in correctly before submitting.

Other useful information

  • Update Service.  The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service allows applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date and employers to check a DBS certificate. The service is for standard and enhanced DBS checks only.
    A collection of guidance, news articles and promotional material for the DBS Update Service.
  • DBS Code of Practice for registered persons and other recipients of disclosure information. All applicants for a DBS check should be made aware of this Code of Practice and provided with a copy on request.
  • Tracking progress of an application. Track the progress of a standard or enhanced application using application reference number and date of birth .
  • DBS customer services. Contact details.
  • DBS Handling certificate information. Policy paper guidance on the secure storage, handling, use, retention and disposal of Disclosure and DBS certificates and certificate information.