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New eligibility tool by the DBS – How you can establish what level of check an employer is allowed to carry out

The most nerve-racking part of applying for a job if you have a criminal record can be finding out that an employer will be doing a criminal record check.

Sometimes this can be the first mention of criminal records in the recruitment process, or you might have already had to self-disclose but you weren’t sure exactly of the detail.

It can be particularly unsettling if the employer doesn’t make it clear what level of check they’ll be doing.

That’s why we’ve just updated our information on establishing what level of check an employer can carry out. This should help you to work out for yourself what check an employer can do for the job that you’re applying for. In particular, this covers a process that we’ve put together, and now includes the details of an eligibility tool which has recently been published online by the Disclosure and Barring Service. By answering a series of questions, the eligibility tool should help you to quickly check whether a role you are applying for is eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check.

If you’ve gone through the establishing eligibility process and are confident that an employer could be doing an ineligible check, then you should challenge this through the DBS.

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information is available on our criminal record checks for employment section.
  2. Questions – If you have any questions about this you can contact our helpline.
  3. Policy – Read about the policy work we’re doing on stopping unlawful/ineligible DBS checks.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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