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Tag: Standard and enhanced checks

European criminal record checks


In November 2015, the Disclosure and Barring Service launched a pilot to test access to criminal record information from the European Union (EU). The trial will run until April 2016.

The pilot is the first of its kind for the UK Government and will be jointly run by the Disclosure and Barring Service, the Home Office and the UK Central Authority (UKCA). The pilot will concentrate on enhanced disclosure checks for any individual seeking to work with children and where the nationality on the application form indicates they are a Dutch or Latvian national. The Netherlands and Latvia have expressed their support for this initiative.

Why are the DBS doing this?

Currently, the DBS cannot guarantee that the criminal records, from the country of origin for overseas applicants, are available to prospective employers. Whilst the DBS provides employers with guidance on how to access certificates of good conduct from countries outside the UK, there is no evidence to suggest that this is consistently accessed and used.

The pilot will enable employers access to relevant criminal record information (via the DBS) for any applicant from the Netherlands or Latvia. This will include applicants with dual nationality in one of these countries.

The pilot is expected to affect 3,500 applications over the course of the six month period.

Upgrade to ECRIS

In addition to this, the European Commission has just put forward proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in order to facilitate the exchange of criminal records of non-EU citizens. It believes that this will improve cooperation between national authorities in the fight against terrorism and other forms of serious cross border crime.

For more information relating to convictions obtained overseas see here.

Is this a scam? Employment offers and criminal record checks

We have been altered to an organisation, Online UK Disclosure, which claim to offer Single Offence Checks at a cost of £99.99.

Online UK Disclosures claim to be an umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and Disclosure Scotland. The DBS has confirmed to Unlock that Online UK Disclosure is not registered an umbrella body and that the DBS do not offer Single Offence Checks.

Online UK Disclosures state that;-

‘A Single Offence Check only searches back five years and only for one particular offence. It has been created so that people with a criminal record but for minor and unrelated offences do not get hindered when applying for jobs’.

Why should you be concerned about Single Offence Checks?

In the example that we saw, a Single Offence Check was being requested to be done through Online UK Disclosure as part of an employment offer which turned out not to exist. It seems that this is linked to an employment scam which has been highlighted recently on the BBC’s Fake Britain and moneysavingexpert forum. The scam has also been reported to Safer Jobs and Action Fraud.

More and more fictitious jobs are appearing on job sites and job boards and more and more unsuspecting job seekers are parting with their hard earned money or becoming victims of identity theft.

Job scammers will pose as an employer or recruiter offering attractive employment opportunities which require job seekers to pay money in advance. This is usually under the guise of criminal record checks or credit checks. Once the money has been paid, the scammers disappear and the job seeker is let with no job and out of pocket.

How can I protect myself from employment scams?

  1. Never part with any money without being sure that the criminal record checks are being done through Disclosure Scotland (basic checks), the Disclosure and Barring Service (standard and enhanced) or a registered body. You can check with the DBS whether an organisation is a genuine registered body here.  For registered bodies carrying out checks through Disclosure Scotland, check here.
  2. Do some research on the company – Google them or visit the company’s website. If they don’t have one, or it doesn’t have any contact details then tread carefully.
  3. A job should only be offered once a face-to-face or thorough telephone interview has taken place. If a job is offered without this, it is likely to be a scam.
  4. Report any concerns to Safer Jobs or Action Fraud

We’ve reported the case we came across to both the DBS and Action Fraud.

The Disclosure & Barring Service update the question they ask about convictions

Following our complaint to the Information Commissioners Office which recently led to the Disclosure & Barring Service signing an undertaking to update their application form, we have now had it confirmed by the DBS that their application form has now been updated. A copy of this is below.


As you can see from the above image, the question (e.55) now asks only about convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered. This means that, if your conviction or caution would be filtered at the time of completing the application, you can tick “no”.

You can find out more about completing a criminal record check application.

How do you know if you conviction or caution will be filtered? The DBS should be including guidance with the application form. We have also produced a simple guide and a detailed guide that should also help.

DBS Update Service and One Certificate

Today, we’ve published a brief guide which explains some of the changes that the DBS has introduced this week.

The Update Service is a new subscription service lets you keep your DBS certificate up-to-date so you can take it with you when you move jobs or roles. The employer can then carry out free, online, instant checks to see if any new information has come to light since the certificate’s issue – this is called a ‘status check’.

To coincide with launching the Update Service, the DBS will now only issue certificates to you; they’ll no longer send a copy to the Registered Body. This change is being referred to as ‘One Certificate’. Employers will now need to ask you for sight of your DBS Certificate.

The guide we’ve put together discusses some of the issues and questions that people with convictions are likely to be interested in, including some of the benefits and potential downsides to these changes.

Read the guide we’ve published here.


If you have any questions about this information, please contact us.

If you’d like to discuss this information with others, there is a specific thread on our online forum.


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