Everything you need to know about basic disclosure

If you apply for a job that will involve financial issues or require you to work closely with children or vulnerable adults, it is extremely likely that the employer will require you to get a Basic Disclosure. If this is new to you, it can be a confusing world of jargon and anxiety. Basic Disclosure is also known by many other names, so here we intend to set out the basics of Basic Disclosure to help you on your way.

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What is Basic Disclosure?

Basic Disclosure is a search on your criminal record for anything that may be relevant to your job. Basic Disclosure used to be known as a CRB check, named after the department that carried out the research. It is now more commonly called Basic Disclosure or a DBS check – once again named after the new department that sorts this all out, the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is not to be confused, however, with Standard Disclosure, which is a more detailed criminal records check that only employers can obtain for their staff.

Why does my employer want Basic Disclosure?

It is not the employers who makes this decision, although they are likely to want and need the information in any event. It is the government who puts together a list of occupations and responsibilities that would require one because the job holds some sort of responsibility that may make previous criminal activity be relevant. Your employer would be acting illegally if they did not obtain the basic DBS check if the role that you are applying for is included on this list.

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How do I apply for Basic Disclosure?

You must complete a basic DBS check form and prove your identity by including a passport or driving license and some utility bills. These documents should be sent off to a DBS provider service offering basic DBS checks with the appropriate fee.

What information is included?

As standard, the DBS certificate includes basic personal details such as your name, address and date of birth. It then shows your criminal record except for any convictions that may now be considered as “spent” according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. A “spent” conviction is one that was a minor offence, or a minor offence committed a long time ago or when very young.