As many of us know, the 2023 job market is one marked by volatility and the unknown. As a result, both employers and employees are looking for every tool available to them to attempt to increase job retention, and to ensure that the employer-employee match is as perfect as possible.
One tool that’s becoming increasingly important is the DBS check. It allows employers to get a better picture of the person who’s applying for a position, helping to increase the stability and security of the workplace.
DBS checks, carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (a non-departmental government body), are a way for UK employers to check the criminal records of potential and existing employees.
The purpose of DBS checks is to ensure that individuals are honest with their employer about their criminal history, often in order to protect vulnerable individuals, such as children or the elderly. The checks can reveal both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings. There are three main different kinds of DBS check.
This is the most basic level of DBS check, and it’s intended for roles that aren’t related to vulnerable groups or information, such as general administrative roles, customer service, and sales. A Basic DBS check will reveal an individual’s unspent convictions, which are convictions that aren’t subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
The standard check is one level up from the basic check, and unlike the basic check, it can only be requested for certain roles in certain niches. A Standard DBS check will reveal an individual’s spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands, and it’s generally required for roles that involve contact with sensitive data, such as those in the legal and financial sectors.
In addition to the information contained in the standard check, the enhanced DBS check includes any information that the local police department considers relevant to the role being applied for. It can also include a barred list check, which will aim to ascertain if the applicant is on any lists that bar them from working with certain people or groups.
With an increasing number of roles necessitating contact with sensitive data, and GDPR and other laws stipulating that data must be protected at all costs, it’s imperative that employers use every tool available to them to achieve this. If an incident were to occur as a result of not carrying out due diligence on an employee, an employer could be held liable for breaking regulations.
This is especially important in niches where DBS checks are a legal requirement, such as in healthcare and the medical profession.
Clearly, as we get stuck into 2023, DBS checks remain part of the recruitment process. From ensuring regulatory compliance to enhancing the security of the workplace, they provide a wide range of benefits. For clarification on the exact type of DBS check your niche might require, it’s work reaching out to a qualified DBS checks team, to ensure that you get things just right.