What type of criminal record check can I do on an applicant?
  • Any employment position can be subject to a basic criminal record check.
  • Only certain positions can involve a standard, enhanced or enhanced with barred list criminal record check.
  • It is a criminal offence to knowingly submit an application which is not eligible.
  • People with spent convictions do not have to disclose them for most jobs, and they won’t be disclosed on basic criminal record checks.
  • People with spent convictions will normally need to disclose when applying for roles that involve standard or enhanced criminal record checks as they’ll usually be disclosed on these levels of checks (unless they are filtered).
  • More information: Doing the correct level of criminal record check [Detailed guidance]
Who oversees the criminal record check process?
  • There are a number of organisations and agencies involved
  • For employers, the main organisations are the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly CRB) and Disclosure Scotland
  • More information: Disclosure and Barring Service [Information]
Am I allowed to ask an applicant to get a copy of their police record?
  • No. Police records are not the same as a criminal record check. Police records are protected under the Data Protection Act.
  • If you ask an applicant to get a copy of their police record, this could be seen as an ‘enforced subject access’ which is a criminal offence under the Data Protection Act.
  • More information: Police records and enforced subject access requests [Detailed guidance]