DBS Checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

If you need help making an application please see our page about DBS Applicant Guidance and DBS Application Guide for the self-employed.

Who can request a DBS check?

An employee, or a job candidate cannot request a check on themselves. Only employers, or umbrella companies authorised to conduct a chec on an employer's behalf can request a check.

The check can be applied for in a number of ways. Traditionally employers would have used a paper application (this methods is still available), but with the advent of technology, which Security Watchdog assisted the DBS to develop, the majority of applications are now processed online. Both the paper and online application forms resemble the old CRB application, so those that haven't applied for a check for a while will be familiar with them.

If you are an employer that makes a large volume of applications per year, you may find that our eBulkPlusTM service may be of use to you. This software enables employers to make multiple, or batch, applications for processing and monitoring simultaneously.

Last year Security Watchdog and its clients using our umbrella licence service processed over 1 million DBS checks, making us one of the highest, if not the highest, processor of checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Standard, Enhanced & Enhanced with Lists DBS Checks

Effectively there are three levels of check dependent on the role you are recruiting for. The level of check required will dictate what level of check is appropriate. For example for a role which requires working closely with children or vulnerable adults an enhanced check is mandatory.

The standard check will identify if the candidate has any unspent convictions, the enhanced check will identify spent and unspent convictions, whilst the enhancedwith lists check will also check if an applicant is currently on any register that bars them working with children and vulnerable adults. For more information about the enhanced DBS check, please click 'here'.

You can find out more about the change from CRB to DBS on the Home Office website.

Select the DBS Information Pages tab below for additional guidance.


DBS Information Pages

The links below will provide you with additional information about your DBS check:

Standard DBS Check

Enhanced DBS Check

Enhanced with Lists DBS Check

DBS Applicant Guidance

DBS Guidance for the Self-Employed

Requirements for DLCU Checks (Drug Licencing Compliance Unit)


To discover more about the criminal record checks we offer see: -

DBS Checks

Disclosure Scotland

International Criminal Record Checks



See also our Background Checks page for a list of what other checks can be made. 

Why do employers carry out DBS and Disclosure Scotland Checks?

DBS or Disclosure and Barring checks are criminal record checks used by employers to help assess the suitability and honesty of prospective and existing employees to hold particular job roles and to work in certain environments, where perhaps they may come into contact with children, at risk adults, or work within departments where they may be dealing with finance, or sensitive data.

It is usually a requirement as part of a company's security strategy, so as  to protect company assets, or customer data and to provide a secure and safe environment for other staff, or people that they will come into contact with in the course of their employment.