The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.
A DBS check may be needed for:
- certain jobs or voluntary work – e.g. working with children or in healthcare
- applying to foster or adopt a child
Click here for information on:
- Overview of the DBS system
- Arranging checks as an employer
- Tracking an application
- DBS barred lists
- Appeals and disputes
- Contacting DBS
What information do you need to disclose?
The information that you have to give will depend on the length and type of sentence that you received and the job that you are applying for. You will always have to declare a prison sentence of more than two and a half years (or an equivalent period of youth detention or custody) if you are asked about your criminal record by an employer. This applies to a suspended or partially suspended sentence too.
You will also always have to declare any conviction if you are applying for a job where you are working with children or vulnerable adults. For example, you will have to declare all convictions if you are applying to teach, work in the healthcare sector, work as a childminder, or as a social worker.
However, if you are not working with children or vulnerable people, there are some offences that you do not have to declare after a certain period of time has passed. If your conviction falls into this category the conviction is considered to be spent and does not have to be declared even if an employer asks you directly about your criminal record. This fixed period is known as a rehabilitation period and runs from the date of conviction. The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the sentence that you received rather than the type of offence that you committed. Some will be spent more quickly then others.
For information about spent (rehabilitation) periods click here (pdf).
In England and Wales, you can use the online calculator at www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk to work out if your criminal record has become spent.
For information about spend periods in Scotland click here.
For more information about declaring a criminal record when you want to work with children or vulnerable adults, in England and Wales, go to the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk. In Scotland, go to the website of Disclosure Scotland at www.disclosurescotland.co.uk.