Criminal record checks by employers
You may need to have a criminal record check if you are applying for certain jobs. These checks used to be done by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB). The Criminal Record Bureau is now the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
This section explains what these checks involve and what information can be included on a DBS certificate. It also explains how you can find out what information is held about you and what to do if you are unhappy with the information on your certificate. This information still applies if you have an old certificate issued by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB).
- Employers will ask for a DBS certificate if you are applying for a job that involves regular work with children and/or vulnerable adults.
- Certificates include information about your contact with the criminal justice system (police, courts, prison) and other information that the police think your potential employer needs to know, which could include your mental health.
- The police might know about your mental health if you have had contact with them. For example, if the police moved you to a place of safety because of your mental health under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
- The police have to use guidelines to decide what information is on your certificate.
- You can find out what information is held about you by making a Subject Access Request to your local police force.
- You can challenge the information that is on your DBS certificate. In some cases the police may ask if you want to put forward your views about the information before they give it to a potential employer.
This section covers –
- What are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks?
- What information is included on a DBS certificate?
- How do the police decide what information to include?
- Is health information included?
- How can I find out what information is held about me?
- How can I challenge the information put on a DBS certificate?
- I think an employer has discriminated against me because of information on my DBS certificate, what can I do?
- How long is a DBS certificate valid for?
Last reviewed in January 2015. Next review January 2017.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays