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7 months ago by Adam Haggag

DBS Checks: Everything you need to know

Happy Male Candidate Shaking Hands With Members Human Resource Team Job Interview Office

Ensuring the safety and security of individuals is of utmost importance. This is especially true when it comes to roles that involve working with vulnerable children.

This is where the DBS checks come into play. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about DBS checks, from what they are to how to get one, and even how you can keep it updated.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS check, or Disclosure and Barring Service check, is a thorough background check carried out by the UK government to assess an individual’s criminal record. This process helps employers make informed decisions about hiring, especially for positions that require close contact with children or vulnerable adults.

The 4 Types of DBS Checks

There are four types of DBS checks, each one issuing the individual with a certificate. The four types are:

1.       Basic DBS Check

This is the most basic level of check and provides information on unspent convictions and conditional cautions.

2.       Standard DBS Check

This check provides details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

3.       Enhanced DBS Check

This is the highest level of check and includes the same information as the standard check, along with any additional information that the local police force deems relevant.

4.       Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Check

This check is specifically designed for roles that involve regulated activities with children and vulnerable adults. It includes all the information from an enhanced check, plus a check against the DBS barred lists.

In order to work in a nursery, school or college, you will require an Enhanced DBS and a child barred list check. Below you’ll find how you can obtain one.

How to get a DBS Check

Applying for a DBS Check

With standard and enhanced DBS checks, you are not able to apply for them yourself. These need to be done through an employer asking for a DBS check, such as ourselves.

The application process involves filling out the necessary forms and providing the required documentation. The completed form is then submitted to the DBS for processing.

Gathering the necessary documentation

Before applying for a DBS check, ensure you have the following documents ready:

·         Proof of identity (e.g. passport, driving license…)

·         Proof of address (e.g. utility bills, bank statements…)

·         Details of any previous names or addresses (if applicable)

·         Application form from the employer


DBS Checks Cost 2023

As of 2023, the cost of applying for an enhanced DBS check through Envision Education is £50.80.

How long do DBS Checks take?

The processing time for a DBS check can vary depending on the type and complexity of the check, as well as the volume of checks being processed at a given time.

On average, many checks are instant and completed within 48 hours.

DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service is a convenient way of keeping your DBS certificate up to date. It allows you to easily transfer your certificate between employers. This ensures that they have access to the most current information about your criminal record, reducing the need for multiple checks and speeding up the hiring process.

Additionally, it means you won’t have to pay the full fee each time you require a DBS.

Uploading your DBS certificate

You have up to 30 days from the date of issue to subscribe to the DBS Update Service. After this period, you’ll need to apply for a new DBS check. To upload your certificate, you’ll need your DBS certificate number, your date of birth and National Insurance number.

Cost of subscription

The annual fee for the DBS Update Service is £13. This provides you with peace of mind knowing that your information is always current and accessible to potential employers.


By reading this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know, allowing you to navigate through the process effectively. Understanding the types, cost and benefits of the process ensures a smooth experience.


If you’re looking to start your career in education or are on the hunt for new opportunities, get in touch with us on 0203 771 1138.