Criminal record checks when you apply for a role

1. Who can check your criminal record

Your criminal record will be checked if you apply for certain roles, for example if you’ll be working with children or in healthcare.

This is called a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

If you’re not applying for one of these roles, it’s against the law for your criminal record to be checked by someone else.

Find out which roles an employer can check your criminal record for.

There are different rules for getting a criminal record check in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Types of check

There are 3 different types of criminal record check an employer can request:

  • a standard check shows any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  • an enhanced check shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
  • an enhanced check with barred lists shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether you’re on the list of people barred from doing the role

Check your own record

Request a copy of your criminal record (known as ‘basic disclosure’) if it can’t be checked by someone else.

It costs £25.

You can then show it to the person you’ll be working for.

If you’re self-employed

You can’t apply for an enhanced, standard or enhanced with barred lists check for yourself. Instead, you can:

If you’re a childminder, you can get a check through Ofsted.

If you’ve lived abroad

The check won’t cover any time you lived outside the UK. The person requesting the check may ask you: