Check someone's criminal record as an employer

Skip to contents of guide

Get a standard or enhanced DBS check for an employee

How you request a standard or enhanced check depends on how many checks you do a year.

If you do:

How to do a check

  1. Ask DBS or your umbrella body for an application form.

  2. Give the form to the applicant to fill in.

  3. The applicant will return the completed form to you along with documents proving their identity.

  4. Send the completed application form to DBS or your umbrella body.

  5. DBS will send a certificate to the applicant. You must ask the applicant to show it to you so you can check it’s a genuine certificate.

How much it costs

How much it costs depends on the type of check.

Type of check Cost
Standard £18
Enhanced £38
Enhanced with barred lists £38

Checks are free for volunteers.

How long it takes

It usually takes around 14 days but it can take longer if:

  • the details given for the check are incorrect
  • several police forces need to be involved in the check

You cannot pay more to get a faster check.

If you’re registered with DBS you can use the tracking service to track multiple applications.

Checks on carers

If you provide care services for adults (for example in a care home), you can use a service called DBS Adult First.

This will confirm, usually within 2 days, if the applicant:

  • can start work, as long as they’re supervised
  • should wait for the results of an enhanced check

The service costs an extra £6.