News story

DBS digital services

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be introducing new online services over the next 12 months.

DBS digital services

In the coming year, we’ll be introducing several new digital services for you to use. We know that you’d like more online services, which will improve processing times and help you manage your information easily.

Basic criminal record checks

If you live or work in England or Wales you’ll be able to apply for a basic criminal record check through DBS from autumn 2017.

These checks are currently managed by Disclosure Scotland, who’ll continue to process them for anyone living or working in Scotland.

There’s no eligibility for a basic criminal record check. You’ll start by completing identity checks through GOV.UK Verify, and then use the DBS online service to apply for a basic check.

A basic criminal record check shows unspent cautions and convictions. It’s used by many employers as part of the recruitment processes. If you’re self-employed you can also apply for a basic check.

Use our eligibility tool to find out which criminal record check is right for you.


Also in 2017 our new barring referral system will be available. Employers and organisations will be able to submit barring referrals online and:

  • register to create an online account with DBS
  • manage one or several barring referrals online
  • share information with DBS through a secure government platform

Standard and enhanced criminal record checks

The next change will be the introduction of online standard and enhanced checks for employers and organisations. The system will allow you to:

  • register to create an online account with DBS
  • manage DBS check applications online
  • track the progress of DBS applications online and do status checks

Standard and enhanced checks can show spent and unspent convictions, plus additional information that the police may hold. These checks are needed for certain roles, especially when working with children and vulnerable adults.

When an applicant gets a standard or enhanced check online, they’ll be able to join the update service to keep that check up-to-date.

We’ll continue to keep you updated about DBS online services over the coming months.

GOV.UK email alerts

You can sign up for GOV.UK alerts, which will notify you of any updates to our web content. Go to the DBS homepage and click on the email icon under the ‘Latest’ box.

You’ll be asked for an email address to create a subscription, and can choose how often you’d like to be alerted when DBS publishes web updates.

Published 2 February 2017