Information Pack

How to process Disclosure Applications


1a)  WHAT LEVEL OF DISCLOSURE DO YOU NEED?                                                                                                           1

1b)  IS THE APPLICANT A VOLUNTEER?                                                                                                                               2


Section 2:  THE PROCESS

2a)  FILLING OUT THE FORM                                                                                                                                                  2

2b)  FINAL CHECKS                                                                                                                                                                  2

2c)  Dos                                                                                                                                                                                      2

2d)  DON’Ts                                                                                                                                                                               2

2e)  POSITION APPLIED FOR                                                                                                                                                  3

2f)   IF AN APPLICANT USES ‘Ms’ FOR HER TITLE.                                                                                                               3

2g) APPLICANTS’ ADDRESSES                                                                                                                                               3

2h)  APPLICANT’S with a PRIMARY ADDRESS OVERSEAS                                                                                                   3

2i)  NAME CHANGE                                                                                                                                                                   4

2j)   ADOPTION                                                                                                                                                                          4

2k) Checking driving licences                                                                                                                                       4

2l)   VERIFYING THE APPLICANT‘S IDENTIFICATION.                                                                                                          5

2m) TYPES OF IDENTIFICATION                                                                                                                                             5

2n)  COMPLETING SECTION A - Lines 20 to 31                                                                                                                       5

2o)  COMPLETING SECTION W and X                                                                                                                                     6

2p)  WHAT DO WE DO BEFORE SENDING OFF  THE APPLICATIONS?                                                                               6

2q)   FINGERPRINTS                                                                                                                                                                6

2r)  TURNAROUND TIMES                                                                                                                                                       6



3a) Changing your recruitment application  forms for filtering                                                              6

3b)  What Police National Computer (PNC)  information will be on a DBS certificate?                         7

3c)  What PNC information will be filtered  from inclusion on a DBS certificate?                               7

3d)  What other types of information  are shown on enhanced DBS certificates?                              8

3e)  When did the rules change in relation  to information being filtered?                                           8

3f)    What are the changes?                                                                                                                                            8

3g)   Can an employer ask an individual to  declare details of all convictions  and cautions?      8

3h)  Completion of section e field 55 on the  DBS application form                                                             8

3i)   Positions where filtering does not apply                                                                                                       8

3j)   External guidance                                                                                                                                                     9

3k)  Fair Processing Notice                                                                                                                                             9


Section 4 - Three routes of ID checking

4a)  Route One                                                                                                                                                                       10

4b)   Route TWO                                                                                                                                                                     10

4c)   Route THREE                                                                                                                                                                 11

4d)   What if the applicants identity cannot be established using one of the three routes?        11

4e)   DBS Checks for Overseas Applicants                                                                                                               11


Section 5:  FRAUD


5a)  HOW DO I CHECK FOR   INDICATORS OF FRAUD?                                                                                                      12

5b)   Checking a passport                                                                                                                                                12

5c)   Checking a photo driving licence                                                                                                                       12

5d)   Checking an old style driving licence  (no photograph)                                                                        12

5e)   Checking a birth certificate                                                                                                                                12

5f)    Checking an EU photo identity card                                                                                                                  13

5g)   Checking an HM Forces ID card                                                                                                                           13

5h)   Checking a firearms licence                                                                                                                                13

5i)    Checking a biometric residence permit                                                                                                           13

5j)    Other types of ID                                                                                                                                                       13

5k)   What should you do if you suspect false  identity or documents?                                                   13

5l)    Where to go for help                                                                                                                                               14



6a)  Asking the applicant to see their  disclosure certificate.                                                                    14

6b)   Making your Employment Decision.                                                                                                                    14

6c)   When you have made your decision.                                                                                                                   14

6d)   Retention                                                                                                                                                                      14

6e)   Disposal                                                                                                                                                                         15

6f)    Disclosure Offences                                                                                                                                               15

6g)   Additional Information                                                                                                                                           15

6h)   Security                                                                                                                                                                         15



7a)  MAKING REFERRALS                                                                                                                                                       16

7b). Who has a legal DUTY to refer?                                                                                                                           16

7c)  Who has a legal POWER to refer?                                                                                                                         16

7d)  What are regulated activity providers?                                                                                                         16

7e)  Who are personnel suppliers?                                                                                                                             17

7f)   When should I refer?                                                                                                                                                17


Section 8 – Update Service

8a)  What is the DBS Update Service?                                                                                                                          17

8b)   How do you access the Update Service?                                                                                                         18

8c)   How to make a Status check                                                                                                                                  18

8d)   Interpreting Status check results                                                                                                                 19


Section 9 - Fasttracking

9a)   DBS Adult First check                                                                                                                                             20


                                                                           Section 10 – Disclaimer                                                                              20



DBS Guidance Notes                                                                                                                                                          21






As the Identity Checker you will need to read all the information in this folder before you complete your first

DBS application form.








Legal Responsibilities.


Before an organisation considers asking a person to apply for a criminal record check through the  DBS, they are legally responsible for ensuring that they are entitled to submit an application for that person’s post (whether exiting or on offer). This means that if you are a countersigning officer you must satisfy yourself that the position is eligible under the current legal provisions before you countersign each application form.


Levels of criminal record check available:


standard checks To be eligible for a standard level DBS certificate, the position must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. A standard level certificate contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC) which have not been filtered in line with legislation. (


enhanced checks To be eligible for an enhanced level DBS certificate, the position must be included in both the ROA Exceptions Order and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations, for example, regularly caring for, training, supervising or being solely in charge of children, specified activities with adults in receipt of health care or social care services and applicants for gaming and lottery licences. An enhanced level certificate contains the same PNC information as the standard level certificate but also includes a check of information held locally by police forces


enhanced checks with children’s and/or adults’ barred list check(s) – To be eligible to request a check of the children’s or adults’ barred lists, the position must be eligible for an enhanced level DBS certificate as above and be specifically included in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations as able to check the appropriate barred list(s).

An enhanced level certificate with barred list check(s) contains the same PNC information and check of information held locally by police forces as an enhanced level check but in addition will check against the children’s and/or adult’s barred lists. (


A guide to eligibility for DBS checks:


Regulated activity (adults):


Regulated activity (children):




·         A volunteer is anyone engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid, doing something which aims to benefit some third party, and not a close relative.

·         To qualify for a volunteer criminal record check, the applicant must not:

1.      Benefit directly from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted

2.      Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)

3.      Be on a work placement

4.      Be on a course that requires them to do this job role

5.      Be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification

·         Note the advice on applying for a free of charge application at line X68 on the DBS form.


·        Section 2:  THE PROCESS




Ÿ  The application form can be filled out by the applicant or by yourself and then signed by the applicant. The latter takes more of your time ‘up front’ but tends to lead to fewer errors so will save you time in the long run.

Ÿ  Make sure the Dos and Don’ts instructions are followed to the letter.

Ÿ  All forenames must be given in Section A - line 3.

Ÿ  The applicant should have filled in the relevant lines in Sections A, B, C and E. For section E the following guidelines are very important. (See Section 3h).




Before filling out Sections W and X check the following carefully:

Ÿ  that the form has been filled in correctly using black ink and Capital Letters.

Ÿ  Section A lines 4,5,6 and 7 are filled in if necessary.

Ÿ  that the applicant has signed at Section E 56 (keeping their signature inside the box)


2c)    DOs


Ÿ  use BLACK INK, write clearly and only in BLOCK CAPITALS

Ÿ  use only one letter or number in each box.

Ÿ  leave an empty box between words.

Ÿ  mark choices in the box with a cross not a tick. If you made an error then put a cross in the correct box and put a circle around it.

Ÿ  to correct a mistake put a line through it and write the correction to the right. If there is no space to the right then you must use a continuation sheet. This can be downloaded from:



2d)    DON’Ts


Ÿ  don’t place any stamps or stickers on the form

Ÿ  don’t write ‘not applicable’ or strike out any section - leave them blank.

Ÿ  don’t staple anything to the form

Ÿ  don’t use correcting fluid or Tippex




SECTION X61 will have to be completed as below to ensure that any DBS certificates issued, can be used by the applicant as part of the Update Service.  The Update Service allows the applicant’s DBS certificate to be taken with them from job to job within the relevant workforce(s).  The police use this broad definition of “workforce” to assess the relevance of any information they may consider for release. To decide on an appropriate workforce refer to DBS Workforce Guide on their website.


The Position Applied for field (X61) includes both lines of 30 characters each. Registered Bodies must complete this field as follows, failure to complete the field correctly may delay the application as the DBS will need to contact you for further information; it may also prevent the applicant from using their DBS Certificate for future employment or volunteering purposes:

X61 Line 1: Write in one of the following form of words to indicate the relevant workforce(s) i.e.


·     Child Workforce - use this for any position that involves working/volunteering with children.

·     Adult Workforce - use this for any position that involves working/volunteering with adults

·     Child and Adult Workforce - use this for any position that does involve working/volunteering with both Children and Adults. 

·     Other Workforce - use this for any position that does not involve working/volunteering with Children or Adults eg. security guard.


X61 Line 2: Enter a description of the ‘Position Applied For’ up to 30 characters, eg, teacher, support worker.




Ÿ  If an applicant uses ‘Ms’ for their title then they must write any other Surnames used in Section A, Lines 4,5,6 and 7 if they have had a different Surname.

Ÿ  This is because the police define ‘Ms’ as meaning Divorced or Separated and will therefore expect a previous name. If there is no name then the police will state that the Disclosure is incomplete and it will not be reliable.

Ÿ  If the applicant has never been married or has been married but prefers to use ’Ms’ then they must cross ‘No’ at line 4.




Ÿ  The applicant’s current and previous 5 year address history must cover a full five years with no gaps. (Not even 1 month)

Ÿ  Addresses must always have full postcodes and the Country of residence is compulsory. UK, UNITED KINGDOM, ENGLAND are acceptable.

Ÿ  Continue on a Continuation Sheet if they have more than 3 addresses.

Ÿ  A copy of the Continuation Sheet (pages 1and 2) is in the original letter we sent when you registered with us. Please photocopy these as needed, or print from:




Ÿ  Applicants cannot use an overseas address as their primary address in Section B, lines 32-37 (current address)  and temporary UK addresses as other addresses in Section C, lines 38-44 etc. .   From now on applicants must have a c/o (care of)  UK address in the Current Address Section B, lines 32-37.  If the applicant agrees, the care of address could be that of the Organisation requesting the check and potential employer. So fill in the field like this. 


Ÿ  Section B line 32: Should have” c/o” or ”care of” in front of the first line of the address

Ÿ  Section B line 37: “at address since” should be the month and year the form is completed.

Ÿ  Section C: Other addresses should be the current overseas address

Ÿ  Section C line 43 “to “ date should be the same as line 37 


2i)       NAME CHANGE


What if the applicant has changed their name recently and cannot provide ID documents in this new name?


Documents in a previous name can be accepted ONLY where the applicant can provide documentation supporting a recent change because of:

·       Marriage/civil partnership {marriage/civil partnership certificate

·       divorce/civil partnership dissolution {decree absolute/civil partnership dissolution certificate}

·       deed poll {Deed Poll certificate}


In these instances, you must:

1. Return a 'Continuation Sheet' with the application form clearly stating

·       current and previous names

·       date of the change

·       reason for the change

·       the document you have seen to support this change

For Transgender Applicants please contact the DBS Sensitive Applications Team on 0151 676 1452


2j)        ADOPTION


What if the applicant has been adopted?


Registered Bodies should inform applicants that if they were adopted before the age of 10, they do not need to provide their surname at birth in Section A of the Disclosure application form, they should give their adoptive name in this section.

This is because the age of criminal responsibility is deemed to be 10 years, under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, Chapter 12, Section 50. This means that there is no possibility that an individual could have a criminal record in a name that was used until the age of 10.


2k)     Checking driving licences


Do not accept licences, other than those stated in the list of valid identity documents.

English, Welsh and Scottish driving licence numbers contain information about the applicants name, sex and date of birth. This information is written in a special format but can be gleaned and matched against the information provided by the applicant in Section A.

Please note that the date of birth on English, Welsh and Scottish driving licences, issued before 1977, is not recorded as a separate entry on the licence. The date of birth can be deciphered from the driving licence number and checked against the date of birth field on the application form.

For example, the format of the number for Christine Josephine Robinson, born 2 July 1975

R O B I N 7 5 7 0 2 5 C J 9 9 9 0 1


N = 1st five letters of the surname (if the surname begins MAC or MC it is treated as MC for all).

Y = YEAR of birth.

M = MONTH of birth (In the case of a female, the number represented by the first M will have the value 5 added to the first digit e.g. a female born in November (i.e. 11) would display 61 in the MM boxes or if born in February (i.e. 02) would display 52).

D = DAY of month of birth.

I = Initial letter of the first two forenames - if only one, then 9 will replace the second letter. If the licence indicates that the applicant has a middle name, ensure that one has been provided in Sect. A.

C = Computer generated.

For Northern Ireland; Isle of Man and Jersey driving licences the licence number is in a different format. The licence number is unique to the driver and the name or date of birth validation, as shown above, cannot be used.




Sections W and X should be completed by you. It covers the verification of the identity of the individual and is very important. If this is not completed accurately the form will be returned to you and there will be a consequential delay.


Please ensure that Sections W and X are NOT completed by the individual.     

 Do not fill in any of Section Y or Z.


Ÿ  A list of identity documentation acceptable to the DBS is printed in Appendix 1 below..

Ÿ  Any document offered as proof of identity must be an original; photocopies or documents printed from the internet are not acceptable. 

Ÿ  Once you have verified the identity documentation is correct you should put a cross in ‘yes’ on line 59 in Section W .

Ÿ  Do not fill in any of Section Y or Z.


2m)     TYPES OF IDENTIFICATION - see Appendix 1 for the DBS Groupings List


Ÿ  All documents must be in the applicant’s current name. At least one document must show the applicant’s current address and at least one document must show the applicant’s date of birth. Please ensure the details in the documentation match those given on the Disclosure Application form.

Ÿ  Where possible, ask for photographic identity and compare it against the applicant’s likeness.

Ÿ  You are requested to verify as much physical evidence of identity as the applicant is willing or able to provide.


2n)      COMPLETING SECTION A - Lines 20 to 31  


·           Passport Number: Enter the full and complete passport number leaving no spaces between digits.

·           Nationality: Enter the nationality as shown in the passport.

·           Country of Issue:  Enter the country of issue shown in the passport.

·           Driving licence number: Enter the licence number, including the two digits that are shown separately on the right hand side of the driving licence number (Issue number). If the driving licence indicates a middle name (letters in positions 12 and 13) then this name must be shown in Section A - line 3. Only UK (including English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man) are acceptable.  See Section on Fraud for checking licences

·           National Insurance number: Enter in the spaces provided at Line 21 the NI number shown on the document.



Evidence seen and checked by: Write in the space provided the name of the person who has seen the evidence and completed the details in Section W - line 58 and verify on line 59.


For line 67 the following applies:

Ÿ  New post holder:                                      applicant is new to the position recorded in Section X

Ÿ  Existing post holder:                                  applicant is already working in the position recorded

in Section X but has never been DBS checked by your organisation.

Ÿ  Recheck for existing post holder:               applicant is already working in the position recorded

in Section X, has been DBS checked for this position in the past and is being rechecked.




Ÿ  When we receive an application from you we check it for accuracy.

Ÿ  If there are any inaccuracies or missing information then we contact you - usually by e-mail - to sort everything out.

Ÿ  When the application form is accurate we send it off to the DBS.

Ÿ  If the DBS find further errors or want more information they will contact us and we will contact you.




Ÿ  Very occasionally the police may require an applicant’s fingerprints for a more specific identity check. This is usually when the applicant’s name and birth date is very similar to that of another person, or if to meet the requirements of Routes Two or Three.

Ÿ  We will inform you of the procedure if this situation arises.




Ÿ  Standard Disclosure takes the DBS about 1 week to process and an Enhanced takes a minimum of 2 weeks to 1 month. This means that total turnaround times, from you posting the applications to us to the applicant receiving a completed Disclosure, are approximately 2 to 6 weeks. In more complex applications, e.g. those with many addresses or conviction information, the Disclosure may take longer.




Filtering is the term we use to describe the process which will identify and remove protected convictions and cautions so that they are no longer disclosed on a DBS certificate (DBS check).

In addition, employers will not be able to take old and minor cautions and convictions into account when making recruitment decisions.

All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specified offences of relevance for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, will remain subject to disclosure on a DBS check.

All convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where more than one conviction is recorded.



3a)     Changing your recruitment application forms for filtering


We have been asked whether recruitment processes should be updated to consider asking about previous criminal offences and filtering. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) suggest you should use the following question as a template for your own recruitment processes:

Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013)


Job application forms relating to positions that request a DBS check need to reflect the filtering changes so that:

·      employers ask the right questions and

·      employees give the right (legally accurate) answer

You are encouraged to include the paragraph below in your standard application forms:

The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are protected and are not subject to disclosure to employers , and cannot be taken into account.

All guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found in the DBS filtering guidance.


3b)      What Police National Computer (PNC) information will be on a DBS certificate?


Standard and enhanced DBS certificates will include details of convictions and cautions (which include youth cautions, reprimands and warnings) recorded on the PNC.

PNC information relating to protected cautions and convictions will be filtered and will not appear on the certificate.


3c)       What PNC information will be filtered from inclusion on a DBS certificate?


The rules as to when a conviction or caution will be filtered are set out in legislation. This states that a certificate must include the following:

·      cautions relating to an offence from a list agreed by Parliament (see below)

·      cautions given less than 6 years ago (where individual was 18 or over at the time of caution)

·      cautions given less than 2 years ago (where individual was under 18 at the time of caution)

·      convictions relating to an offence from a prescribed list (see below)

·      where the individual has more than one conviction offence all convictions will be included on the certificate (no conviction will be filtered)

·      convictions that resulted in a custodial sentence (regardless of whether served)

·      convictions which did not result in a custodial sentence, given less than 11 years ago (where individual was 18 or over at the time of conviction)

·      convictions which did not result in a custodial sentence, given less than 5.5 years ago (where individual was under 18 at the time of conviction)


A list of offences which will never be filtered from a criminal record check has been taken from legislation.

The list includes a range of offences which are serious, relate to sexual or violent offending or are relevant in the context of safeguarding. It would never be appropriate to filter offences on this list. In addition, the legislation covers equivalent offences committed overseas.

It is not possible to capture a definitive list of all equivalent offences under the law of all other jurisdictions.

Where an individual is aware that they have committed an offence overseas which may be equivalent they should seek independent expert or legal advice to ensure that they provide information that is truthful and accurate.


3d)      What other types of information are shown on enhanced DBS certificates?


In addition to information from the PNC, it may also include information taken from police records that a chief officer of a police force considers relevant to the application and ought to be disclosed, or details of whether an individual is included on any of the lists barring people from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.


3e)     When did the rules change in relation to information being filtered?


The rules changed on 29 May 2013. Changes have been made to the legislation that determines which convictions and cautions can be taken into account by employers and other bodies and what is included on a standard and enhanced DBS certificate.


3f)       What are the changes?


The changes made to legislation impact both what an employer can ask an individual in relation to convictions and cautions (for example a self-declaration on an application form of do you have any convictions) and what is released on a standard or enhanced DBS certificate.


3g)      Can an employer ask an individual to declare details of all convictions

            and cautions?


They can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that they are legally entitled to know about.

Where a standard or enhanced DBS certificate can legally be requested (where the position is one that is listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended) and where appropriate Police Act Regulations (as amended) an employer can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.

If an employer takes into account a conviction or caution that would not have been disclosed they are acting unlawfully under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


3h)     Completion of section e field 55 on the DBS application form


A question will be asked at section e field 55 - Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance?

The response to this question should only be in relation to convictions or cautions which are not protected and thereby subject to filtering.


3i)     Positions where filtering does not apply


There are a small number of defined positions where details of all convictions and cautions may be taken into account. These positions do not come through the DBS process. Some examples are police vetting and firearms licence applications.

If the position/occupation is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 but not subject to a disclosure by the DBS, the employer is entitled to ask about, and receive information about, all spent convictions and cautions.

The employer should, however, follow existing guidance and conduct a case-by-case analysis of any spent convictions and cautions and consider how, if at all, they are relevant to the position sought.

It would be advisable for the employer to keep records of the reasons for any employment decision (and in particular rejections), including whether any spent convictions or cautions were taken into account and, if so, why.

If the employee fails to disclose any spent convictions or cautions when required by law to do so, he/she will not be protected from the consequences of this (i.e. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act will not apply).


3j)     External guidance


Filtering guidance is also available from other organisations. The DBS is not responsible for content on external sites.




Nacros Resettlement Advice Service is the UKs dedicated, confidential, national resettlement helpline and online service.

They provide expert advice and advocacy to people with criminal records, as well as expert advice, support and training to employers and organisations responsible for interpreting and managing this information.

Nacro have developed sample templates of criminal record declaration forms that take account of the changes and details of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

You can read more about filtering on the NACRO advice pages.




Unlock is an independent award-winning charity, providing trusted information and advice services for people with convictions.

They run a confidential peer-advice helpline which supports people to overcome the effects of their criminal convictions.

Unlock provide independent and impartial advice and support to employers and HR professionals that are receiving and/or making recruitment decisions based on criminal record information.

Filtering and caution advice pages are also available to view on the Unlock website.


3k)     Fair Processing Notice


On the front page of the application form, the DBS include a fair processing notice. This states that the details you and the applicant fill in on the application form are referred to the police and other government bodies, to help identify possible matches to records held against them.

There is now an update to this notice which is that the DBS may now also use the information provided on the certificate, or any other information they  are made aware of, to inform consideration of their barring decisions. They are able to do this as legislation contained in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, gives them the powers to do so.

Section 4 - Three routes of ID checking


The ID checking process has three routes. IDs are checked using Route One, in the first instance; if this is not possible then Route Two is followed; if this is also not possible then Route Three is followed.


4a)     Route One


All applicants must initially be considered for Route One.

Can the applicant produce a group 1 document? If yes, then the applicant must produce 3 documents:

·      1 document from group 1 (refer to Appendix 1 - DBS Groupings List); and

·      2 further documents from group 1, 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address.

If the applicant has satisfied this route, then the document check is complete. If the applicant cannot produce a group 1 document then go to Route Two.


European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals (Non-UK):   Where an EEA National has been resident in the UK for five years or less, the registered body should validate identity via Route One through the checking of a current passport or current group 1 Driving Licence (photo card) plus 2 further documents.

In the absence of a group 1 document the registered body must satisfy themselves of a valid reason for using Route Two.


Non-EEA Nationals:   All Non-EEA Nationals should be validated via Route One only.


4b)     Route TWO


The applicant must produce:

·      3 documents from group 2 consisting of;

·      1 document from group 2a; and

·      2 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address

·      the organisation conducting the ID check will then need to ensure an appropriate external ID validation service is used to check the applicant against their records to establish the applicants name and living history footprint. Wrighton Education Services Ltd can supply this service, if required.


Route Three should only be used in circumstances once you have fully explored with the applicant why their identity has not been successfully validated via Routes One or Two .

To do this, you should hold a probing discussion with the applicant about the likely reasons why their identity has not been validated before considering using Route Three. You should keep a record of this discussion for internal purposes, it is the employer’s responsibility to establish the true identity of the applicant through the examination of a range of documents set out in this guidance.

If you are still unable to validate the applicants identity using Routes One, Two or Three, then you should indicate this on the application form at Box W59 and return the form to us.


Wrighton Education Services Ltd

43B Mason Street

London SE17 1HF


The applicant will then need to be sent for fingerprinting by the police. This can cause delays to the DBS application process and your recruitment campaign.

If you have tried to use Route Two, but have been unable to validate the applicants identity successfully, you may consider proceeding to Route Three.

4c)     Route THREE


All employers must have tried to take Route One and Route Two before you consider processing through Route Three.

If the applicant cannot meet the requirements of Route One and Two, you should have had a probing discussion with them to establish why they could not meet these requirements and whether there has been a recent or previous change of name that has not been declared.

For Route Three, the applicant must produce:

·      birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands) (issued after the time of birth by the General Register Office/relevant authority i.e. Registrars Photocopies are not acceptable) and

·      4 further documents from group 2 consisting of:

·      1 document from group 2a; and

·      3 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address.

If the applicant fails to produce the required document set at Route Three, they will need to be sent for fingerprinting by the police. This can cause delays to the DBS application process and your recruitment campaign.


4d)     What if the applicants identity cannot be established using

one of the three routes?


If you or your ID checker cannot establish an applicants identity in accordance with DBS ID guidelines then you should mark W59 on the application form with a NO.

Applicants who are unable to provide the required documents will then be asked to give their consent to have their fingerprints taken in line with the current procedure. Employers should note this will require attendance by the applicant at a police station at an appointed time, and may add delay to the overall application process.


4e)     DBS Checks for Overseas Applicants


The DBS cannot access criminal records held overseas, but it is possible to submit an application while the applicant is overseas.  In a small number of cases overseas criminal records are held on the Police National Computer and these would be revealed as part of a DBS check.  You must still verify the identity of an overseas applicant. As the DBS cannot access criminal records held overseas, a DBS check may not provide a complete picture of an individual’s criminal record.

How to Check Overseas Applicants

If you are recruiting people from overseas and wish to check their overseas criminal record, you should ask the applicant to contact the embassy or High Commission of the country in question for a ’Certificate of Good Conduct’. It may be possible for employers to obtain this check though the relevant embassy in the UK. The applicant must give their permission for this.

Find contact details for embassies and High Commissions in the UK on the following website:

If a foreign check needs translating, the embassy of the country concerned may be able to help.

The DBS is not involved in the processing of applications made by individuals to overseas authorities and will not be responsible for the contents or the length of time taken for information to be returned.


Certificates of Good Conduct

You should try to obtain a certificate of good conduct and any other references from potential overseas employees.  The standard of foreign police checks varies.  To find out the standard, you should contact either the authorities in a particular country, or their embassy.  Either you or the employee should obtain a certified translation of the certificate of good conduct.  The DBS does not offer a translation service.

Section 5:  FRAUD      




Always check for signs of tampering when checking identity documents. Documents should be queried if they display any signs of damage, especially in the areas of personal details such as the name and the photograph. The following table of guidelines should help you look out for any suspicious signs when authenticating documents.


5b)     Checking a passport


Check the general quality and condition of the passport. Treat it with suspicion if it is excessively damaged; accidental damage is often used to conceal tampering.

Photographs should be examined closely for signs of damage to the laminate or for excessive glue or slitting of the laminate; these signs would indicate photo substitution. If the photograph appears excessively large, this might indicate an attempt to hide another photograph underneath. There should also be an embossed strip embedded into the laminate, which will catch a portion of the photograph. Check there is no damage to this area. If the passport is from a foreign national, you can still follow the same procedures as above. Her Majestys Passport Office have produced a guide to be used when checking passports for identification.


5c)     Checking a photo driving licence


Examine the licence for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.


5d)     Checking an old style driving licence (no photograph)


Remove the document from the plastic wallet and check that it is printed on both sides.

It should have a watermark visible by holding the licence up to the light and there should be no punctuation marks in the name or address.

The Valid To date should be the day before the bearers 70th birthday (unless the bearer is already over 70). The Valid To date can therefore be cross-referenced with the applicants date of birth detailed in Section A.


5e)     Checking a birth certificate


Birth certificates are not evidence of identity, and are easily obtained. Although certificates issued at the time of birth may give more confidence that it belongs to the individual, unlike a recently issued certificate, they will not show if any information has been corrected or superseded by a new registration.

Check the quality of paper used; genuine certificates use a high grade. There should be a watermark visible when the document is held up to the light. Any signs of smoothness on the surface would indicate that original text might have been washed or rubbed away. There should be no signs of tampering, changes using liquid paper, overwriting or spelling mistakes.

The following list provides some general information about certificate completion which may help to establish whether the certificate and/or the details have been falsified. This is provided solely as a guide and is not exhaustive:

·      the certificate format used should be appropriate for the year of registration.

·      only the surname should be entered in upper case, not the forename(s).

·      dates of birth should be shown with the day and month in words and the year in figures.

The following information might indicate that the certificate has been altered:

·      spacing between falsely added particulars might be irregular compared to original information. Thick or thin spacing might infer particulars have been added.

·      false particulars might not have been aligned with other words.

·      characters may not be of the same size or shape with the rest of the particulars.

·      movement of handwriting may look mechanical and does not flow with the rest of the particulars.

·      changes might not be consistent e.g. parents surnames might be altered, but not the signatures.

·      the area around falsely added or removed particulars may react differently under an ultra violet light i.e. show signs of staining. In addition, such areas of paper may appear thinner where the paper fibres have been disturbed by abrasion.

For more information on checking birth certificates, please refer to Her Majestys Passport Office document General Register Office guide to birth certificates.


5f)     Checking an EU photo identity card


Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.


5g)     Checking an HM Forces ID card


Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.


5h)     Checking a firearms licence


Check the licence is printed on blue security paper with a Royal crest watermark and a faint pattern stating the words Home Office.

Examine the licence for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details, which should include home address and date of birth.

The licence should be signed by the holder and bear the authorising signature of the chief of police for the area in which they live, or normally a person to whom his authority has been delegated.


5i)     Checking a biometric residence permit


View the features of a permit and how to check them on the UK Visas and Immigration website.


5j)     Other types of ID


Ensure all letters and statements are recent, i.e. within a three month period. Do not accept documentation printed from the internet.

Check letter headed paper is used, bank headers are correct and all documentation looks genuine. The address should be cross-referenced with that quoted in Section B.


5k)     What should you do if you suspect false identity or documents?


If you suspect that you have been presented with a false identity or documents at the time of application, do not proceed with the application process.

·      report suspected identity fraud through the Action Fraud website:

·      further information on identity fraud can be found on the Metropolitan police website:

·      if you suspect identity fraud once a DBS check has been submitted, you must call the DBS on 03000 200 190

You are also advised that under Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 all employers in the United Kingdom are required to make basic document checks to help prevent anyone from working illegally.

By carrying out checks employers will be able to establish a defence for themselves if any of their employees are found to be working illegally at a later date.

Further details are available on the UK visas and immigration website ( or by calling the employer helpline on 0845 010 6677.


5l)     Where to go for help


You can go to the public register of authentic identity and travel documents online on the PRADO website ( to identify the basic safeguards contained in European documents and a few more other nationality documents.

The PRADO website is provided by the Council of European Union.




The Disclosure certificate is sent directly to the applicant.


6a)     Asking the applicant to see their disclosure certificate.


If the Disclosure is one applied for by your organisation for the post, then:

check that the Disclosure is a DBS original (see the section on Security). Then check for inaccuracies in the Disclosure’s contents e.g. spelling of name, address, DOB, etc.


If the applicant  has an existing Disclosure certificate and is signed up to the ‘Update Service’. (See below - ‘What is the Update Service and how do I access it?’ and ‘How to make a Status check’).


6b)     Making your Employment Decision.


If the Applicant has convictions and/or cautions you will need to consider their employment in relation to the relevance, severity and date of the convictions and/or cautions. There are not fixed rules for this, you will have to consider the information along with all other pre-employment checks you undertake. You can contact us for general advice but we are not able to advise on whether to employ someone.


6c)     When you have made your decision.


A note of the Applicant’s name, the Disclosure number, date of issue, type of disclosure, position applied for and recruitment decision taken may be kept for future reference.



6d)      Retention


Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, organisations must not keep the certificate information for any longer than is necessary. This is generally for up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep certificate information for longer than six months, the organisation will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights of the individual before doing so. Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding the safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.


6e)      Disposal


Once the retention period has elapsed, the organisation will ensure that any DBS certificate information is immediately destroyed by secure means, i.e. by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, certificate information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g. waste bin or confidential waste sack). The organisation will not keep any photocopy or other image of the certificate or any copy or representation of the contents of a certificate.

Note: those registered care homes which are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), those organisations which are inspected by Ofsted and those establishments which are inspected by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) may retain the certificate until the next inspection. Once the inspection has taken place the certificate should be destroyed in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice.

However, notwithstanding the above, the organisation may keep a record of the date of issue of a certificate, the name of the subject, the type of certificate requested, the position for which the certificate was requested, the unique reference number of the certificates and the details of the recruitment decision taken.


6f)     Disclosure Offences


Recipients of disclosure information, through either electronic means or via the applicant’s copy of the disclosure, must note that it is an offence to disclose information contained within a DBS certificate to any person who is not a member, officer or employee of your organisation, unless a relevant legal exception applies. Furthermore, it is also an offence to:

Ÿ  Disclose information to any member, officer or employee where it is not related to that employee’s duties

Ÿ  Knowingly make a false statement for the purposes of obtaining, or enabling another person to obtain, a Certificate.


Those in receipt of Disclosure and/or Update Service information believed to have committed an offence will be liable to prosecution, suspension or de-registration.


6g)     Additional Information


In exceptional circumstances, there may be ‘additional Information’ held on the applicant by the Police. In this case the Police will contact us and yourselves to give guidance on how to proceed. To ensure security, do not discuss this information with the applicant unless directed to do so.


6h)     Security  


DBS Disclosures contain a number of security features that can be used to verify whether a Disclosure has been counterfeited or altered in any way. If you are unsure whether a Disclosure is genuine, or if you think that it may have been altered, please contact the DBS.




The security features are:,


Ÿ   a 'crown seal' watermark repeated down the right hand side of the Disclosure, which is visible both on the surface and when holding the Disclosure up to a light source;

Ÿ   a heat sensitive diamond-shaped security panel to the left of the Disclosure title, which will change colour when warmed, for example when held between the thumb and forefinger;

Ÿ  a background design incorporating the word Disclosure which appears in a wave-like pattern across both sides of the document. The colour of this pattern is uniform across the front of the Disclosure but alternates between pink and green on the reverse side;

Ÿ  fluorescent inks and fibres that are visible under UV light. These take the form of coloured flecks scattered across the Disclosure and additional 'crown seals'. Various parts of both the text and background design will also be highlighted by UV light;

Ÿ  ink and paper that will change colour in the presence of water or solvent based liquid






Referrals should be made to the DBS when an employer or organisation believes a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups, including children.

An employer or volunteer manager is breaking the law if they knowingly employ someone in a regulated activity with a group from which they are barred from working.

A barred person is breaking the law if they seek, offer or engage in regulated activity with a group from which they are barred from working.


7b). Who has a legal DUTY to refer?


Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007, the following groups have a legal duty to refer:

Regulated activity providers; and

Personnel suppliers.


7c)    Who has a legal POWER to refer?


Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007, the following groups have a legal power to refer:

Local authorities;

Education and Library Boards (NI);

Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts (NI);

Keepers of Registers; and

Supervisory Authorities.


7d)    What are regulated activity providers?


A regulated activity provider is an organisation or individual responsible for the management or control of regulated activity (paid or unpaid) and makes arrangements for people to work in that activity. This will usually be an employer or a voluntary organisation.

Examples of a regulated activity provider would include, but not be limited to:

An NHS hospital or health and social care trust that employ people to provide care, supervision and advice to children and vulnerable adults.

A school that provides education to children under 18 years of age.

A regulated activity provider can also be a person who manages volunteers in a regulated activity position, such as a scout leader or as part of a charitable organisation.


7e)     Who are personnel suppliers?


Personnel suppliers are organisations that supply people to work in regulated activity (either paid or voluntary) in a variety of settings and can include employment agencies, businesses and relevant educational institutions.

An employment agency makes arrangements to either find a person employment with a hirer or to supply them to a hirer to employ.

An employment business engages a person and supplies them to a hirer to work under a hirer’s control.

An educational institution is a Personnel Supplier if it makes arrangements to supply a student following a course at the institution to a regulated activity provider such as a school.


7f)     When should I refer?


Where a person/organisation has a legal duty to refer, there are two main conditions which should be met for a referral to be made, these are:

1) They have permanently removed a person from ‘regulated activity’ through dismissal or permanent transfer from ‘regulated activity’ (or would have if the person had not left, resigned, retired or been made redundant); and

2) They believe the person has :

a. Engaged in ‘relevant conduct’

b. Satisfied the ‘harm test’ (i.e. no action or inaction occurred but the present risk that it could was significant), or

c. Received a caution or conviction for a ‘relevant offence’ (a list of these offences is available on the DBS website, or call the helpline for advice).


A referral should not be made when an allegation is first made. An investigation and evidence gathering should be first undertaken by the person or organisation that would normally refer to the DBS. This is in order to establish if the allegation has foundation, for example as part of an internal disciplinary process. Without evidence or substance to the claims many allegations will be quickly closed down as there will be no foundation on which the DBS can proceed.

Information on the referral duty for other groups can be found on the DBS website, or call the DBS helpline on 01325 953795 for further information.


Section 8 – Update Service


8a)     What is the DBS Update Service?


If the applicant pays an annual subscription of £13, (volunteers free) they can have their DBS Certificate kept up-to-date and take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce (see below), where the same type and level of check is required. It is not obligatory but they can join by going to  ""   and following the instructions for registration.




Next time you recruit someone and need to get them DBS checked – why not ask if they are a member of the Update Service. If they are, you can with their permission, use their current DBS Certificate and carry out a free, instant online check to see if any new information has come to light since its issue.


8b)     How do you access the Update Service?


If you are entitled to carry out a Status check, after viewing the original DBS Certificate, you will be able to carry out a Status check at

You will need to enter the name of your organisation, your forename and surname and then the following details of the DBS Certificate being checked:


·     DBS Certificate number

·     current surname of the DBS Certificate holder - as specified on their DBS Certificate

·     date of birth of the DBS Certificate holder - as recorded on the DBS Certificate


·     You must see the original DBS Certificate to:

Ÿ  check that it is the same level as your required level e.g. Standard, Enhanced, and Enhanced with a Children’s/Adults’/both Barred list check; and

Ÿ  see what, if any, information has been revealed about the applicant and consider this as part of your recruitment process.

Ÿ  You can ask the applicant for permission to take a copy of their Disclosure Certificate but it must be stored in line with the DBS policy on Storage and Retention of Disclosure information and the Data Protection Act.

·     Satisfy yourself through robust ID checks that the person being checked is the same person as that named on the actual DBS Certificate. This will involve having sight of original ID (ideally photo ID documents) e.g. passport, driving licence, etc. You can then carry out the Status check.


8c)     How to make a Status check


Step 1

·     Are you entitled to a DBS check of the level and type as you are going to check the status of?

·     Do you have the individual’s consent to carry out a Status check?

·     If you have answered ‘yes’ to both questions, you can carry out a Status check.

·     If you are unsure go to for guidance on checking your entitlement.


Step 2

·     Go to and search for the DBS Update Service.

·     Enter the name of your organisation.

·     Enter your forename and surname.

·     Enter the details of the DBS Certificate being checked. All of the details requested are mandatory.

·     Enter the DBS Certificate number.

·     Enter the current surname of the DBS Certificate holder (as on their DBS Certificate).

·     Enter the date of birth of the DBS Certificate holder (as recorded on the DBS Certificate) in the format DD/MM/YYYY.


Step 3

·     You will be presented with the Legal Declaration.

      ‘I confirm I have the authority of the individual to which this DBS Certificate number relates to receive up-to-date information (within the meaning of section 116A of the Police Act 1997) in relation to their criminal record DBS Certificate for the purposes of asking an exempted question within the meaning of section 113A of the Police Act 1997; or in relation to their enhanced criminal record DBS Certificate for the purposes of asking an exempted question for a prescribed purpose within the meaning of section 113B of the Police Act 1997.’

·     You must tick the ‘I agree with the legal declaration’ check box to proceed.


Step 4

You will be presented with the result of the check which you can print out and then store it safely and securely in line with the DBS Code of Practice. For more information go to  "" .


8d)     Interpreting Status check results


You will get one of the following results:


This DBS Certificate did not reveal any information and remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue.

This means

Ÿ  The DBS Certificate when issued was blank i.e. it did not reveal any information about the person; and

Ÿ  No new information has been found since its issue and can therefore be accepted as being still current and valid.


This DBS Certificate remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue.

This means

Ÿ  The DBS Certificate revealed information about the person; and

Ÿ  No new information has been found since its issue and can therefore be accepted as being still current and valid.


This DBS Certificate is no longer current. Please apply for a new DBS check to get the most up-to-date information.

This means

Ÿ  New information has come to light since the DBS Certificate was issued and you will need to apply for a new DBS check to see this new information.


The details entered do not match those held on our system. Please check and try again

This means either:

Ÿ  The individual has not subscribed to the Update Service; or

Ÿ  The DBS Certificate has been removed from the Update Service; or

Ÿ  You have not entered the correct information.


Compliance Requests


Those in receipt of Update Service Information must co-operate in full and in line with the timescales in current procedures when DBS enquiries are made in relation to:

Ÿ   Ongoing compliance of those in receipt of Update Service information with the obligations under this Code.

Ÿ   Implementing the suspension or de-registration of a Registered Body where non-compliance is established in line with current procedures.


Section 9 - Fasttracking


9a)     DBS Adult First check    


DBS Adult First is a service provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service that can be used in cases where, exceptionally, and in accordance with the terms of Department of Health guidance, a person is permitted to start work, under supervision, with adults before a DBS Certificate has been obtained. This applies to adult services such as care homes, domiciliary care agencies and adult placement schemes where DBS Certificates are required by law.


This service is only available to organisations who are eligible to access the DBS's Adult barred list and who have requested a check of the barred lists on their DBS application form. DBS Adult First is not a substitute for a DBS Certificate and providers must take care when making recruitment decisions prior to receiving a full DBS Certificate. DBS Adult First checks should be used only in exceptional circumstances and when absolutely necessary.


A DBS Adult First check is not appropriate where a person intends to work with both children and adults. Those working with both groups will need to wait for the DBS Certificate to be returned to find out whether a person is barred from working with children. There is no equivalent quick check of the children's barred list.


 If you meet the criteria above and have put a cross in the yes box for ‘working with adults’ on the application form you can ask for a DBS Adult First check.


We make a small charge for processing these. Please see current price list.


Section 10 – DISCLAiMER


The information provided within this booklet is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services or website links contained in this booklet for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.

Wrighton Education Services Ltd has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within the booklet was correct at the time of publication. Wrighton Education Services Ltd does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from accident, negligence, or any other cause.













ID Documents Groupings List


Group 1: Primary identity documents




Any current and valid passport

Biometric residence permit


Current driving licence  photo card (full or provisional)

UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU

Birth certificate – issued within 12months of the birth

UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands – including those issued by UK authorities overseas, eg embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces

Adoption certificate

UK and Channel Islands





Group 2a: Trusted government documents



Current driving licence  photo card  (full or provisional)

All countries outside the EU (excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands)

Current driving licence (full or provisional). – paper version (if issued before 1998)

UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU


Birth certificate – issued after time of birth

UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands

Marriage/civil partnership certificate

UK and Channel Islands

HM Forces ID card


Firearms licence

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man









Group 2b: Financial and social history documents



Issue date and validity

Mortgage statement


Issued in last 12 months

Bank or building society statement

UK and Channel Islands or EEA

Issued in last 3 months

Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter


Issued in last 3 months

Credit card statement


Issued in last 3 months

Financial statement, e.g. pension or endowment


Issued in last 12 months

P45 or P60 statement

UK and Channel Islands

Issued in last 12 months

Council Tax statement

UK and Channel Islands

Issued in last 12 months

Work permit or visa


Valid up to expiry date

Letter of sponsorship from future employment provider

Non-UK or non-EEA only – valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application

Must still be valid

Utility bill

UK – not mobile telephone bill

Issued in last 3 months

Benefit statement, e.g. Child Benefit, Pension


Issued in last 3 months

Central or local government, government agency, or local council document giving entitlement, e.g. from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HMRC

UK and Channel Islands

Issued in last 3 months

EU National ID card


Must still be valid

Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo

UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands

Must still be valid

Letter from head teacher or college principal

UK – for 16 to 19 year olds in full time education. Only used in exceptional circumstances if other documents cannot be provided

Must still be valid