University of Bath

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) and the types of DBS checks

Understand the reason for carrying out DBS checks and the different types of checks required.

The Disclosure & Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

The DBS is responsible for:

  • processing requests for criminal records checks
  • deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list
  • placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Information for line managers

As a line manager you are responsible for ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place at all times. Further information is available on your responsibilities for DBS checks.

Information for applicants

If you are applying for a job at the University that requires satisfactory DBS clearance, you will need to complete a DBS check. Further information is available on your responsibilities for applying for a DBS check.

Types of DBS checks

Group Definition Check Type Starting Arrangements
Group 2 - Enhanced DBS Check roles must be included in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations. provides an enhanced check, but does not include information from the DBS's children and adults barred lists. not able to start until acceptable disclosure has been received back from the DBS and agreed by recruiting manager. In exceptional situations following a risk assessment an employee may start before a disclosure is received but with full supervision and safeguards at all times until clearance is received.
Group 3 - Enhanced DBS & Barred List Check (Child) roles which require individuals to engage in regulated activity with children (including all posts working within a ‘specified place’) and / or one of a small number of posts as listed specifically for this category in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations provides an enhanced check, plus information from the DBS's children's barred list. not able to start until acceptable disclosure has been received back from the DBS and agreed by recruiting manager. In exceptional situations following a risk assessment an employee may start before a disclosure is received but with full supervision and safeguards at all times until clearance is received.
Group 4 - Enhanced DBS & Barred List Check (Adult) roles which require individuals to engage in regulated activity with adults and / or a small number of posts as listed specifically for this category in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations provides an enhanced check, plus information from the DBS’s adults barred list. not able to start until acceptable disclosure has been received back from the DBS and agreed by recruiting manager. In exceptional situations following a risk assessment an employee may start before a disclosure is received but with full supervision and safeguards at all times until clearance is received.
Group 5 - Enhanced DBS & Barred List Check (Child & Adult) roles which require individuals to engage in regulated activity with both children and adults and / or a small number of posts as listed specifically for this category in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations provides an enhanced check plus information from the DBS’s children and adults barred list. not able to start until acceptable disclosure has been received back from the DBS and agreed by recruiting manager. In exceptional situations following a risk assessment an employee may start before a disclosure is received but with full supervision and safeguards at all times until clearance is received.
Group 6 - Basic DBS Only roles where a significant risk been identified and where no other check can be made as they are not on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act  (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 basic checks contain details of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings recorded on police central records that are 'unspent'. They can only be obtained currently through Disclosure Scotland. not able to start until a DBS check has been initiated. May start and work with additional supervision and safeguards until clearance is received.