DBS checks and your mental health

Explains what a DBS check is, and what you can do if you are unhappy with the information held about you by the police, including information about your mental health. Applies to England and Wales.


Quick facts

  • A DBS check is a way for employers to check your criminal record, to help decide whether you are a suitable person to work for them.

  • DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service, which is the public agency responsible for processing requests for criminal record checks.

  • Depending on what kind of job you are applying for, there are four different types of DBS check: basic DBS checkstandard DBS check, enhanced DBS check and enhanced DBS with list check.
  • A basic or standard DBS check won’t include information about your mental health problem. An enhanced DBS check could include details of any non-conviction information held about you on local police records which the police consider relevant. This may include information about your mental health.
  • If you are not happy about the information disclosed in your DBS check, you can ask the Disclosure and Barring Service to carry out a review.

Please note

  • This guide aims to provide information about DBS checks for a person with a mental health problem.
  • This is not a guide to the jobs that require a DBS check.
  • This guide applies to England and Wales.
  • This guide contains general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your individual situation and needs. See Useful contacts for more information.
  • The legal information in this guide does not apply to children unless specifically stated.

This information was published in November 2018. We will revise it in 2020.

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