DBS checks and your mental health
Explains what a DBS check is, and what you can do if you are unhappy with the information the police hold about you. This includes information about your mental health.
What is a DBS check?
A DBS check is a way for employers check your criminal record, to help decide whether you are a suitable person to work for them. This includes deciding whether it is suitable for you to work with children or vulnerable adults.
DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. This is the public body that carries out DBS checks. They used to be carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). So you may still see or hear them called 'CRB checks'.
There are four different types of DBS check. The type of check you need will depend on what kind of job you apply for. The different types of are:
Visit our page on what will show up on a DBS check to find out the difference between each level of check.
Once your check is complete, the DBS will send you a DBS certificate with the results of the check.
Enhanced DBS check
This is a check of your criminal record which will show details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on central police records (apart from protected convictions and cautions) plus additional information held on local police records that is reasonably considered relevant to the job in question.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Standard DBS check
This is a check of your criminal record which will show details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on central police records (apart from protected convictions and cautions).Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Basic DBS check
A check of your criminal record which will show your convictions and cautions which are not spent. You can apply for a basic DBS check yourself if you live or work in England or Wales.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Enhanced DBS with list check
This is a check of your criminal record which will show the same as an enhanced DBS check, but will also include a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service’s (DBS) children’s and adults’ barred lists. These are lists of individuals who are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
This information was published in December 2022. We will revise it in 2025.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.