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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 any information about your mental health.


Quick facts

  • A DBS check is a way for employers to check your criminal record. It can help them decide whether you are a suitable person to work for them.
  • DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service. This is the public agency responsible for processing requests for criminal record checks.
  • There are four different types of DBS check: basic DBS check, standard DBS check, enhanced DBS check and enhanced DBS with list check. The type of DBS check you need will depend on what kind of job you apply for.
  • 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. But it should only include this if the police consider it 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 review your DBS certificate.
  • If your job offer is withdrawn because of a DBS check, you may be able to challenge your DBS check on the grounds of disability discrimination.

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.

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