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.
- A list of all of your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there
- Your National Insurance number
- A debit or a credit card
- Your passport
- Your driving licence
You can also apply through a Responsible Organisation. These are organisations approved by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to help you submit your basic DBS check, and make sure that it includes all of the correct information. The UK government website has information about what Responsible Organisations can do to help, and has a list of Responsible Organisations.
If you give your consent to your employer, they can also apply for a basic DBS check on your behalf.
Here is the process for a standard or enhanced DBS check:
- An employer offers you a job which requires a standard or enhanced DBS check.
- Your employer gives you a DBS check application form.
- You complete the DBS check form and return it to your employer, with documents to prove your identity.
- Your employer submits the form to the DBS.
- The DBS does your check. This includes searching the Police National Computer.
- If it is an enhanced DBS check, the DBS will also search local police records.
- If the job involves caring for, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults, the DBS may also search children's and adults' barred lists. These are lists of people who are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
- The DBS sends you a DBS certificate with your results of the check. It does not send this to your employer.
Flowchart: What is the application process for a standard or enhanced DBS check?
Here is a flowchart showing the application process described above.
It usually takes 14 days to process a DBS check. But it can take longer if:
- You give any incorrect details for the check
- Several police forces need to be involved in the check
The timing can also depend on:
- The level of check being carried out
- Which police forces are involved in the check, as some may have backlogs in processing applications
If you need to have a standard, enhanced or enhanced with list DBS check, your employer will pay for it. Your employer may pay for you to have a basic DBS check, but you can also request and pay for this yourself.
The costs for each check are as follows:
- Basic DBS checks - £18
- Standard DBS checks - £18
- Enhanced DBS checks (including or excluding barred list check) - £38
- DBS checks for most volunteering roles are free of charge
You could also contact a Responsible Organisation to support you with a basic DSB check. If you need a standard or enhanced check, your employer should support you with this.
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
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
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
This is an organisation registered with the DBS to submit basic checks through a web service. A responsible organisation is responsible for confirming your identity, that information supplied in the application for a basic check is accurate and that you have given your consent to submit the application. You can apply to a responsible organisation, or a prospective employer can apply to them.
The UK government website has a list of responsible organisations.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.