A DBS check guide for the self-employed

For employees working in a particular position, getting a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check is a key requirement. Employers usually request such a check for potential applicants.

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However, if you are self-employed, the responsibility lies with you. Those who are self-employed may need to have their criminal record checked if their job role demands it in order to procure work.

So if you would like to understand more about getting a criminal record check, we have some guidance below that you may find useful.

DBS checks available

There are four different levels of checks available: Basic Disclosure checks, Standard DBS checks, Enhanced DBS checks (excluding barred list check) and Enhanced DBS checks (including barred list check).

A Basic Disclosure check will divulge any criminal convictions that are ‘unspent’ (meaning you need to declare them) in the UK. Convictions each have a set timeframe, after which it will become ‘spent’.

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Both the Standard and Enhanced checks provide comprehensive searches, bringing up information regarding any convictions, warnings or cautions received. Consequently, people in positions that require them to work with, or come into contact with, vulnerable children or adults, will be subjected to these.

However, only an employer can request Standard or Enhanced checks, since it acts as a determining factor in whether an applicant is suitable for a particular role. However, no one is making that recruitment decision for a self-employed person.

Therefore, if you’re self-employed, the only criminal check available to you is the Basic one that you can easily apply for online, such as through Carecheck. However, if you require a thorough check as a self-employed person, you can request the organisation you wish to work with to secure one for you.

So what roles necessitate DBS checks?

There is a broad spectrum of positions that require a criminal check to be conducted by a self-employed person. If you require further information, please check out for a list of professions.

Is it necessary for a self-employed person to obtain a check?

As a self-employed person, your ability to secure work might depend on whether you have had a check conducted. Organisations or businesses will feel more confident working with you as it builds a trusting relationship, and therefore, it will be more likely that you’ll receive a contract.

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