The rules surrounding access to a basic disclosure are shortly to change. To date, basic disclosures have been dealt with by Disclosure Scotland, whereas requests for standard and enhanced disclosures for employment in England and Wales have been actioned by the Disclosure and Barring Service. DBS checks are required in many streams of employment, with an increasing number of employers and voluntary bodies requiring at least a basic check as standard, so the potential for misuse is considerable.
The reason for the change is partly because of the differences in the time after which a conviction can be considered as being ‘spent’ in Scotland, as compared to south of the border. A basic DBS provides information regarding current convictions and the difference in time between the countries could potentially lead to employers having access to information to which they are not legally entitled.
New year, new system.
From January 2018, if the employment is to be undertaken in England or Wales, DBS will undertake the check. Disclosure Scotland will continue to provide this service for employment in Scotland. Further changes to the system will help to prevent issues such as identity fraud, whereby someone can request access to a basic check without a face to face verification, to ensure that they are entitled to view it. Only potential employers/voluntary bodies and the individual themselves can request a basic check.
In order to secure access to a check for themselves, an applicant will now have to be prepared to attend a DBS registered organisation in order to personally verify their identity. This works for their own protection, as it precludes anyone viewing a basic check without the correct authority. Registered organisations have a strict code of conduct to follow with regard to applying for checks.
Tracking an application for checks will also be made more accessible with the introduction of a web application that can be easily accessed by applicants. Furthermore, checks can be dealt with through online companies, such as carecheck.co.uk, meaning that the whole process can be easy and hassle free.
With these changes, the process of applying for a basic check will be both simplified and more secure, allowing for ease of use for both potential employers and personal applicants alike.