DBS checks (formerly CRB checks) are portable

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks) are portable between employers, from March 2013

On payment of a fee, employers that register with the DBS can, in conjunction with job applicants for designated posts, apply for access to standard and enhanced criminal records checks. The DBS was created by the merger of the CRB and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) on 1 December 2012. As a consequence, CRB checks are now referred to as "DBS checks". Standard checks may be made where a post is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, while an enhanced check is appropriate where the job involves working with vulnerable groups in a regulated activity as the disclosure can include information about whether or not the individual is on either of the barred lists held by the DBS (formerly held by the ISA).

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 includes provisions to effect changes relating to DBS checks. A new updating service is due to be introduced so that, once a DBS check has been completed, the results are available online for employers to confirm that no new information has been added since the check was originally conducted. This means that DBS checks will be portable, and that an employee will not have to have a new check every time he or she starts a new job.

According to the Government's Fourth statement of new regulation (on the BIS website), it has committed to introduce the system of portable checks from March 2013.

  • Job applicants with convictions The XpertHR employment law manual explains the law relating to recruiting employees with convictions and includes guidance on applying for criminal records and protecting vulnerable groups.
  • Recruitment of people who have criminal record policy The XpertHR policies and documents section includes a policy that employers can use to state their approach to employing people who have criminal convictions


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