How do you apply to see someone else’s criminal record?

Although the reality is that no more children are being abused now than in the previous few decades, with media reporting and a number of high-profile historic abuse cases, it feels like children are more at risk than ever.

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Companies both private and public sector are under more pressure than ever to ensure their employees that deal with members of the public, particularly children, are not any danger to their customers.

There have been a few reports recently relating to issues with taxi drivers, like in this article in The Telegraph, so councils are under pressure to ensure taxi drivers pass security checks even though they are actually self-employed.

Seeing someone’s criminal record?

Companies or employers who want to see someone’s criminal record can apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check), but normally they will only allow a full disclosure check if the future employee is applying for a specific type of role. Usually, these are in healthcare, such as hospital work or working with children like in a school or even working with elderly or vulnerable adults. However, for other job roles employers may feel they still want to make some kind of check, and for this, you can apply for a basic DBS check to give you an idea of a potential employee’s background.

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It is relatively easy to process the checks, and can even be done online via companies like this

What about the self-employed?

Although not eligible for full disclosure the self-employed can choose to obtain a basic DBS check themselves. This can then be shown to possible clients to help put them at ease, especially if you are working in other people’s homes or properties whilst doing work for a customer.

How often to check?

DBS checks do not have expiry dates as such. They are in fact a snapshot of someone’s record at that moment when they are processed.

Obviously performing an initial check whilst recruiting an employee to a new role is a start, but companies need to consider if and how often they will repeat those checks. Public sector departments tend to repeat every three years or so to update their records for existing employees. But a smaller company could choose a shorter or longer interval to suit their needs.

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