What self-employed people need to know about DBS Checks

What self-employed people need to know about DBS Checks

What self-employed people need to know about DBS Checks

DBS checks are becoming an increasingly common requirement in a wide variety of industries. As remote work and self-employment become the norm, more and more people are left with the question: do DBS checks concern self-employed people? Let’s take a look at that question with the team from Personnel Checks

DBS checks defined

To understand how DBS checks relate to the self-employed, we first need to understand a little more about the checks themselves. DBS checks are the most common kind of criminal background check carried out in the UK. They’re carried out by the DBS (disclosure and barring service), a non-departmental government body, and there are three main kinds of DBS check:

Basic check

The basic check is the lowest level DBS check available. It looks for unspent criminal convictions, warnings, and reprimands, and is the only DBS check that people can have carried out on themselves. 

For this reason, as we’ll explore later, it’s generally the most common DBS check that self-employed people require. The basic check is a common requirement in a wide range of industries, from retail to the restaurant industry. 

Standard check

The standard check is the next level up in terms of scrutiny. It looks for both spent and unspent criminal convictions, warning, and reprimands, and unlike the DBS check, it can only be requested by employers for certain positions. 

As a result, it makes it much less likely that those who are self employed will be able to have a standard check carried out. The standard check is a common requirement in industries with a high professional standard, such as accountancy and law.

Enhanced check

The enhanced check is the highest level of DBS check available. In addition to looking for spent and unspent criminal convictions, warning and reprimands, it also includes any information that the local police department considers relevant to the role being applied for. Enhanced checks are only available for certain positions, generally where the candidate will have direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults. 

Enhanced DBS checks can be carried out with a barred list check, which will also check if the individual in question is on any lists that bar them from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Do self-employed people require DBS checks?

DBS checks exist to help ensure that candidates are suitable for a given position. As a result it’s possible that some self-employed people will need a DBS check to show clients, to help ease any concerns that they might have. 

That being said, the only DBS check that self employed people can have carried out on themselves is the basic check, as the standard and enhanced checks can only be carried out by employers for certain positions.

If you absolutely do need a DBS check as a self-employed individual, it is sometimes possible to get one through a local authority, depending on which sector you operate in. If you’re a private doctor, for example, you will likely be eligible for, and require, an enhanced DBS check.