Navigating the employment market can hold particular fears for those with criminal convictions. Many of these fears stem from the requirement for many positions that potential candidates undergo a DBS check.
The new basic DBS check
Different jobs have differing requirements when it comes to DBS checks. This should be made clear in the application literature. As of September 2017, a new basic DBS check will provide details of any unspent convictions and conditional cautions. It can be used for any position (although it’s not a substitute for those positions, such as within the financial services sector or working with children or vulnerable adults, that have a pre-existing requirement for higher level checks) and costs £25 per application. An individual can apply on their own behalf or at the request of an employer or other organisation.
Whilst it’s hoped that the new check will reduce ineligible checks (those conducted on behalf of employers for roles that do not legally require one), it’s important for applicants to be clear what convictions the check will disclose. Anyone with spent convictions ought to be particularly cautious.
Inappropriate DBS checks
Organisations which conduct DBS checks on behalf of employers will be getting up to speed with the new basic checks. However, if you believe you are being asked to consent to an inappropriate DBS check, do not panic: there is help available. The most important thing to remember is not to disclose any unspent convictions until you’ve had a chance to query them with the DBS. For detailed assistance, you might want to seek advice from an organisation with the appropriate expertise, such as https://stgilesstrust.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13/~/ineligible-dbs-check/.
However, this does not mean refusing to comply with a request for a DBS check. By doing so, you could raise red flags for the employer. Instead, once the application for the check has been submitted, you should email the DBS on firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “APPLICATION ELIGIBILITY QUERY – URGENT”. Include your relevant personal details (name, address, DOB, position applied for, the organisation’s name, the number of the Registered Body and the DBS form reference) and then explain why you think the check is ineligible. Ensure that you ask that the check is put on hold pending an assessment of eligibility. The DBS will then place the application on hold while they investigate.