Criminal Records Bureau checks are now known as Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
For all new applications, appeals and referrals, you must contact the DBS or call the CRB contact number to be connected.
0844 453 0162
0844 453 0162
CRB helpline opening hours
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (9am to 5pm for any appeals and disputes)
Saturday, 10am to 5pm
CRB head office address
PO Box 165
CRB Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I need to take/arrange a Criminal Records Bureau check?
A CRB check helps employers to make responsible recruitment decisions by ensuring the candidate is suitable to work with vulnerable groups, such as children. It can be taken for voluntary roles; jobs in healthcare or education, or by parents applying to adopt or foster a child.
Since the transition of the CRB to the DBS, Criminal Records Bureau Checks are now called DBS checks.
If you are an employer, you can arrange DBS checks by requesting the relevant forms from DBS or a DBS-registered body. You should provide the applicant with plenty of information about the level of check to be carried out.
What type of criminal records check do I need?
There are three types of criminal records checks. One if the Standard check, which checks for all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. It takes about two weeks.
There is also the Enhanced check, which includes the Standard check plus any other information held by the police that is relevant to the organisation being applied to. This check takes about four weeks.
An Enhanced With List check is the same as the enhanced check, but also includes a check of the DBS barred lists. Bear in mind you can only ask for a barred list check for specific job roles, so check with the DBS beforehand. This check also takes four weeks.
What if I make a mistake on my criminal records check form?
If an applicant or employer believes a mistake was made on a criminal records check application form, you can report the mistake within three months of the certificate’s issue by contacting the DBS or calling the CRB contact number.
A mistake might involve the wrong information provided on records, or personal information like names or company addresses.
Applicants can also appeal against a DBS update service certificate chance, or to a tribunal if they wish to reverse a new barring list decision. For more information on appeals and disputes, contact DBS.
More About the DBS
The DBS was established in 2012 from the merger of the CRB and the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority), under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
It is a non-departmental public body of the UK Home Office that strives to make workplaces safer for vulnerable groups such as children; the elderly; the disabled or mentally impaired.
Compensation Payment to those Wronged by CRB Checks Doubles in Past Year
The compensation payment made to those who had hindered job opportunities due to CRB checks has doubled to a whopping £169,000 of tax payer’s money in the past year, which is over double the £80,000 in the 12 months previous.
The criminal record checks are run by the Disclosure and Barring Service, which admitted to many upset customers because their CRB checks were either late, meaning the start of a new job was delayed, or there had been a mistake on their certificate, which also affected their employment.
When starting a new job in a profession such as teaching, or working with children in any other way requires a thorough CRB check which means when delayed, a person, by law cannot begin work, obviously resulting in an inevitable loss of finance, meaning compensation is necessary. The more the checks are delayed, the more compensation is needed, meaning the DBS are potentially using a great amount of tax payer’s money. One case saw a certificate delay of five months and resulted in a £3, 554 payment. It has also been known for large payments to be issued because of mistakes on a person’s certificate, for example; a minor criminal offence is supposed to be erased after ten years, and may still appear on the record.
Although compensation is received, the number of disputes raised with the DBS is up from 4,000 to 12,000 which begs the question is the DBS doing enough to ensure no mistakes are made? Is there any way to stop applying for a CRB check being a frustrating and stressful experience? A DBS spokesperson defends the controversy by highlighting the volume of applications that they receive a year; ‘on rare occasions, some customers may not receive the level of service they should expect. DBS offer redress payments in such instances.’
Popular questions about CRB check
When are CRB checks legally required?
CRB checks must be requested by an employer when the role involves working with children or vulnerable adults. It’s also required for health workers, accountants and solicitors when they enter the profession.
Who pays CRB check?
It’s normal for people seeking employment to have to pay for their CRB check. Some employers may pay it and it is usually free for voluntary positions. You may find that you get the fee back after a few months of working, though this depends on the employer.
Are CRB checks now portable?
Yes, the new system of DBS checks means that they are now portable. The service updates so that new employers can see if any information has been added and employees will no longer need a new check each time that they start a job.
Why CRB changed to DBS?
The CRB changed to DBS as a result of the merger between the Disclosure and Barring Service and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.