In this article, you'll learn about the self-serve United Kingdom (UK) criminal record checks that Certn offers. This article is part of a set. To learn more, read our articles about ordering this check and understanding this check's results.
In this article
Certn offers several methods for clients to order background checks on their candidates in the UK. The method you use depends on where your company is based. This article focuses on two UK criminal record checks that are available only to clients who are employers based in the UK.
The UK criminal record checks described in this article are self-serve background checks. This means that it is possible for you to create your account, order a check for your candidate, and receive results, often without waiting for one of our account representatives to manually intervene. This workflow helps you to get results as quickly as possible. And, you can still request help from our team if you need it.
The self-serve UK criminal record checks that Certn offers to UK-based clients are as follows:
- Basic DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
- Basic Disclosure Scotland
For each candidate you screen, you order only one of these two checks. The check you should order depends on the working location of your candidate:
|Candidate working location||Check to order|
|England or Wales||Basic DBS|
|Scotland or countries outside of the UK||Basic Disclosure Scotland|
These checks are designed to be compliant with the requirements of the issuing authorities that govern criminal record checks in each region. For the Basic DBS check, the issuing authority is the Disclosure and Barring Service. For the Basic Disclosure Scotland check, the issuing authority is Disclosure Scotland.
It is important to note that our DBS and Disclosure Scotland checks are “Basic” checks. In the UK, there are three levels of criminal record checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The check level dictates the amount of criminal history that is detailed in the check results.
While Standard and Enhanced checks capture more detailed history than Basic checks, they can only be ordered for candidates working in specific industries and roles. By comparison, Basic checks like ours can be ordered regardless of the industry or the candidate’s role, provided that you are ordering the check for a lawful reason in accordance with applicable data protection laws in your region. The results of Basic checks detail conditional cautions and any convictions that are considered “unspent” (according to rules in the region in which your candidate will work).
Our Basic DBS check and our Basic Disclosure Scotland check both include an identity verification check to verify the identity of your candidate. This identity verification check is performed by an identity service provider (IDSP) that is approved by the UK government.
During the identity verification portion of the check, your candidate will take a selfie and a photo of acceptable identity documents. Learn more about your candidate’s experience.
If your candidate cannot successfully complete the identity verification portion of the check, then an in-person, manual identity verification must be completed. Learn more about manual identity verification for UK criminal record checks.
Who can order this check
Clients who are employers based in the UK can order our Basic DBS and Basic Disclosure Scotland checks.
As these checks are considered “Basic” checks in the UK, employers can order our Basic DBS and Basic Disclosure Scotland checks regardless of the industry or the candidate’s role. However, clients must ensure that they have a lawful basis for accessing candidates’ information, as prescribed by the applicable data protection laws in their region.
Turnaround time for this check
The average time to complete a UK criminal record check depends on the check you order. The Basic DBS check and the Basic Disclosure Scotland check are processed by different issuing authorities whose time to process checks and methods for returning results vary.
- Basic DBS checks typically complete within 24 to 48 hours after your candidate submits their application.
- Basic Disclosure Scotland checks typically complete within three weeks after your candidate submits their application.
In some cases, the turnaround time for each check can exceed its typical range. For example, a check may exceed the turnaround time if your candidate could not successfully complete the identity verification portion of this check, because manual identity verification will then be required. Learn more about next steps when manual identity verification is required.
If you ordered this check and are looking for information about its progress, refer to Stages of this check.
Stages of this check
When you use Certn’s web application to invite your candidate to complete a Basic DBS or Basic Disclosure Scotland check, the stages of the check are as follows:
How to get started
If you're new to Certn and you want to start ordering the UK criminal record checks described in this article, start by creating your account. If you have an account and are ready to order this check, refer to our article about ordering this check.