Skip to content

What Are The Different Levels Of Criminal Checks?

You must’ve heard of background screening and most likely have some basic knowledge of what it means to get a background check done. Background checks have become quite essential these days, especially if you are a recruitment agency. They can ensure that the person you are recruiting passes the background check and is safe to recruit. An industry standard is running a level of DBS check on a prospective hire or annually re-checking current employees. Not getting a DBS done can potentially lead to harmful circumstances.

In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of things you need to know about a background check:

What is a Criminal Check (DBS)?

It is known as a Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS Check). A DBS check is used to look into the history of a person. It is done to analyse their history and whether they have had any legal issues such as convictions.

DBS checks can also be run against lists such as adults or children’s barred lists, though that depends on what kind of job the person is applying for. Another thing that factors into a DBS check is soft intelligence. This is held by the police, and it may not necessarily mean records of a conviction or any public offence, but it can contain intelligence regarding the general activity or behaviour of a person that may affect whether they are suitable for a certain job.

Different Levels of Criminal Checks

There are three main levels of DBS checks that can be done. The level of the DBS check depends upon the requirements of the person or organisation asking for the check, as the job or opportunity they are being considered for can have different requirements.

Basic Level Disclosure

As the name says, this is a basic level check meaning that it is available to anyone who wants to get general information or certification about a person for any purpose. Any unspent sentences, reprimands or other cautions show up on a basic level disclosure. Though it does not disclose further information.

Standard Level Disclosure

Standard level disclosure is a bit more advanced as it discloses any spent and unspent sentences, reprimands and cautions. You can view past criminal history in detail. Though it won’t declare all of them, as there are certain convictions that have been termed protected under legislation introduced in 2013. These convictions will only be made available by request from an organisation under certain circumstances.

Enhanced Level Disclosure

This level of disclosure displays all spent and unspent sentences and convictions but it also goes a step further and also displays information held by the police, and as such, shows ‘regulated activity’ of the person in question.

DBS Check – How long does it take?

If you want to request a DBS check, then there is a timeframe for each check that you will need to wait out:

Basic Level Disclosure: The expected time for the return of a Basic DBS check is around 10 working days. This is the case for about 75-80% of the check applications they receive.

Standard Level Disclosure: The expected time for a Standard DBS check is around 5 working days. Over 95% of standard DBS checks are returned within this timeframe.

Enhanced Level Disclosure: The expected time for an Enhanced DBS check is around 5 working days with around 85-90% of checks returned within this timeframe.

There is a chance that a DBS check application may exceed the given timeframes; if it takes too long, we will mark it as a priority and deliver it as soon as possible.

Studies show that of all the CVs submitted to employers, over 60% of them contain information that is overblown, exaggerated or plain inaccurate. Though it is understandable to want to present oneself as better than they are, there are times when people lie about things on their CVs or don’t disclose them in the interview that can become a serious issue later on. Especially when a background check is done.

And so, to avoid these issues, the best way is to reach out to background checkers like us and get every person vetted and verified. If you really want to know who you are hiring, a background check is your only choice.


The importance of background checks in today’s recruitment culture can’t be understated. They can be the difference between a great employee and one that can harm your workspace or lead to a lawsuit. So, if you want a DBS check, then contact us at Background Checker and submit a DBS check application today!

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to get a best solution for your business?

Nam sed est et nunc ullamcorper commodo vitae in risus. Suspendisse ac est eget mi fringilla accumsan.