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How Do I Get a DBS for Myself?

There are certain jobs in specific sectors that require evidence to prove that a prospective employee is suitable for the role in question. That is why employers will request a DBS check before that person taking the job. Because these checks are usually requested at the behest of an organization, how do you get a DBS check as an individual?

DBS Checks For Individuals

Individuals cannot apply for an Enhanced DBS check or Standard DBS check because this can only be requested by eligible organizations or companies. However, you can apply for a Basic DBS check.


Basic DBS Check

A Basic DBS check is the only certificate you can apply for as an individual which provides information on 5 years’ unspent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). Because this check has no eligibility criteria and isn’t job-specific, a Basic DBS certificate is available for any person.


Changes to Basic DBS Checks

In 2018, the process of basic disclosures changed. Before 2018, Disclosure Scotland processed all basic disclosures. However, in 2018, the DBS took over the processing of all basic disclosures for all citizens living and working in England and Wales.


Individuals living or working in England or Wales can apply for a Basic check. Those living or working in Scotland must still apply directly to Disclosure Scotland.

DBS Checks for Self-Employed Individuals

If you need a DBS check and you class yourself as self-employed entering work that involves regulated activity with vulnerable adults or children, there are options available:

Standard DBS Check

A Standard DBS check covers all criminal history including cautions, warnings, reprimands, and convictions which are held on the Police National Computer, except those on the DBS filtering rule.


Enhanced DBS Checks

The Enhanced DBS check covers the same criminal record check found in a Standard DBS but also checks you against the DBS Children and Adult barred list (where appropriate) and includes information provided by local Police forces in England and Wales.


Standard and Enhanced checks are more thorough in their search into a person’s criminal history and are mostly used for people working in roles that involve regular contact with vulnerable children or adults.

While you cannot apply for these checks by yourself, there are criteria for self-employed individuals. If you are a self-employed person that works in a particular sector and you meet the criteria, you can apply for a Standard or Enhanced check through your local authority or a governing body.


A role that would fit the criteria is a self-employed childminder. You would require a thorough check into your history before starting the role, which you could apply for through Ofsted.

Individual DBS Checks Summary

Individuals can apply for a Basic DBS Check as a self-employed individual or if your new role requires a DBS check. However, if you need a Standard or Enhanced check, self-employed individuals must go through their local authority or the company they will carry out the work for. Those who aren’t self-employed must request a Basic DBS check through the company they will complete their work with.


While Care Check doesn’t process Basic DBS checks for individuals, we do work with employers and organizations to process all types of DBS applications.

If you are an individual looking for a Basic DBS Check only request this via the DBS directly, do not use any third-party supplier. The Basic check for individuals can be requested online at the DBS by visiting many third party suppliers will overcharge individuals for Basic DBS Checks so please only apply via the DBS directly.


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