Criminal record checks

Criminal record check

This standard outlines the legal and mandatory requirements when appointing staff into eligible positions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

The government's review into the Criminal Records Regime and the Vetting and Barring Scheme outlined a series of recommendations aiming to scale back the criminal record and barring systems to common sense levels. The Protection of Freedom's Act which underpins these changes came into force on 1 May 2012. 

The standard includes a range of informative appendices which provide additional guidance on: 

  • legislative drivers
  • eligibility for enhanced without barred list checks
  • what to do when the outcome of a DBS check reveals a positive disclosure
  • the DBS filtering rules; and 
  • legal duties to refer to the DBS.

This standard is one of the six documents which form the NHS Employment Check Standards. 

Download the criminal record checks standard.  

Additional resources

We have also produced a range of resources to aid employers in the understanding and application of the criminal record and barring check requirements.

Seeking a self-declaration

Employers can also read our top tips for avoiding DBS check delays

Read our briefing document on the key 2015/16 updates made to the NHS Employment Check Standards.

Find out more about the standards, who they apply to and how to meet compliance, including the fit & proper persons’ requirements for director level positions. 

We also have guidance on avoiding discrimination in the employment checking process. 

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