Criminal Law | New System For Criminal Record Checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) announced yesterday (May 23rd) that its Update Service, which will allow employers to check the status of criminal record checks online, will be launched on 17 June.

Job candidates and charity volunteers will be able to choose to subscribe to the service for an annual fee of £13, keeping their DBS certificate up-to-date so that they can take it with them from job to job.

This will remove the need for a new check every time they seek a new role. Employers will be able to carry out free, instant online checks of candidate’s certificates, as long as they have their consent, to check it is up-to-date.

The Government says that the new system will save employers time and money, as there will be no more DBS application forms to fill in, meaning less bureaucracy, thereby saving time that could be put to better use.

The guide to using the new system also says that it will enhance an employer’s processes and may help the firm to reduce its risks and points out that it is easy to incorporate into the existing suitability decision-making process.

Other changes coming into force on 17 June 2013 include employers no longer automatically receiving a duplicate copy when an individual applies for a DBS certificate, although they will be able to print information that they obtain online. The DBS will also use a new relevancy test when considering the release of non-conviction information.

However, if the candidate or employee has disputed the new DBS Certificate, the DBS will not consider issuing a copy to the Registered Body until 28 days after the dispute is resolved.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London