#AskAlice: What DBS Checks are Contractors Eligible For?

Eligibility surrounding DBS Checks can be quite complex and most of the questions we’re asked are regarding the level of DBS check employees in your company are eligible for.

Every Contractor can have a criminal record check, but depending on;

  1. 1.What they do (which could be anything from plumbing and building work to educational workshops or cleaners)
  2. 2.Where they will be working and
  3. 3.How often

Will determine which level of check you’re eligible to obtain on them.

There are three different levels of check;

Basic Disclosure
There is no eligibility criteria for a Basic Disclosure, therefore and at a very minimum, all Contractors can obtain this check through Personnel Checks. This level of check shows details of any unspent convictions.

Standard DBS Check
This level of check is only available for employers to obtain on behalf of their employees. Only certain industries are eligible for a Standard check, these industries can range from health and social care to Contractors on regulated sites e.g schools. This level of check gives details of cautions, warnings, reprimands and both spent and unspent convictions.

Enhanced DBS Check
An Enhanced check is the highest level of criminal record check and again is only available for employers to obtain on behalf of their employees. This level of check will show full details of an individual’s criminal record including cautions. Warnings, reprimands and both spent and unspent convictions. This level of check can only be obtained for positions that work with children or vulnerable groups.

The Enhanced check can also include the barred lists if the application is eligible, and has the possibility for the Police to add additional, relevant information to the application

The level of check you require is the decision of who ultimately needs to see the result of the criminal record check to make a suitability decision. A school may require an Enhanced check if you’re carrying out work, however, if your employees aren’t eligible, you won’t be able to access this level.

If you are asked to obtain a Standard or Enhanced DBS check on your Contractors, we would need to ask some questions to find out exactly what work they will be doing and also confirm if they will be working around either children, adults or both as the eligibility differs for each.

Please note, the below criteria does not cover ALL opportunities that you may face but are the most common types of DBS check requirements we process in this sector:


If your employees will be working around children or have been asked to obtain a DBS check to ensure children are safeguarded, we would need to identify the following:

  • What type of ‘activity’ they will be doing e.g. training, supervising, caring, driving a vehicle etc.
  • Where they will be doing their work - Is it classed as an eligible ‘establishment’ by the DBS? e.g. School, Nursery, College, Children’s Detention Centre etc.
  • How often they will be carrying out the activity or working in the establishment, does it meet the DBS’s ‘frequency’ criteria? Which is once a week, 4 times in a 30 day period or overnight between the hours of 2am-6am and the opportunity for face to face contact?

We have created a handy guidance document about this for you to follow to establish which level of check you can obtain, please click here.


If your staff are carrying out work in a Care Home, you can obtain all 3 levels of DBS check.

Otherwise, usually, the only time you can obtain a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check is if you do one of the following activities with adults:

  • Health Care
  • Personal Care
  • Social Work
  • Assistance with household affairs
  • Assistance with conduct of affairs
  • Conveying

If you are a Contractor who does not do one of the above activities with adults or carries out work in a care home, it’s likely that you will not qualify for the Enhanced or Standard DBS.

If you will be working in an area we have not mentioned in this article please don’t hesitate to contact Personnel Checks and we can establish which level of DBS Check is most suitable for you.

Got a question to ask?

Email me or tweet us using the hashtag #AskAlice!

01254 355688

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