Will my partners criminal record show up on my enhanced DBS?

The Police Act 1997 created the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to enable employers to check your criminal history in some circumstances. When carrying out a check there are three main types of DBS checks that an employer can do:

Basic- check for unspent convictions
Standard- check for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
Enhanced- standard check plus any additional, relevant information held by local police

An Enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or adults in certain circumstances such as those in receipt of healthcare or personal care. An Enhanced DBS check is also suitable for a small number of other roles such as taxi licence applications or people working in the Gambling Commission.

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (EDBS) check can include Convictions, Cautions, Warnings and Reprimands (all of which are, usually, disclosed automatically, as per the legislation, after old & minor records have been filtered and removed).  An Enhanced Certificate can go further than that and the courts have considered just what the authors intended by those words and concluded that ‘any information‘ means ‘any‘, just as the legislation states. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • incidents for which individuals were never arrested, charged or prosecuted
    • incidents for which individuals were found “Not Guilty‟ in a court of law (in certain circumstances)
    • incidents which were dealt with other bodies other than the police (such as Local Authorities in their disciplinary processes; employers; schools; hospitals etc.)
    • third party information - information about people other than the applicant

There is a thorough process in deciding whether information should be disclosed on an enhanced DBS check. The chief officer will take into account the police record of any 3rd party who is either a partner or lives with the applicant of a DBS check. They will need to decide if it is reasonable and proportionate to disclose this information and at all stages of the process, they must record their rationale.

If you are seeking advice as to whether a third party’s criminal record will show on your DBS check, please get in contact by calling 0207 632 4300 to speak to one of the members of our team:

James Saunders, Steve Garratt, Tom Airey and Amber Richardson.


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