Quick guide to disclosure and barring checks

From June 2013, workers will now be able to take their checks with them, hopefully making the process quicker and easier for both employers and employees.

On 17th June 2013, the Government launched a new service called the disclosure and barring update service.

It is up to an employee to register with the update service, but once they have they will be able to reuse their DBS certificates when applying for similar jobs.

What does disclosure and barring mean for employers?

If a prospective employee subscribes to the update service the employer can, with their consent, go online to carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up to date.

Benefits to you, the employer, include instant online checks and no more DBS application forms to fill in – in the long term you hopefully won’t have to apply for checks, meaning less bureaucracy and less wasted time and money.

How to access the update service

If you are entitled to carry out a check, after viewing the original DBS Certificate, you will be able to do so at www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.

You will need to enter the name of your organisation, your forename and surname and then the following details of the certificate being checked: DBS certificate number, date of birth and current surname of the DBS certificate holder as they appear on the certificate.

Other changes

There are a couple of other changes employers should be aware of from 17th June 2013:

The DBS will no longer automatically issue a copy of the applicant’s DBS Certificate to the ‘Registered Body’ (employer) who countersigned the DBS application form.

Employers will need to ask the applicant for sight of their DBS Certificate (online or otherwise). Further changes and government guidance for employers can be downloaded here.


Disclosure and barring checks (formerly known as CRB checks) must be made by employers hiring people to work with children and vulnerable adults.