Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to state the need for a DBS Disclosure when I advertise a post?

Yes. The employer needs to ensure that all application forms for positions where Disclosures will be requested contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of a successful application.

There should also be a statement in all application forms or accompanying material to the effect that a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position, in order to reassure applicants that Disclosure information will not be used unfairly.

Can I apply for a Disclosure on myself?

No, the current legislation does not permit the self-employed or individuals to apply for Disclosure on themselves.

Can I apply for a free of charge Disclosure if the applicant is a volunteer?

Yes as long as you adhere to the definition of ‘volunteer’ that is contained in The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations 2002. This defines a ‘volunteer’ as ‘a person engaged in an activity, which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative’.

Some people can be referred to as ‘volunteers’, but do not actually meet the DBSs criteria to get a free check because they may receive, or expect to receive, a payment or benefit, such as remuneration or a credit towards a qualification.

What is the lower age limit for applying for Disclosure?


How do I fill in the application form?
Use black ink throughout and write clearly in BLOCK CAPITALS only. Use only one letter or number for each box. Leave an empty box between words but not between postcodes or telephone numbers.

Which parts of the form do I need to fill in?

As evidence checker you should complete sections W and X and the ‘registered body use only’ boxes on the right hand side of pages 1 and 2. You should not complete sections Y or Z. You must see original documentation to support sections A and B. Photocopies of these documents must be sent to us with the application.

Applicants need to complete sections A, B,C and E.

Some fields are mandatory and therefore must be completed. Failure to do so will result in the application form being rejected and returned.

What identification documents do I need to see?

You must only accept valid original documentation. You must not accept photocopies.

At least one document must confirm the applicant’s current name as recorded in section A. At least one document must confirm the applicant’s date of birth as recorded in section A. At least one document must confirm the applicant’s current address as recorded in section B (and be no older than 3 months). Where the applicant holds a document containing a photograph from the approved identity document list, this should be submitted.

It is important that you have seen the correct type and number of identity documents required as detailed at DBS ID Checking Guidelines otherwise the application will be returned to you (delaying issue of valid Disclosure).

How many identification documents do I need to see?

The DBS has produced guidance on the type and range of identity documents that must be used by the approved person to validate the applicant’s identity. These documents are divided into two groups. The number of documents from each group the approved person needs to see is set out in the DBS ID Checking Guidelines

When and how do I pay?

A cheque for the full amount must be sent with the completed form made payable to Supply & Demand Recruitment Ltd. Forms will not be sent to the DBS without payment as we are charged as soon as they are received by the DBS.

What happens if I make a mistake when completing the form?

Cross out any errors on the form and amend the correction to the right of the error. If there is no space to write next to a particular piece of information, please write as close to the text as possible or use a continuation sheet to clearly record the correct information. Do not use correction fluid.

Download continuation sheet PDF format [opens in new window]

As an Umbrella Body we must ensure that those for whom we process Disclosure applications observe the Criminal Records Bureau Code of Practice by completing the forms accurately and within DBS guidelines. An additional administration cost will be charged each time any form has to be returned.

How long does it take for the Disclosure to come back from the DBS?

The DBS aims to process 90% of Standard checks in 10 days and 90% of Enhanced checks in 4 weeks. Complete and accurate applications will necessarily take a shorter amount of time than incorrect or incomplete ones which will be returned to you (and an additional administration cost incurred).

What do I do if a Disclosure comes back showing criminal convictions?

Particular attention must be paid to the guidance on the fair use of information in respect of those whose Disclosures reveal a conviction or similar matter.

The NACRO Resettlement Plus Helpline 020 7840 6464 can provide you with information and advice about information included on a Disclosure: what it means and its relevance to a particular job.

Supply and Demand Recruitment does not take any responsibility for the resulting recruitment decisions made by the employer.

How long does a Disclosure Last?

There is no defined period of validity for a Disclosure. A Disclosure certificate is merely a record of that persons conviction history on the day it is issued. Therefore you should be aware that your organisation should have a policy regarding the re-checking of staff at appropriate intervals.

In our business of educational recruitment (supply teachers, teaching assistants and nursery staff) our policy is to re-check all staff who have been in continuous employment every three years and immediately if they have a break in service of six months or longer.