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A basic disclosure check differs from the DBS in that it offers basic level criminal records checks, which only reveal convictions which are unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that, unlike DBS checks, eligibility for basic disclosures is not restricted in law. Employers may choose to require basic disclosures as they deem reasonable for certain work.  From 1 January 2018, Basic Disclosure checks are now conducted via the Disclosure and Barring Service via an external Agency called Agenda Screening and its services can be used by employers throughout the UK. 

As set out in the Screening Policy, the University requests basic disclosures for roles where the nature of the work means that the University believes that it is reasonable and proportionate to obtain information about a prospective employee’s unspent criminal convictions (or those of a current employee moving role) in order to manage risk, including to people. In the circumstances where an individual will have direct contact with children or vulnerable adults as a central part of their role, but where they are ineligible for a DBS check, they may be eligible for a basic disclosure.

At the start of the recruitment process or planning for an activity/event, and as part of the risk assessment process, the department/institution will need to assess for such roles (with support from the HR Division):

  • The nature of the contact with children/vulnerable adults;

  • The level of risk arising from the duties/responsibilities of the role;

  • Whether a basic disclosure would be relevant to managing that risk;

  • If there are more effective alternative means of managing the risk.

    An appropriate individual in the department/institution will need to determine whether the check must be completed before an individual can start work or if there are activities that the individual could reasonably and safely carry out before the check result has been received. Guidance on whether a check can be treated as ‘essential before start’ or not is found in the Identify required screening checks section of the Recruitment Guidance.

    The HR Division’s basic disclosure web pages also set out the procedure for requesting a basic disclosure, receiving and recording check results, and how departments/institutions may (where it is appropriate) complete a risk assessment in order to allow individuals to start work where their basic disclosure is being treated as ‘non-essential before start’.

    Appropriate control measures must be set out in the risk assessment and implemented in order to minimise any risk arising from the basic disclosure not having been completed when the individual begins work. Examples of control measures include not allowing the individual to commence any work relating to the basic disclosure until it has been completed or ensuring that he/she is supervised at all times.

    The department/institution is responsible for asking the preferred candidate to complete the basic disclosure application form (which are available from the HR Compliance Team upon request) and ensuring that it has been filled in correctly.