On December 1 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This new organisation combines the criminal records and barring functions and provides a more streamlined, effective and efficient process for all parties requiring criminal records and barring information.

Changes in terminology are as follows:

  • CRB/ISA  is now DBS
  • CRB check  is now DBS check
  • Vulnerable Adults is now Vulnerable groups

These checks assist employers to make safer recruitment decisions. When a check has been processed by the DBS and completed, the individual will receive a DBS certificate.

There are three types of check and applicants must be 16 or over.


This will check for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings, and will take about two weeks.


This includes the same as the standard check plus any additional information held by local police that’s reasonably considered relevant to the workforce being applied for. It takes about four weeks.

Enhanced with list checks

This also includes a check of the DBS barred list of individuals who are unsuitable for working with children and adults and also takes about four weeks.

For detailed advice and guidance about DBS checks, visit this link.