DBS Checks for the Self-Employed

apply for dbs check individuals

When is a DBS Check Required?
A DBS check is required to work within specific sectors and industries, depending on the groups of people you will be expected to work with. They determine whether an individual is suitable for a position. Typically, you can’t apply for a DBS check yourself as they are usually requested by a company, organisation or governing body.

So how do you get a DBS check if you are self-employed?

There is one level of DBS check which individuals can apply for themselves, without any company authorisation required. However, other types of DBS check require them to be submitted by an employer or organisation. Therefore, many self-employed people face the dilemma of trying to apply for DBS checks for themselves. Let’s try and clear any confusion up.


DBS Checks for Individuals

As an individual, you cannot apply for an Enhanced DBS check or a Standard DBS check. This can only be done via organisations or companies.

If you require one as a self-employed individual, and you are entering work that involves potentially coming into contact with vulnerable adults or children, there are some options available.

Depending on the sector you are working in, and assuming you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a Standard DBS check or Enhanced DBS check through your Local Authority or the relevant governing body.

As specified, you can request a Basic DBS check yourself. However, we provide a fully-managed account system for employers requiring multiple Basic DBS checks. Our system allows employers to submit several applications to help implement a Fast Track DBS process, where checks can be monitored through an online portal.

Read more about our DBS Checks for Employers page for multiple DBS applications.


What Jobs Require a DBS Check?

There are several roles which require a DBS check, across several industries. These could all be jobs that anyone could perform as a self-employed individual, many of which you would not expect to need a DBS check.


Applying for a DBS Check if Self-Employed

Many self-employed people are requested to apply for DBS checks online for organisations they are carrying out work in. Securing a DBS check before starting any work can make an organisation feel more confident and comfortable in requesting your services. Your client may wish to ensure you can be fully trusted by seeing that you don’t have a criminal record, and are safe to be around children and vulnerable adults.


Why can’t self-employed people apply for Enhanced DBS checks?

DBS checks are designed for employers to check the records on potential employees due to work for them. For the self-employed, there is nobody suitable to make the informed recruitment decision on their behalf. If you need to apply for Enhanced DBS checks and you’re self-employed, depending on your sector, you must get the organisation that you work with (or may eventually work with) to do it for you.

If you are willing to cover the DBS check cost, most organisations should be happy to help you. Again, an umbrella organisation or governing body might also be able to assist you.


DBS Checks – A Summary

In summary, the self-employed can’t apply for Enhanced DBS checks online in the same way they can for a Basic check. Nor can they obtain a check in the same way employers can for people directly applying with them. If you need any further assistance with self-employment DBS checks, please get in touch with us directly, and we will happily answer any questions you have.

Please also refer to our FAQs and common DBS check questions blog post.


What Types of DBS Check are there?

There are three types of DBS check:


Basic DBS Check

Basic DBS certificates show you five years’ unspent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974, and if there are no such convictions to speak of, the results will state that there are none.

Anyone can apply for a Basic DBS check, and many jobs only require basic disclosure, which will be detailed later in the article.

Apply for a Basic DBS Check


Standard DBS Check

Standard DBS certificates show an individual’s criminal history, including cautions, convictions, reprimands and warnings which are held on the Police National Computer (PNC). The only exceptions are these offences that are eligible for filtering, which will not be disclosed.

Apply for a Standard DBS Check


Enhanced DBS Check

For an Enhanced DBS, the level of disclosure on the certificate is very much the same as a Standard DBS check, in that they detail all details of an individual’s criminal history. The only exception being that these check against the DBS Children and Adult Barred List (where appropriate), and information provided by local police forces that they deem relevant.

You can read more about cautions, convictions and the DBS filtering process here.

Apply for an Enhanced DBS Check



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