Can a DBS Check Be Used For Different Jobs?

different jobs

Whether a DBS check can be used for different jobs is a very common question, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a straight yes or no answer. In this article we take a look at some of the complications around the transferral of DBS checks. We’ll show you when they can be used for different jobs, and when they can’t, to help you maximise efficiency and not get any unnecessary checks done.

DBS Checks

DBS checks vary in how deep their search goes, but at the very least, they always check the National Police Computer for criminal records. The most popular way of carrying out these checks is online, and it’s a quick process – results are normally received within 48 hours of a request being made.

Are They Transferable?

As stated before, it’s not quite as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It comes down to several things:

Time Elapsed

DBS checks don’t have an expiry date, but obviously if they were carried out 5 years beforehand, they won’t include any information from the time period that has elapsed since the test was carried out. That means that any transgressions which occurred in that time would require another check to show them. 

A lot of employers will accept a check which has been carried out in the last 1-3 years. There’s no legal requirement for them to do so, and it will come down to company policy and a candidate’s employment history as to whether they think a fresh check is necessary.

Check Level

Another variable is how in-depth the check that has been carried out was. There are three different levels – basic, standard, and enhanced. Opt for a professional DBS check provider such as Personnel Checks if you need more information on the level of checks required for your specific requirements (to ensure that nothing is missed!). 

Depending on which one is carried out, different types of data will be ascertained. Jobs like teachers and doctors need the highest level, while other jobs will only require a basic check. 

Enhanced checks can be used for jobs with only basic requirements, but if a candidate has a basic check and wants to apply to be a teacher for example, they’ll need to have an enhanced check carried out.

Regulatory Bodies

While it’s often down to the employer’s discretion, if the business is part of a regulatory body, there may be specific stipulations surrounding DBS checks. These may vary industry to industry, so it’s worth thoroughly checking the regulations before getting a check done.

Update Service

The DBS have an Update Service, which costs £13 a year and means that an individual’s check will be constantly updated. In regulated industries, an employer can be updated any time new information comes up, meaning that they don’t have to do regular separate checks. 

The update service can often end up saving money, whether the individual is a contractor moving between companies or they’re working in a single position in a regulated industry. 


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