Which Parts of a Criminal Record Do DBS Checks Reveal?

Which Parts of a Criminal Record Do DBS Checks Reveal?

Comprehensive, fast, and secure basic DBS Checks for individuals and organizations. Submit an application and receive your certificate within 2 working days.

We at DBS Check Online understand your need for fast and accurate criminal record information. Our service was designed with customers in mind. When you need vital information on someone’s criminal background, timeliness and accuracy are of the utmost importance.

That’s why we pride ourselves on our ability to return thorough and accurate DBS records in as little as 48 hours. Our platform is easy to use and gives you the results you seek in less time. To use, simply sign up, upload the requested identification documents and submit. Leave the rest to us. 

When you order a DBS report, you may wonder what information will appear and what it will mean. Let’s explore the different types of DBS checks, what they contain and what the information reveals about a potential employee.

Types of DBS Checks

The parts of a criminal record a DBS check reveals depend on which type of DBS check is ordered. There are three kinds: basic, standard, and enhanced.

The basic check shows any unspent convictions and cautions. The standard check includes more detail, showing everything the basic check does plus warnings and reprimands. The enhanced check is the most detailed of all. It provides the same info as the other two types do but includes additional details that are relevant to the job the potential employee would be doing. For example, if they’re seeking a job working with patients or minors, the enhanced DBS will show sex offenses or crimes against vulnerable adults. Other specific parts of the applicant’s criminal record may be added to the enhanced DBS check if they are relevant to the job being applied for. Now, let’s take a closer look at the specific items included in each type of DBS report.

Parts of Criminal Records on DBS Checks


Convictions are included on basic DBS certificates provided they are unspent. Spent convictions appear only on enhanced checks. If an applicant has ever pleaded guilty to a charge or was found guilty by the court, a conviction will appear on the basic DBS check. They will appear even if the person has been partially or fully discharged, meaning they served little or no punishment for the crime.

Court-martial convictions will appear also if they’ve served or a currently serving in the armed forces. Convictions from offenses committed overseas appear as well. 


A caution is a formal statement given by a police officer to someone guilty of a minor crime. It’s an alternative to prosecution and is meant to have a deterrent effect. By readily admitting guilt of a small offense in exchange for caution, the offender may bypass the possibility of being tried and convicted for the crime. However, the caution does become a part of their criminal record and will show up on a DBS check.

There are two types of cautions – a police caution otherwise known as a simple caution and a conditional caution. A police caution is a simple statement read to the offender by a senior police officer at the station and is offered without conditions. A conditional caution requires the offender to fulfill certain obligations in exchange for the privilege of avoiding prosecution. For example, a person may be required to take a rehabilitation course, pay a fine, or if they aren’t a citizen or resident leave the country to get the caution and avoid prosecution.

Spent vs. Unspent:

If a conviction or caution is not very recent, it may not require disclosure in a basic DBS check. After a while, the offense will be considered spent and effectively treated as though it never happened. 

For a conviction, the time is set by the courts and can last anywhere from two to ten years. The time includes any probationary or rehabilitation time that is served. Simple cautions are considered spent immediately after issuance while conditional cautions are considered spent after three months.

Reprimands and Final Warnings:

Cautions can be issued to children as young as ten. Up until 2013, these were called reprimands and final warnings. Reprimands were cautions issued to people under 18 who had confessed to their first minor offense. Final warnings were issued for the first or second offense of a person under 18. After a final warning, the young person had to submit to an assessment by the Youth Offending Service to avoid prosecution.

As of April 2013, the terms “reprimand” and “final warning” are no longer in use and are considered outdated. They have been replaced by youth cautions and youth conditional cautions.

Local Police Records – Local police records are held by the fall area of a person’s local police and are not the same as records in the Police National Computer. While the Police National Computer records detail convictions, cautions, reprimands, and final warnings, local police records pertain to people who haven’t been convicted for the offense in question but could lead to a future conviction or identify past convictions. Such records include acquittals, allegations, penalty notices, and convictions of those the applicant lives with. These are part of an enhanced DBS check and do not appear on a basic or standard check. 

Barred Lists – Barred lists contained the names of people who’ve received a caution or conviction for certain violent and non-violent crimes against other people. These include murder, rape, and ill-treatment of vulnerable persons such as children, the elderly, and patients. Appearing on a barred list can potentially prohibit an applicant from getting a job in the medical field, childcare, teaching, and more. 

At DBS Check Online, our promise to you is to deliver your DBS certificate in one week or less. And because legal records are ever-changing, we also provide updates to your requested records. Should there be any changes, you’ll be contacted quickly and advised on what to do next. Your piece of mind is our priority and we strive to provide the data you need to help make the best hiring decisions possible. Entrust us with your DBS records needs today.

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