Criminal Record Checks
Raising the safety bar to help ensure faster, more accurate people decisions.
Not all background screening is created equal, and obtaining a complete picture of a candidate’s criminal history is harder than you think. With a vision to make the world a safer place, Sterling stands apart with our advanced technology, accuracy, and industry-leading turnaround times.
Sterling works closely with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Disclosure Scotland, AccessNI, and a wealth of global safeguarding authorities, ensuring we are perfectly positioned to offer the appropriate level of Criminal Record Check for any employment position.
Our dedicated team of experts will assist in determining the correct level of Disclosure for your candidates (Basic, Standard or Enhanced in the UK), and will help to ensure the application is submitted along with all accompanying documentation, minimising delays in processing.
Industry Leading Processes Which Deliver World Class Results
- Online results delivery in real time – our technology is highly secure and easy to use.
- Best practice advice when you need it – our criminology experts are available to discuss the convictions that we uncover.
- Customised implementation – our experienced client success team will work with you to design a programme that is efficient and effective for your organisation.
Types of Criminal Record Checks
There are three levels of Criminal Record Checks available in the UK – a Basic Disclosure, a Standard Disclosure, and an Enhanced Disclosure.
1. Basic Disclosure:
This level of criminal record check searches the Police National Computer for convictions which are not spent under the terms of the ROA. It discloses all such convictions or states that there are none.
A basic check will contain details of convictions (and conditional cautions for England & Wales) that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. It is therefore available to any individual applying for, or already employed in, any position. For this reason, it is the most commonly ordered disclosure and is suitable for all industries and levels of candidates.
The typical turnaround time for a Basic Disclosure is 5-10 business days, although this can vary depending on the provider’s service levels.
2. Standard Disclosure:
This level of criminal record check discloses details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings on the Police National Computer (PNC).
In order to submit a DBS (previously CRB & ISA) application for a Standard check, an individual must meet certain eligibility criteria. A guide to eligibility for criminal record checks can be found here.
The typical turnaround time for a Standard Disclosure is 5-10 business days, although this can vary depending on the provider’s service levels.
3. Enhanced Disclosure:
This level of criminal record check discloses details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings on the Police National Computer (PNC). An Enhanced Disclosure may contain non-conviction local police force information.
Based on address history provided by the candidate, the disclosure request is sent to the Chief Constable or Chief Officer in the appropriate location. The Chief can choose to add any non-conviction information (e.g. suspicions) if they feel it relevant to the position applied for. Depending on the position applied for, an Enhanced Disclosure will also check the relevant ISA barred lists to ensure the individual is not barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.
In order to submit a DBS (previously CRB & ISA) application for a Standard check, an individual must meet certain eligibility criteria.
The typical turnaround time for an Enhanced Disclosure is 4-6 weeks, although this can vary depending on the provider’s service volume levels.
International Criminal Record Searches
Sterling is able to provide international Criminal Record Searches, where available and legally compliant. The process, turnaround time, and cost will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For more information on International Criminal Records checks please contact us.
A Note on ‘Enforced Subject Access’
Section 184 of the Data Protection Act 2018 makes makes it a criminal offence to require an individual to exercise their subject access rights to gain access to information about their convictions and cautions from a police station, and then provide that information to another person, such as a potential employer. Sterling does not use enforced subject access requests to obtain criminal record information about individuals when conducting criminal background checks. Instead, Sterling uses the authorised procedures created by Disclosure Scotland (DS) and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to obtain official criminal disclosure certificates.
This method of obtaining criminal record information is compliant with the Police Act 1997, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, as well as guidance issued on this matter by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection authority
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