About Basic Disclosure checks (Basic DBS & Basic Scotland)

A Basic Disclosure check is the lowest level of criminal record check available in the UK. 

It entails a search of the Police National Computer (PNC) for details of all current criminal convictions (unspent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974), and will result in a Basic Disclosure certificate which will detail any unspent convictions an applicant has or which will confirm there are no such convictions.


From 1st January 2018, two types of Basic Disclosure Check are available:

  1. Basic DBS checks processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (the DBS) and available for applicants living/working or who have previously lived or worked in England and Wales. 
  2. Basic Scotland checks processed by Disclosure Scotland and available for applicants living/working or who have previously lived/worked in Scotland. 

When you start your online Basic application form, our system will ask you some 'routing' questions to ascertain where you live/work or previously lived/worked; and automatically direct you to the correct type of Basic Disclosure check (Basic DBS check or a Basic Scotland check).

Who can apply for a Basic DBS / Basic Disclosure Scotland Check?

  • anyone who lives or has lived in the UK
  • any individual in their own name for any purpose
  • self employed
  • for visa applications
  • for a Personal Liquor/Premises Licence application
  • for a new job or volunteer work
  • for pre-employment/recruitment vetting (written consent required from employee)
  • Landlord/Letting agents tenant checking (written consent required from tenant)

Please note:  It is your responsibility to check with the authorities/regulatory body concerned, that this type of criminal record check is adequate for your needs, before placing an order with us.


What Information do applicants need to provide on the online Basic Scotland / Basic DBS Application form?

Applicants need to provide personal details, for example:  full name and any other names ever used, birth details, and  full 5 year address history.   Start your online Basic DBS / Basic Scotland application here.

Please note: if you are obtaining a Basic Scotland / BasicDBS Check for someone else you must obtain their express permission (in writing), to do so.

How do you verify applicants' ID?

It is a stipulation of the DBS / Disclosure Scotland (the government agencies that process the checks), that that applicants' ID is verified.  

We require applicants to have their ID verified in accordance with the Basic ID Checking Guidelines, by a nominated ID Checker.   

The nominated ID Checker will need to sign an ID Verification form which you will need to send us.

We will email you a link to download/print your ID Verification form for your nominated ID checker to complete, once you complete your online Basic Scotland / Basic DBS application form.

In addition to this, all applicants must be able to provide copies of at least 3 x ID documents. Please see the list of acceptable ID documents.

Please note:  1 x ID document must be:

  1. a valid Passport (any country), or...
  2. a UK Driving  Licence or...
  3. a UK Birth Certificate/Adoption certificate issued within 12 months of birth

NB:  If you do NOT have one of these ID documents we CANNOT process an online Basic DBS / Basic ScotlandApplication for you


Your completed and signed ID verification and ID copies can be sent to us by by email or in the post.

We will email you the contact email and postal address you need to use once you have completed your online Basic Scotland / Basic DBS application form.


How Long do the checks take?

On average it takes 13 - 16 working days (Monday - Friday not including bank or public holidays) to process a Basic DBS / Basic Scotland application from the receipt of a correctly filled-in online application form (note any errors on the online application form or queries could cause delays in the processing).   As a guide, 95% of applications are completed in 12 calendar days.  

This is measured from the day we receive your online application and your copies of ID as detailed in the Acceptable ID list ; to the day of dispatch.

Please note:  seasonal fluctuations/delays will occur during certain times of the year for example during Christmas and Easter.

Our sole business is the processing of criminal records checks.  We will do everything we can to ensure your Basic Disclosure is processed as quickly as possible (see our customer testimonials).

Incorrectly filled-in applications, queries, or incorrect ID will cause delays and may result in the rejection of your application.

In such cases of rejection, or late cancellation, administration charges may be applicable.

What do I receive?

Basic DBS applications:  One hard-copy Basic DBS certificate is produced and posted to your current home address that you entered on your online Basic DBS application form.  You will also have access to an online Basic DBS certificate via the DBS website.

Basic Scotland applications:  One hard-copy Basic DBS certificate is produced and posted to your current home address that you entered on your online Basic Scotland.  

Please note:  hard-copy certificates are sent to you by Royal Mail UK Standard delivery (for UK applications) and by Royal Mail International Standard Airmail delivery (for non-UK applications).  Non-UK applicants can choose a Courier delivery option which is charged separately.

HOW LONG WILL MY ON-LINE USERNAME/PASSWORD BE VALID FOR?

Basic DBS / Basic Disclosure Scotland applications are valid for 3 months from the date you create your online Basic application form

This is to ensure that the information you provide on your online Basic application form is up to date and ensures that the Basic application form you have completed is the official current and valid application form at the time.  

In the event that VAT or the Disclosure costs increase during this time-frame, we reserve the right to pass this cost on to you, at our discretion. 

Please note the fee (which is paid at the point of creating an online Basic DBS / Basic Disclosure Scotland application) is non-refundable.

If you do not complete all steps of your application(which are emailed to you when you complete your online Basic application form) within this time-frame, your online Basic DBS / Basic Disclosure Scotland application will be cancelled and any fee paid will be forfeited.  


Reasons and benefits of a Basic Disclosure

  • for current job
  • additional credibility with a job application
  • UK resident applying for a visa
  • personal check of police record of unspent convictions
  • increased customer confidence for self employed
  • for current or prospective employees
  • vetting of prospective tenants
  • for a new job or volunteer work 
  • for any other purpose

I am representing an organisation requiring more than 2 x Basic DBS / Basic Scotland checks:

Go to our sister website which specialists in providing a Basic DBS / Basic Scotland checking service to Organisations requiring checks on their staff.  You will be able to complete and submit our online registration form.  On receipt of your registration, we will set-up an account for you and email you log-in details and instructions on how to submit online Basic Disclosure Applications to us for processing 

www.dbsapplication.co.uk   ---   www.dbsdirect.co.uk   ---   www.basicpolicecheck.co.uk

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