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What is a DBS check?

Partnerships with local authorities mean some Which? Trusted traders need to complete a DBS check. We explain more and take you through the process.

What is a DBS check?

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a check to see if you have a criminal record. It used to be known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

Why do I need a DBS check?

Sometimes Which? Trusted Traders works in partnership with other organisations, such as Local Authority Trading Standards, so we require traders based in certain counties to complete a DBS check.

The aim of a DBS check is to provide extra reassurance to consumers when you are going into their homes.

Who needs to do a DBS check?

We will let you know if we require a DBS check from you.

If we do require a DBS check, it is the head of the business (what is known as the “controlling mind”) who will need to take the DBS check. This would normally be the owner of the business or the Managing Director.

We ask that you, as owner or Managing Director, self-certify that your employees and/or sub-contractors do not have any unspent criminal convictions, to the best of your knowledge. 

At times, as part of a random survey, Which? Trusted Traders may request additional DBS checks of employees or sub-contractors. We would cover the costs for these additional checks.

What type of check do I need?

You need a Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland. You do not have to be Scottish or live in Scotland to use this service. You must be 18 or over to apply for your own certificate.

There are two other levels of checks available, Enhanced Disclosure Certificates and Standard Disclosure Certificates. But you cannot apply for this level of check for yourself and it is not required for the Which? Trusted Traders scheme. The Direct Gov website has more information.

How do I apply for a Basic Disclosure Certificate?

You need to apply for your own Basic Disclosure Certificate. It is not possible to apply for certificates on behalf of other people.

Basic Disclosure Certificates are available from Disclosure Scotland. They will be sent to your home address by post - it is not possible to get an online certificate. Each application costs £25.

You will need to provide:

a copy or either your passport, driving licence or national insurance number

information from a utility bill (gas, electricity or telephone) at your home address

your address details covering the last five years

three forms of identification confirming your name, date of birth and current address e.g. driving licence, passport, utility bill, rental agreement/mortgage or bank statement.

What if I have other types of Disclosure Certificate?

If the Certificate is less than 12 months old and you can demonstrate that you obtained it through the appropriate process, then we are likely to accept it. You will need to discuss the specifics with your account manager.

Will my employees need DBS checks too?

No. At times, however, as part of a random survey, Which? Trusted Traders may request additional DBS checks of employees or sub-contractors, the costs of which would be covered by Which? Trusted Traders.

How should I submit my DBS check to Which? Trusted Traders?

You will be able to submit certificates via a secure web service called Sharefile. We will send you a link to upload the certificate and Sharefile will automatically delete the certificate after 14 days.

Alternatively, you will be able to submit certificates by post, which we will return to you once checked.

Will I need to renew my Basic Disclosure Certificates?

Yes. If we require a Basic Disclosure Certificate from you, we will need to see an up-to-date version at your endorsement renewal, every 12 months.

If you think that the information in your Disclosure Certificate is no longer correct, for example because of a recent conviction, you should notify us.

How do you store the information from a Basic Disclosure Certificate?

The certificates contain sensitive personal information. We will return original certificates to you and destroy any copies once we have checked the contents and made a decision on your membership.

We will follow the principles set out on the DBS website concerning the storage and handling of this information.

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