Criminal Record Check Resources

Check a criminal record as an employer

Employers can check the criminal record of someone applying for a role. This is known as getting a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

You can request a more detailed check for certain roles, for example in healthcare or childcare.

DBS checks: Guidance for employers

Guidance for employers about DBS checks, including how to apply, registering with the DBS and the code of practice.

Masterclasses on Understanding Criminal Records

The video resources were primarily designed by Dominic Headley & Associates and Skills for Care to accompany 'Safe and Fair Recruitment: Gathering Information to make informed decisions' workshops - but can be used independently by any organisation, practitioner or individual who wants and/or needs to know more about how the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order 1975 work in practice. You can complete each Masterclass in your own time at your own pace. 

We have also included other useful resources, including a Bonus Masterclass for those who want to improve their knowledge on the more complex elements of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 - including the Relevant Order Rule, and one of the most important and complex disclosure resources developed in recent years - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order Self-Disclosure and DBS filtering rules flowchart.

It is incredibly important for all individuals, practitioners, and organisations to have as much comprehensive expert advice and guidance as possible on disclosure regimes.

Access Northern Ireland

An AccessNI check is a criminal history record check which provides different levels of information.

Disclosure Scotland

Disclosure Scotland checks and shares information about people's criminal records. This helps organisations to employ the right people for certain types of work, like working with children or protected adults.

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)

The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Scottish Criminal Disclosure Reforms

Further information on criminal disclosure reforms in Scotland

DBS Update Service Guidance

Guidance on DBS changes due to COVID-19

Access NI for Employers

Further information on access for employers in Northern Ireland

Access NI Criminal Records Checks

Further information on regarding criminal checks in Northern Ireland

Scottish Disclosure and criminal record checks

Learn about the types of disclosure for criminal record checks

Criminal record checks when you apply for a role

An overview on employment criminal record checks in England and Wales.

Referencing Resources

Is getting useful references a challenge?

A project to help social care and health employers share effective references and conduct information.

References: worker's rights

An employer does not have an obligation to provide a reference to their employee. However, if they do, the reference must be fair and accurate.

Pre-employment Check Resources

COVID-19 Right to Work checks

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office announced temporary adjusted changes including remote right to work checking and the 8-week rule

Employer's guide to Right to Work checks

This guide applies to right to work checks conducted on or after 17 December 2020 to establish or retain a statutory excuse from having to pay a civil penalty for employing a person who is not permitted to do the work in question.

Pre-employment screening: A good practice guide

Further guidelines on pre-employment screening published by CPNI.

Pre-employment Checks Guide

A comprehensive guide by the CIPD on pre-employment checks. 

Internal Fraud Database

The Internal Fraud Database is the only database in the UK that records instances of fraudulent conduct by job applicants and employees in the workforce, helping employers and recruiters identify potential threats to their organisation and protect their workforce. 

National Fraud Database

The National Fraud Database is the most comprehensive database of fraud risk data and intelligence in the UK.

Other Useful Resources


A national social justice charity with more than 50 years’ experience of changing lives, building stronger communities, and reducing crime. They house, educate, support, advise, and speak out for and with disadvantaged young people and adults. They are passionate about changing lives.

The Employers' Forum for Reducing Re-offending (EFFRR)

EFFRR is a HMPPS-led initiative. They work with business throughout the UK as part of an innovative employer engagement programme, designed to improve the recruitment practices of employers and the job prospects of offenders.

UK Identity Fraud Advisory (UKIFA)

The UK Identity Fraud Advisory (UKIFA) exists to protect individuals from identity fraud and to help business identify fake identity documents.


SAFERjobs is a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation designed to support jobseekers, agency staff, and contractors with any suspected fraud, malpractice, breach of legislation, or poor experience they may encounter. SAFERjobs is supported by the DWP, BEIS, Metropolitan Police, and other government and industry organisations.

Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)

The Criminal Records Trade Body (CRTB) is a group of UK-based criminal record check professional. The CRTB is a committee within the European Council of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). PBSA was established to represent the interest of companies offering employment and tenant background screening service

Employing People

The best place to find government services and information.


The professional body for HR and people development


Cifas is a not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation. They are the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, managing the largest database of instances of fraudulent conduct in the country.

NHS Employers

The employers’ organisation for the NHS in England. Helping employers to develop a sustainable workforce, improve staff experience and be the best employers they can be.

The Safer Recruitment Consortium

The Safer Recruitment Consortium is a partnership between four organisations with the safety and wellbeing of children at their heart

Care Quality Commission

The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England