Looking for a new job is a stressful experience, and it can be a lot more stressful if you don’t understand why you’re being asked for certain pieces of information. There are obvious reasons why your employer needs your bank details, and your address. But what about all the other things they ask, including details of your criminal records?
Most employers aren’t just being nosy when they ask whether you’ve been in trouble with the law in the past. Many jobs are legally defined as “regulated activity”, and if your work falls into that category, the employer must by law run a criminal records check. There are lots of different jobs which fall into this category. What most of them have in common is that they involve dealing with vulnerable group. These could be children, patients in hospital or disabled adults. Carers, nursery workers, administrative staff in hospital or anyone working in a school will have to have a check into their past. This is done with an aim of safeguarding these vulnerable groups in our society, and stopping people with an extensive criminal past from posing a risk.
What A Check Means for You
If you are applying for a job which needs a criminal records check, this might be either termed a Criminal Records Check (CRB) or a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It’s important not to think of these checks as a pass or fail scenario. Many applicants mistakenly believe that any criminal conviction at all will rule them out from being considered for the job.
Firstly, there are lots of rules around what can and cannot be disclosed on a criminal records check. This will depend on the type of job you are thinking of applying for, and the criminal records check you require as a consequence. Whatever the level of check, the very oldest and minor convictions are mostly filtered out and won’t appear on the certificate. Even if you have something more recent or serious on your record, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be offered the job either. It’s down to the employer to look at all of the information they have about your and decide whether they are happy to employ you.
Applying for a DBS Check
If you’re employing for a job working with vulnerable groups, then your employer should be able to help you through the process. It’s not complicated but it does involve a bit of form-filling, and you should take care over what you put in each field. The good news is that if you are applying for a job with the NHS, or in education, there will always be someone who can answer any questions you have about the process, or which documents you need to support your application. Most employers will also pay the fee associated with the application too. Once you have your form in the post, all you need to do is show your employer and the file the certificate away safely.