DBS checks and mental health – what you need to know

When you apply for certain roles your prospective employer will require a DBS check. These are carried out to check on any convictions or cautions, but what details are held on your mental health?

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Information on a DBS check

The type of information shown on your DBS check will depend on whether the conviction or caution is protected and the level of check – these vary from a basic DBS check up to an enhanced DBS with list check.

Protected convictions and cautions

Some convictions and cautions are protected and are filtered so they don’t show up, but over 1,000 offences will always be on a DBS check if you receive a conviction or caution. The most common of these include certain sexual offences, safeguarding offences, some violent offences and drug supply offences.

Other cautions may appear, but they won’t be shown if you received them before you were 18 and two years have passed or if you were over 18 and six years have passed.

Convictions will appear if they’re on the list of non-filtered offences, you received a custodial sentence or you are convicted of multiple offences.

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Where you’re convicted of one offence without a custodial sentence some are filtered out, including convictions before you were 18 where 5 ½ years have passed and those when you were over 18 and 11 years have passed.

What mental health information is shown?

Around one in every four GP patients needs treatment for a mental health issue, so it’s useful to know what information can be shown on a DBS check.

If an employer requires a basic DBS check from providers like http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/, this won’t include mental health details, but an enhanced check will show non-conviction information on police records if they feel it’s relevant. This could include mental health information, such as if the police have removed you to a place of safety under the Mental Health Act 1983.

For the police to include information they must ‘reasonably believe’ it is relevant; there must be no presumption either way and they need to consider the impact it will have on you. They also need to consider if you should have the opportunity to comment before disclosure.

When you receive your DBS check if you feel any information is wrong you can request a review.