The rules regarding the automatic disclosure of cautions and convictions on a DBS certificate are set out in legislation. Standard and Enhanced DBS certificates must always include the following records no matter when they were received:
- All convictions for specified offences
- Adult cautions for specified offences
- All convictions that resulted in a custodial sentence
Other records must be included depending on when the caution or conviction was received:
- Any adult caution for a non-specified offence received within the last 6 years
- Any adult conviction for a non-specified offence received within the last 11 years
- Any youth conviction for a non-specified offence received within the last 5 and a half years
An ‘adult’ is any individual aged 18 or above at the time of the caution or conviction. A ‘youth’ is any individual aged under 18 at the time of the caution or conviction.
A ‘specified offence’ is one which is on the list of specified offences agreed by Parliament which will always be disclosed on a Standard or Enhanced DBS certificate where it resulted in a conviction or an adult caution. Youth cautions for specified offences will not be automatically disclosed.
Any cautions (including reprimands and warnings) and convictions not covered by the rules above are ‘protected’ and will not appear on a DBS certificate automatically.
Cautions, reprimands and warnings received when an individual was under 18 will not appear on a Standard or Enhanced certificate automatically.
Please note that Enhanced certificates may include information relating to a protected caution or conviction if the police consider that it is relevant to the workforce that the individual intends to work in.