A-Z of job roles and their eligibility for basic, standard and enhanced criminal record checks

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Aim of this information

This information sets out the likely levels of disclosure required for different job roles.

It’s part of our criminal record checks for employment section.

This information is very much a work in progress and we hope to add to the roles listed over time. We would welcome feedback, and particularly of any experiences that appear to contradict the information provided in this list. Leave your feedback or email advice@unlock.org.uk.

Why is this important?

For anybody with a criminal record, the most important part of the recruitment process can often be the disclosure of their convictions. Many employers do not make it clear that they will be undertaking criminal record checks or what type they will be doing. This can make it difficult to know what you will need to disclose if asked.

In addition, some employers may request checks which legally they are not permitted to do. We have further information about ineligible checks.


We’ve put together a long list of job roles and their likely level of check (this is based on a previous guide published by Robin Pencavel, ‘I can’t do that, can i? A survey of occupations and the relevance of criminal convictions’).  This is important in helping to:

  • Understand what you may need to disclose to an employer if you are asked, and:
  • Determine whether an employer is conducting the correct level of check.

Potential level of criminal record check

The job roles we have considered have been categorised under the following levels of checks:

A number of roles in the public sector and for contractors working within the public sector may require security vetting. This will often be in addition to the above checks. It is difficult to establish exactly which roles require vetting higher than a Baseline Personnel Security Standard (which normally involves a basic check) but the employer should made this clear in each individual situation. Where they do, you should use our guidance on security vetting.

Using the table

  1. The table sets out the levels of criminal record check that may be undertaken for various jobs and roles. Where available, there are links to further guidance on that job role. Not all job roles will involve a criminal record check in practice. The aim with this information is to understand the potential level of check.
  2. For some of the job roles listed, it is difficult to find out the precise criminal record check that an employer will do. For example, it may be necessary for an employer to do an enhanced check for what, on the face of it, looks to be the same job for which they are doing a basic check. This will usually be due to the client group an individual would be working with.
  3. For standard and enhanced checks, where we have referred to the DBS exceptions list, visit the DBS guide to eligibility.
  4. If you believe that an employer is requesting the wrong level of check, visit our information section on ineligible checks for guidance on how to deal with this.

A-Z of job roles

Personal experiences

The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.

Useful links

Below you will find links to useful websites relating to this page. More specific details (including addresses and telephone numbers) of the organisations listed below can be found here.

More information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information on types of criminal record checks
  2. To discuss this issue with others – Read and share your experiences on our online forum
  3. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline.

Get involved

Help us to add value to this information.  You can:

  1. Comment on this information (below)
  2. Send your feedback directly to us
  3. Discuss your views and experiences with others on our online forum
  4. Share your personal story by contributing to our online magazine, theRecord


This page was last fully reviewed and updated in July 2016. If you’ve spotted something that needs updating, please let us know by emailing the details to advice@unlock.org.uk.
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