Criminal records checking service

The council's disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks and processes applications and disclosures for Ealing Council staff and/or staff working on behalf of Ealing Council.

As the council is a registered body with the DBS it can also carry out criminal records checks on behalf of non-registered organisations - this is called an umbrella service.

Any organisation that carries out less than 100 criminal records checks per year cannot become a registered body with the DBS and has to use an umbrella service (such as Ealing Council).

Anyone having regular contact with children and/or adults who are vulnerable should have a DBS disclosure before they are offered employment.  This includes anyone who works as an unsupervised volunteer.  In DBS terms a volunteer is someone undertaking work or activities that are unpaid and not for financial gain or working towards a qualification, (e.g. a parent who is working voluntarily in a classroom).  As a registered body the council's role is to:

  • check and validate the information provided by the applicant on the application form
  • establish the true identity of the applicant, through the examination of a range of documents using guidance provided by the DBS
  • ensure the application form is fully completed and the information it contains is accurate
  • countersign application forms to confirm the organisation has an entitlement to access criminal record information.

Who can use this service?

In addition to council departments (including schools) the following organisations can use the council's DBS unit (as an umbrella service) to process their criminal records checks on their behalf (subject to a registration procedure):

  • small organisations
  • community groups
  • voluntary groups

Self-employed or individuals cannot apply for a check on themselves.

What is a disclosure?

A disclosure is a document containing information held by the police and government departments. It can be used by employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions. There are two types of disclosure - standard and enhanced.

Standard disclosure
Standard disclosures are primarily for roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. Standard disclosures may also be issued for people entering certain professions, such as members of the legal and accountancy professions.

Enhanced disclosure
Enhanced disclosures are for posts involving a far greater degree of contact with children or vulnerable adults.  In general, the type of work will involve regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and vulnerable adults. Examples include a teacher, scout or guide leader.  Enhanced disclosures are also issued for certain statutory purposes such as gaming and lottery licenses.

Enhanced disclosures contain the same information as standard disclosures but with the addition of local police force information considered relevant by chief police officer(s).

Enhanced disclosures with a barred list checks

These are carried out for roles which are classed as regulated activity.

Regulated activity includes unsupervised activities e.g. teaching, training, instructing, care or supervision of children, providing guidance or advice on well-being, driving a vehicle for children only.

Regulated activity also includes work for a limited range of establishments (specified places) where there is an opportunity for contact eg schools, children's homes, childcare premises (but not work by supervised volunteers).

If you are on the payroll working at the school, this is classed as regulated activity.

Regulated activity also includes personal care of adults.

How to request this service

To find out more about this service contact the council's DBS unit:

Tel: 020 8825 9000 (option 3, option 2, option 2, option 2)


How long will it take?

The online check will take approximately two weeks.  This includes the Council's DBS unit's time to process the form before it is sent off to the DBS.

About the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)

In Dec 2012 the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and is now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service.  It is an executive agency of the Home Office set-up to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions.

Further information is available on: