CRB Checks

What are CRB Checks?

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was merged with the Independant Safegurading Authority (ISA) under the Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012, and is now called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Their main offices are still located in Liverpool as they were under the CRB name. The term CRB and CRB checks is likely to be in use for some time in the future as this is a fairly major change in the Safegaurding industry. Within our Client Areas and on this site you will see references to both names to help readers follow the process. Over time we will look to move away from the terminology and only use DBS.

Are CRB Checks different from DBS Checks?

The quick answer is no. All those Certificates issued under the Criminal Records Bureau name are still valid under the DBS, with the same security features still present on both Certificates. As such a CRB Check is the same thing as a DBS Check and can be considered equal documents. The form used to make the application might be different depending on when the application was made, and the version of the form used.

The main concern for anyone viewing a CRB Certificate should be the age of the document.

Can I use my CRB check Certificate on the DBS Update Service?

The answer to this is no. The DBS were formed at the end of 2012 so any Certificate issued since the name changed should show the DBS. For an applicant to sign-up to the Update Service they would need to register on the DBS website within 14 days of their Disclosure being issued. As the Update Service was only made available on the 17th June 2013, any Certificate issued before this can not have been subscribed.

What happened to the ISA?

The Independant Safegaurding Authority (ISA) is now part of the DBS, with their offices located in Darlington. They carry out the same function to collate Vetting and Barring information and make decisions about people to be included on the relevant lists. When a CRB check includes a check of the relevant Vetting and Barring lists, they will still check the same information as previously done under the ISA name.

What happened to ISA Adult First checks (ISAAF)?

Under the new name these are now called DBS Adult First (DBSAF) checks with the same process as carried out previously. When applying for a CRB check Registered Bodies are still able to request a rapid check of the Vetting and Barring List for working with Adults. From our experience applications are now being returned by the DBS so fast that often the Enhanced Disclosure is returned before the DBSAF is!

Further information

To read more about CRB Checks and how to apply for online checks, or paper CRB checks, please visit our Process Guidance pages.

For more information about DBS Checks please read through our Guidance Pages, FAQs or why not use our Contact Us page to send an email.