What are the security features of a DBS/CRB Certificate?

February 2nd, 2018 by Jonathan Bazely

With the changes to Legislation that were introduced in June 2013, resulting in the issue of a single DBS Disclosure Certificate to the applicant only, it is more important than ever to establish that a DBS/CRB Certificate is original and genuine.

Under the current guidance it is the responsibility of the employing organisation to check that the Disclosure Certificate is original and has not been tampered with. To assist with this process the DBS have highlighted the security features on the Disclosure which should be checked. Unfortunately there is currently no way to confirm that the information contained on the Certificate is correct, as the only person made aware of this information is the subject of the check, when the Certificate is first issued.

Security Features

A DBS certificate contains a number of security features which are designed to confirm if the document is an original Certificate as issued by the DBS, and not a high resolution scan or image. These security features include:

  • a ‘crown seal’ watermark repeated down the right hand side of the Certificate, which is visible both on the surface and when holding the Certificate up to a light source
  • a background design incorporating the word ‘Disclosure’, which appears in a wave-like pattern across both sides of the document – the colour of this pattern is uniform across the front of the certificate but alternates between pink and green on the reverse side
  • ink and paper that will change colour in the presence of water or solvent-based liquid

Note that the security features for a CRB certificate, issued before 1 December 2012, are the same as for the DBS certificate.

If you are unsure whether a DBS certificate is genuine or if you think that it may have been altered, you should contact the DBS on 03000 200 190.

The link to this guidance issued by the DBS is here: DBS website

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