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Basic criminal record checks

From Sandy Adirondack's free legal update emails for voluntary organisations.

The Police Act 1997 included provision for standard and enhanced criminal record checks for people undertaking specified types of work – for example accountancy, and work with children and vulnerable adults – and basic checks for any purpose.

Nearly 21 years later, on 17 January 2018, basic checks finally became available in England and Wales from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Basic checks show only unspent convictions, and are available to any individual for any purpose, whether work related or personal. Any organisation can ask a potential or current employee, volunteer, contractor or other worker for a basic check, regardless of the nature of their work. This will be of benefit for organisations which would like criminal record information for some or all workers, but are not eligible to carry out standard or enhanced checks for them.

This information is reproduced from Sandy Adirondack’s legal update emails for voluntary organisations. To subscribe to these emails, send details to