DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

DBS Checks is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Social Media

Our Products

get in touch with us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What Jobs Can You Get With A Criminal Record UK?

May 15, 2023 | DBS

Having a criminal record can create hurdles when searching for employment in the UK. Many employers conduct DBS checks to assess an applicant’s criminal history before making hiring decisions. In this blog, we’ll explore the impact of criminal records on job opportunities in the UK and what jobs might be available for individuals with such records.

Why are DBS Checks Important?

DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks are essential tools used by employers to safeguard their businesses and protect vulnerable groups. These checks come in three levels: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The level required depends on the nature of the job and the level of contact with vulnerable individuals.

How Does the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Impact This?

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 plays a vital role in giving individuals with criminal records a fresh start. It differentiates between “unspent” and “spent” convictions. 

“Spent” applications typically do not come up on basic DBS checks but will on a standard or enhanced check. This can impact the type of jobs you can apply for. 

Jobs That Do Not Require DBS Checks

Generally, most employers will ask for a basic DBS check as a minimum. However, it’s important to note that, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, you are not required to disclose spent convictions. 

However, if you do have a criminal record, it is best to be upfront with the employer. Being honest and showing that you have learned from your mistakes will reflect well, and an employer will take this into consideration during their decision-making process.

Jobs That May Consider Candidates with Criminal Records

Certain industries and job roles may consider candidates with criminal records, depending on the nature of the offence and the time elapsed since the conviction. For instance, creative roles, IT positions, or jobs in small businesses might be more open to giving second chances.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Jobs That Typically Require DBS Checks

Certain professions demand standard or enhanced DBS checks due to the high level of responsibility and direct contact with vulnerable individuals.

Some examples include: 

  • Teachers
  • Pharmacists 
  • Private Investigator 
  • Security Guard
  • Social Worker
  • Veterinarian

Legalities and Employer Obligations

Employers must adhere to the law when conducting DBS checks. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exceptions Order sets out the types of roles eligible for requesting spent convictions.

Tips for Job Seekers with Criminal Records

Job seekers with criminal records can enhance their chances of securing employment by highlighting their skills, qualifications, and rehabilitation efforts. It’s crucial to be honest during the application process and emphasise personal growth.


While having a criminal record can present challenges in the job market, it is not an insurmountable barrier. The key lies in understanding the roles that may suit your situation, being honest about your past, and showcasing your potential for a successful future. Rehabilitation and determination can lead to fulfilling job opportunities and a fresh start.



A Guide To DBS Checks For Security Guards

Security guards play an important role in ensuring the safety of individuals and physical assets. Considering the high levels of trust and responsibility their roles embody, it’s essential that employers ensure their integrity.  One tool that can be used to do this is...

read more
A Guide To DBS Checks For The Self-Employed

A Guide To DBS Checks For The Self-Employed

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you have most likely undergone a DBS check. Once completed, you are issued with a certificate that contains information about your criminal history. This information is often used by employers to assess whether you’re a suitable...

read more
The Importance of DBS Checks for Taxi Drivers

The Importance of DBS Checks for Taxi Drivers

As parking becomes harder to find and traffic longer to sit through, fewer people choose to buy cars, and the public transportation industry continues to evolve. Taxi and private hire services play a vital role in providing convenient and reliable transportation...

read more