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Posted: 10th February 2010 in Security News

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The process for obtaining details of the criminal history for a person who resides in England, Scotland and Wales is conducted through the Criminal Records Bureau or Disclosure Scotland. This information is provided as a guide to understanding what is available from each organisation and the differences between their services.

A person receives a criminal conviction having been convicted of certain offences before a Magistrates or Crown court. Following conviction, the court will apply a punishment in the form of a prison sentence, a fine, a conditional discharge, etc. A reprimand, a final warning and a caution are not issued by these courts and are not regarded as criminal convictions.

The Criminal Records Bureau is an Executive Agency of the Home Office which provides wider access to criminal record information through its Disclosure service.
This service enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that which involves children or vulnerable adults.
The Criminal Records Bureau was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and was launched in March 2002. Prior to that, access to police checks was mainly confined to organisations in the statutory sector for staff who had �substantial unsupervised access' to children. There were many other organisations that could not access these checks and yet had staff with similar access to vulnerable groups. The Criminal Records Bureau enables many more organisations to access these checks as part of good recruitment practice.


The Criminal Records Bureau provides two services namely Standard and Enhanced Disclosures aimed at persons working with vulnerable adults or children and in certain (defined) professions. The application process is strictly controlled and regulated to ensure the protection of vulnerable adults and children through the Enhanced Disclosure which not only provides details of all previous convictions but also details of issues investigated by other bodies such as local authorities and if the person is registered on any lists prohibiting them from working with vulnerable adults or children. Details of current police investigations may also be revealed during this process and is sent under separate cover. It is a criminal offence to reveal details of these investigations to the individual or persons who should not have access to it.
The Standard Disclosure is available for persons working in various professions identified under the regulations. Standard CRB checks show current and spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer


The completion of a Criminal Records Bureau Application Form is quite straightforward. Applicants must complete sections A, B, C, (D if applicable) and H. Sections E and F are not required and sections X, Y and Z must not be completed.
We do not need to see any original documents other than the original paper application form. It is just required that someone in authority is to view the original documents provided by the applicant. Those documents should then be copied and endorsed as true before being sent to us. Please send the original application form and copy documents to us for processing and signing as counter signatory for that application. (Sections �X' and �Y' on the application form are only to be completed by Agenda).
The Criminal Records Bureau requires 3 documents to support the application (passport, driving licence and a utility bill confirming name and current address details). The utility bill must be issued within 3 months. If the candidate can only supply either the passport or driving licence then they must submit 2 utility bills. Again they must have been issued within the last 3 months
Agenda will carry out all the necessary checks to confirm identification of the applicant and verify the documents provided. The application form will be processed and then submitted to the Criminal Records Bureau. In the event that a form is incorrect and needs to be re written, we will do this and send it back to the applicant for checking, signature, and return.


Disclosure Scotland was launched on 29 April 2002. It was developed under the guidance of the Scottish Government, following the enactment of Part V of the Police Act 1997. This introduced a system of disclosing criminal history information to individuals and organisations for employment and other purposes.


Disclosure Scotland provides an identical service as the Criminal Records Bureau but with the addition of a Basic Disclosure which is available for anyone. The Basic Disclosure contains only convictions considered Unspent under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


We can only apply online, if the current address is in the UK and if the applicant has been living at their current address for at least twelve months. If the applicant does not satisfy these criteria then a paper application form will be made. To enable us to complete an online application form we require the following information:-

  • Must have a complete 5 year address history
  • Copy of a Driving Licence OR passport
  • Copy of a Utility bill / bank statement or similar with applicant's name and current address details
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Date and place of birth

If we are making a paper application this will be completed by Agenda (providing we have the information beforehand) and then forwarded to the applicant for signing and returning.

  • The Criminal Record Bureau
  • Can only be applied for through a Registered or Umbrella Body
  • Only Enhanced and Standard checks available
  • Only available for certain professions
  • Disclosure Scotland
  • Provide same services as the above
  • Additionally provide Basic checks
  • Basic checks are available for all persons
  • Individuals can apply for a Basic check themselves