Here at CAS, we’re more than aware that our clients place a huge amount of trust in us. We have to be able to demonstrate that we provide the highest levels of security for the documents and data which they place with us. One key element in our security processes is in our choice of document handling professionals. Our clients need to know that the people transporting, storing and scanning their documents have the highest levels of personal integrity. That’s why we ensure that they all undergo checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS checks).

The process of enhanced DBS checks changed slightly in April 2019, placing greater onus on applicants to ensure they provide accurate address history details. We thought we’d take this opportunity to detail what DBS checks are, and what the process involves. And we’ll be showing how these checks are one of the foundations of our security systems.

What are DBS checks?

DBS checks are essentially ways for employers to check an individual’s criminal record as part of their recruitment or safeguarding processes. You might still hear people refer to ‘CRB checks’, the older system which was carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) during the period 2002-2012. The DBS is a government agency attached to the Home Office. It merged the functions of the former CRB and the Independent Safeguarding Authority in 2012. DBS checks allow employers in England and Wales to have the criminal record history reviewed for people working, or seeking to work, in certain positions and in specific situations.

In the UK, people who have previously been convicted of a crime are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. This act is intended to give convicted criminals a second chance, as their convictions are regarded as ‘spent’ after a certain rehabilitation period. This period is automatically determined by the sentence imposed by a court. A request for a person to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions, is categorised as an ‘exempted question’. Due to data protection requirements, only certain organisations are eligible to ask an exempted question. However, CAS’s services themselves are subject to our clients’ own data protection requirements. Therefore, we are entitled to ask such an exempted question for our document-handling staff.

Recruitment processes that secure us the best staff

Under the process of DBS checks, there are two levels of criminal record check. CAS uses a standard DBS check, which provides details of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings recorded on police central records. This includes both ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions. (Organisations which work directly with children and vulnerable adults can request an enhanced check to provide an added level of assurance).

As part of our recruitment process, we will review the DBS check for the individual involved. If we were to find that a potential employee has a conviction, we would then make a judgement as to their suitability to handle documents. What’s more, we get all of our members of staff to sign legally binding confidentiality agreements. Ultimately, our primary duty of care is towards our clients’ documents and the data which are contained within.

Your documents, our security processes

We always strive to improve our processes to keep documents and data physically safe and electronically secure. That’s why we strive for excellence with our ISO certifications, and our membership of the Archives and Records Association. This ensures that our document-handling professionals are up-to-speed with the latest developments in the sector, and have a clear eye on quality assurance.

Indeed, staff members who handle clients’ documents are thorough and fast, with clear and comprehensive processes to allow them to deliver our services. Take, for example, our scanning-on-demand service. Once you have indicated that you need a digital copy of a file, it is identified, retrieved and prepared for scanning. They remove extraneous items such as paper clips and staples, and individually scan each page, including any additional items such as added notes and post-its. After they are scanned, the files are coded and the digital record added to your virtual record library. The original records are then returned to their storage box.

We take this meticulous approach with all of our services, from secure document storage to confidential document shredding. Whichever service you sign up for, you can rely on the people who are handling your documents to keep them secure and safe. That’s our promise.

If you have any questions about how we use DBS checks in our range of services, get in touch with the CAS team today.

About CAS document storage and data management services

CAS provides comprehensive and secure document storage and management, scan on demand, and facilities management services. For more than 20 years CAS has worked with NHS Trusts, Financial Services providers, and corporate and private clients. Our head office is just four miles from the City of London, supported by our advanced storage centres across the UK. CAS has an impressive array of international certifications (ISOs), which prove our compliance with the strictest national, European and international laws. They also demonstrate our commitment to providing innovative systems on security, confidentiality and quality control, to keep your files safe and well-managed.