Why has the DBS reduced its fees?

The DBS is a non-departmental public body responsible for administering and implementing the criminal records disclosure system including the issuing of disclosure certificates. This means that it must adhere to the principles set out by HM Treasury in ‘Managing Public Money’. Since the fees for criminal record checks were last set, the DBS has modernised the technology used and made improvements to the processes that surround the criminal record disclosure system.

The changes saw greater efficiencies that in turn facilitated higher than forecast volumes of applications being received as well as reduction in the cost of the overall processing of DBS checks.

To ensure the DBS align to the ‘Managing Public Money’ guidelines the fees charged for criminal record checks need to be amended to ensure that these cost savings are reflected in the fees, and individuals are not being overcharged for services they receive.

What are the reductions?

Type of DBS Check Current Fee Fee as of 1st October 2019
Basic certificate £25 £23
Standard certificate £26 £23
Enhanced certificate £44 £40


The fee for the Update Service will remain the same, at £13 per year.

Standard and enhanced volunteer applications will remain free-of-charge. Read the official announcement from DBS here.

‘Great news’

At GBG we think this is great news and hope that our customers and their applicants required to undertake a criminal record check associated with securing work see this as a positive step in the market.

As the UK’s largest criminal record check provider, we’re sure that all the sectors we work with, from the financial sector to the education and healthcare, through to the retail and organisations operating in the gig economy will welcome this move.

What happens next?

GBG has been preparing for these changes and will be amending fees in our systems, processes and documents in line readiness for the 1st October 2019 deadline.

As tempting as it might be to stockpile applications until after the 1st October to take advantage of these reductions, we strongly recommend against doing so as this could cause delays in the processing time with DBS.

Read more about processing Criminal Record checks here.