Standard and Enhanced Disclosures are only available to employers and voluntary organisations, and then only for applicants in certain types of job. Basic Disclosures are the only level of Disclosure that is available to everyone with no restrictions. This means that employers can ask their employees to apply for a Basic Disclosure regardless of their job role, and individuals and self-employed people can also obtain Basic Disclosures for themselves.
A Basic Disclosure will show details of all "unspent" convictions. This means that minor convictions may not appear on the Disclosure if sufficient time has passed since the conviction took place. How long it takes for a conviction to be considered spent is dependent on the nature of the conviction, and some serious convictions never become spent. If you have a conviction and want to know whether it is spent or not, a comprehensive guide can be found here.
Basic Disclosures cost £47 each, or £52 if we need to send them overseas.
Ready to apply for your Basic Disclosure? If you're currently a UK resident and you've lived at your current address for 12 months or more, the form you need is here, and guidance on how to complete it correctly is here. The form can be scanned in and emailed to us, or sent to us by fax or post - please see our contact page for information. Remember that you'll also have to send us photocopies or scans of two items of ID, as well as payment. If you're not currently resident in the UK, or haven't lived at your current address for over a year, we'll need to send you a different form by post - please contact us with your request.
If you represent a company or organisation and want to perform Basic Disclosure background checks on your employees or volunteers, you'll need to register with us. Registration is quick and free, and you can start requesting Basic Disclosures for your employees using the forms and guidance documents linked above as soon as you've registered.
Please be aware that the forms used to apply for a Basic Disclosure will soon be changing. This should not affect individuals who are applying for a single Disclosure on their own behalf, as we will make sure that you get the right form to make your application. Companies and organisations who use our Basic Disclosure service, however, will need to be aware of the dates when the forms change and make sure they have the correct ones in good time. Online Forms (for people who have lived at their current address for 12 months or more) will not be changing until August. Paper Forms (for those who have moved within the past year) will be changing sooner, but the current forms will continue to be valid until mid-July.
Many people need a Basic Disclosure as part of the process of applying for a Visa. Basic Disclosures for this purpose need an Apostille (the legal term for official proof that the Disclosure is genuine). We cannot provide the Apostille itself, as an Apostille can only be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We can, however, ensure that your Basic Disclosure is signed and stamped by a recognised signatory so that the FCO can confirm its authenticity. If you need your Disclosure for a Visa, please let us know when you make your application so that we can make sure this is done.
Sometimes we find that despite our instructions, the government body which issues the Disclosures neglects to sign them. Therefore it is our standard policy to partially open the envelopes of all Disclosures required for Visa purposes, just far enough to check that the Disclosure has been stamped. If you don't want us to do this, please let us know when you request your Disclosure.
What do I need?
The information required by the form is straightforward, but it helps to have everything to hand before you begin. Please ensure you have details of your addresses for the past 5 years, NI number, passport and driving licence details (if applicable), and the details of your birth and any previous names you may have been known by.
In addition to the information on the form, we will need to see photocopies of 2 items of ID. One of these should be something which proves your date of birth (such as a copy of your passport, driving licence, or birth certificate) and the other should be something which proves your current address (such as a bank statement or utility bill addressed to you). The copies of your ID can be sent to us by post, fax, or email - please see our contact page for details.
We also need payment - you can pay by cheque or by credit/debit card, and we're working to add Paypal to our site for your convenience. Please be aware that we cannot process your form until we've received both the ID and the payment.