Basic checks for Individuals


Can I apply for a basic check on myself?

If you are an individual living in Scotland or overseas (including the Republic of Ireland) APCS can process a basic criminal record check on your behalf .

What can an individual basic check be used for?

Basic checks, also referred to a ‘certificate of good conduct’, are very versatile. They can be used in a large range of different job roles and are also used for visa purposes.

Is an individual basic check the same as a ‘DBS’ basic check?

No, the individual service is only for those living in Scotland or overseas, therefore the check will be processed by Disclosure Scotland, not the Disclosure & Barring Service in England.

What if I live in England or Wales and need a DBS check?

APCS is also an umbrella body of the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) in England. APCS are able to provide employers (not individuals) with access to the DBS basic check service.

Register as an employer for our basic DBS checks here .

If you are an individual living and working in England or Wales, and would like to apply for a basic check on yourself, you can apply directly through the official government website here:

Who are Disclosure Scotland?

Disclosure Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish government, and APCS is a registered umbrella body with Disclosure Scotland.

Although the name suggests otherwise, basic checks acquired through Disclosure Scotland can be used throughout the United Kingdom.

What does the basic certificate show?

A basic criminal check (also known as a basic disclosure) from Disclosure Scotland links to the Police National Computer and provides information about unspent (recent/serious) criminal convictions.

Please see the below table which shows when convictions are said to be ‘spent’, these are the rehabilitation periods:

Rehabilitation Periods for people living in Scotland
Over  18 when convicted

Rehabilitation Period

Under  18 when convicted –

Rehabilitation Period

Prison sentence (including suspended sentences) – 6 months to 2.5 years 10 years 5 years
Prison sentence (including suspended sentences) – 6 months or less 7 years 3.5 years
Fines, probation, compensation, community service, reparation orders, curfew orders 5 years 2.5 years
Absolute Discharge 6 months 6 months
Conditional Discharge 1 year 1 year



A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) certificate that is affixed with adhesive (by the FCO) to the back of the Basic Disclosure Certificate



Attestation is the process in which a document is authenticated to the required level so that another country will be happy to accept it is genuine.


‘I have found your staff particularly helpful when I have been unsure as to whether a person qualifies for a DBS check. The speed of service is amazing!’

‘Easy set up and explanation, has worked well for us over the last 2 years and will continue using for this coming year and beyond hopefully. Telephone enquiries dealt with quickly and well-informed staff able to assist with all queries we have had’

‘We began using APCS in 2015 and I have built up a good relationship with the APCS staff, in particular Sam and Christine.  I find everyone very helpful.  Thank you!’

‘Staff are always helpful and quick to respond to queries and resolve them. I would highly recommend your company on the basis of my dealings with you since our Diocese moved to an online system’

‘I think that you are a great company providing a great service. The online forms are really easy to complete and the price is great considering we are volunteers’

‘Very pleased that a member of staff contacted me to make sure I had ticked the correct boxes for a particular application. Most grateful!’

‘The checks are turned around far quicker than the previous Disclosure Scotland process that was used and using the online system we are able to do the basic clearance checks on personnel without any delay.’

‘We’ve been using APCS for several years for our DBS checks and have always found the service to be very efficient and it’s a lot more user friendly than other checking services that I’ve used in the past. We’ve recently had to apply for DBS for new Trustees and I received a very quick and clear reply to my query as to the type of DBS that was needed’

‘Thanks again for your patience and also great service throughout. Really great and efficient DBS service who I would recommend to other production companies’