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What is a UK CRB? Why do I need a UK Police Check?

16/07/2008 Joanna

Criminal Clearance Checks

The Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) regulations require that all overseas teachers complete a UK criminal clearance check when planning to teach in UK schools (immaterial of how long you  have been in the country).  This will need to be supplemented with a criminal clearance check from your home country as the UK check does not yet include a review against your criminal record outside of the UK.

The check is completed by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and they are a government body working with the police and a number of other relevant bodies to collate information for the benefit of a criminal record check. The checks will include convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands and any additional information that may be relevant. For further details on the CRB visit their website at

In the UK, teachers are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and supporting regulations. This means all criminal records are disclosed and are not regarded as spent. Having a record will not automatically bar you from teaching but a detailed review will take place before an offer of employment is made.

New CRB Checks

The required level of CRB check is ‘Enhanced’ and a new application currently costs £36 to process. The application process needs to be done via an employer (you cannot apply independently) and currently takes between 4- 6 weeks to process. You will need to provide proof of identification, proofs of address and proof of name changes (if relevant) to have the check processed. For full details contact your local consultant at Teaching Personnel or visit the CRB website at

Existing CRB Checks

If you have already had a CRB Disclosure processed, your certificate is valid if you stay with the same employer for 3 years and / or do not have a gap of three months from working in education.

If you leave the employer that processed your original CRB Disclosure, you should be able to use your existing Disclosure for a certain period after its publication date if you have not had a gap from working in education. This is called ‘portability’ of a Disclosure and is permissible for work through supply agencies. Different agencies allow different timescales for portability from the date of issue. This can range from 3 months up to 12 months.  Be aware that some agencies do not use portable disclosures and so you may be charged for a new Disclosure check.

If you are seeking full time employment at a school you may need to have a new CRB Disclosure check processed regardless of the date of your existing Disclosure.

School Requirements

If you are working in a school on a supply basis, they are required to confirm that you have a CRB Disclosure and may ask to see a copy of your certificate. Teaching Personnel manage this process on behalf of candidates but it may be worth taking your certificate with you just in case!



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