Everything you need to know about our background checking services

  • What is a background check?
  • A background check is a screening solution for landlords and employers, highlighting key information that might affect a candidate’s ability to perform a role or a tenant’s ability to pay rent.

  • How long do background checks take?
  • The UK turnaround time is dependent on the type of background check being carried out. Adverse Financial Checks and Identity Checks can be carried out instantly.

    Media Checks, Sanctions File Checks, FCA Checks, and Directors Searches take around four hours. DVLA checks take eight hours.

    Personal References and Employment, Education, Professional and Technical Membership Referencing can take between 10-15 days to process.

    Basic Criminal Record Checks take between 14-21 days to process.

    Standard Criminal Record Checks can take up to four weeks, whilst enhanced Criminal Record Checks can take up to six weeks.

  • What are pre employment checks?
  • Pre-employment checks enable organisations to verify a candidate’s claims, while also confirming their ability to carry out a role.

    The types of checks we can carry out for you will vary depending on the nature of the role.

    Our pre-employment checks can include an identity check, employment and educational history, professional and technical membership, sanctions, media profiles and adverse financial status, while roles in certain industries will also necessitate a criminal record check.

    By using pre-employment screening, we can help you protect your organisation from application fraud and potential damage to reputation, integrity and profit that can arise from poor recruitment.

  • How do I get CRB checked?
  • Employers can request a CRB check (now known as a DBS check) for certain roles. If you require a DBS check for your role, your employer can provide you with the relevant forms and information.

    It’s also possible to run a check on yourself. A ‘basic disclosure’ from Disclosure Scotland will highlight details of any unspent convictions.

    Alternatively, you can use our services to run a criminal record check, an electronic identity check and a financial check. For more information, click here.

  • What is a reference check?
  • Reference checks are used to confirm the accuracy of a candidate’s employment and educational history, while filling in any employment gaps and vouching for their character and abilities. Numerous types of reference checks are available.

    Education references confirm a candidate’s attendance of their stated educational establishment, alongside any qualifications gained.

    Employment references confirm a candidate’s employment history and can be combined with professional and technical membership references, which confirm a candidate’s membership of official professional and technical bodies, alongside any positions and qualifications held.

    Personal references, also known as character references, are provided by someone who can vouch for a candidate’s character and abilities and can also be checked. We’ll confirm how long they have known the individual, their relationship and whether they would doubt their honesty and integrity.

FAQs related to ‘Get my own report’ and ‘PAYG employee checks’

  • What is a criminal records check?
  • It is possible to arrange your own Criminal Records Check (CRC), which contains information about criminal convictions, and any other relevant information.

    This background check will include a ‘Basic CRC Certificate’. This is supplied to us by Disclosure Scotland, who provides criminal records checks for the whole of the UK, and will either provide information about outstanding convictions or state that there are no convictions.

    Some jobs, including those in schools or healthcare, will require a specific background check, either a ‘Standard’ or ‘Enhanced’ criminal record check. You cannot arrange these checks on yourself, as they are carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and can only be requested by the employer.

    To find out more, click here.

  • What is an identity check?
  • Our Identity Check (ID check) accesses certain data sources to confirm that the person we’re checking is who they say they are. An identity check is usually the first step in a background check, as it allows us to assure employers that the individual has supplied the correct information to them and isn’t a fraudster or criminal using someone else’s identity.

  • What is an adverse financial check?
  • Where an individual has paid all direct debits and other financial commitments on time, they’ll receive a clear financial check.

    However, where payments have been missed, they have received County Court Judgements (CCJs) or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), or been declared bankrupt, these will be highlighted on the report of their financial check.

    We do this by searching public and private records, carrying out searches on the address/es we know they have lived at previously.

    We do it to give you peace of mind, so you can make more informed decisions. Knowing someone has a good financial history can give you added confidence, especially where they may be applying for a role that involves cash or budgets.

  • What do I do if I think there is an error on my report?
  • If you believe there could be an error on your report, please raise it with us and we will double check it for you.

    You can get in touch by phone, post or email. Please see the contact details at the bottom of this page. To help us find your report quickly, please provide us with the following information:

    • Your full name; including any middle names
    • Your date of birth
    • Your Experian Background Checking application ID number
    • What information is wrong, and what’s wrong with it

    Experian will need to investigate the dispute before responding to you and this can take up to five working days.

  • Can I cancel my application?
  • You have a period of 28 days to complete your application form once you have paid for your background check.

    If you change your mind and no longer wish to apply for your check during this time, you may cancel your application at any point up until you finally submit the application form – it’s finally submitted when you click submit at the bottom of the form.

    Once submitted, you will no longer be entitled to cancel (and will not be entitled to a refund), as our service begins on receipt of your form.

    If you wish to cancel, you can get in touch by phone, post or email, using the contact information provided at the bottom of this page.

    To help you with your cancellation email, we’ve put together an example so that you can see the information we need to cancel your application:

    I hereby give notice that I wish to cancel my contract of sale for the supply of the following service: background checking report

    Name of consumer:

    Address of consumer:

    Reference number:

    Signature of consumer (only if this form is notified in paper)


    If you would like to cancel and have already paid for your checks prior to completing the application, we will provide you with a full refund. Cancellations will be acknowledged promptly and refunds paid within 14 days. Refunds will be paid to the bank/credit account used to pay for the check.

    If you do not complete your application within 28 days of payment, your application will be cancelled and no refund will be given.

    Experian reserve the right to refuse an application, in which case we will refund any payment you have made.

  • What information do I need to provide for you to carry out my checks?
  • For us to be able to complete your report, we will need the following details from you:

    • Full name (current and any previous names, including the dates you were known by these names)
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth (town and country)
    • Mother’s maiden name
    • National Insurance number
    • Five year address history (up to present day)
    • Email address

    To carry out your criminal records check, we will also require copies of proof documents (1x proof of identity and 1x proof of residency). Click the button below for a list of the acceptable documents:

    Click here

    The documents can be supplied to us by email or post. Please be aware that reports can be delayed if you do not provide all the information above on your application.

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