What is a Background Check?

Where to get one and when you need one

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

What is a Background check?

A background check is a disclosure of your criminal record.

It can take different forms depending on your country, but usually requires you to contact your local police or government and obtain a document showing whether you have any criminal record, and if so of what nature.

*** It is a legal requirement in many countries that educators have disclosed a background check when working with minors ***

Even where it is not law, it is common and good practice for tutors to provide one.

What documents are acceptable?

In the UK, a background check takes the form of an Enhanced DBS Check. In other countries, it can be a Federal Background Check or a Police Record Check.

The following documents are not acceptable: Your CV/Resume, certificates of your degrees or any other qualifications, a letter of recommendation and if you are in the UK the Basic DBS check is insufficient.

When do I need a background check?

*** Following industry guidance from the Tutors Association, from the 1st of January 2021, Background checks will be mandatory for ALL tutors, regardless of what age group they tutoring***

At the current point in time, all tutors with students who are under 18 or potentially under 18 have to add a background check before they can bid on their jobs. This includes Primary, Secondary, GCSE, IGCSE, A Level, IB and Admissions students on Spires.

However, we are now asking all tutors to get their background checks added before the 1st of January 2022

What do I do once I have obtained it?

You can upload your background check in your Profile under the section titled "Background check":

If you have an Enhanced DBS check, you can upload the first page along with the address section. If your certificate is more than a year old, there we need to see evidence that you are on the update service. If you are not, then you will need to obtain a new certificate.

If you are on the update service, click here and run a status check on your own certificate. Take a screenshot of the final result and upload it to your background check area.

If you have multiple files or pages, take pictures and combine this into one PDF, and upload the PDF to Spires.

What happens after I upload it?

Once your background check is uploaded, we will need to first check it before you can begin bidding on students. It will only be checked if you pass your interview. This will happen most mornings of the work week.

Make sure we can read your background check:

Please ensure that any background check uploaded is the complete document without any parts missing or redacted. It should also be clear enough to read and if it is in a language other than English then a notarised translation must be provided. Additionally, no certificate provided should be more than three years old.

If we cannot read your background check, or if it is too old, we will have to reject it and you will lose access to the jobs board.

If you upload a Basic DBS check, it will be rejected.

We do not display your document publicly on your profile. But prospective clients will see a green tick if you have uploaded a background check.

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