The Disclosure and Barring Service, which has taken over the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau, is the body responsible for the disclosure of criminal history for employment purposes, or applications for positions of trust and responsibility within the UK.
The Police Act 1997 imposes strict rules over what information can be release and to whom. There are three main checks that can be carried out through the Disclosure and Baring Service:
Standard check will show all spent and unspent convictions, cautions reprimands and warnings on the Police National Computer for recordable offences only.
Enhanced check will show all spent and unspent convictions, cautions reprimands, warnings and arrests on the Police National Computer. It can also include ‘soft’ intelligence held on the Police National Database that is considered relevant to the check. This could include arrest details for non-recordable offences, and even matters where there is an acquittal or where the police took ‘no further action’.
Enhanced check with DBS barred list is an Enhanced check which includes disclosure of those on the DBS barred list. The bared list contains the names of individuals barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. This form of disclosure includes information on non-police matters that have been reported to the DBS; for example, where an individual has been sacked because of harm to child.
DBS Barred List (formally List 99)
The Disclosure and Barring Service is also responsible for keeping a list of the names of individuals who are barred from working in certain ‘regulated activities’ involving children or vulnerable adults. This includes where the individual is working as a volunteer.
There are two separate barred lists (the Adult List and the Children’s’ List), and names can be added to either or both of these lists. An individual's name can be added to these lists following a finding of guilt (including conviction or police caution) for a ‘relevant offence’. A name can also be added without a finding of guilt based solely on a referral from an employer or regulator where there is evidence of inappropriate behaviour likely to harm adults or children.
It is a criminal offence for an individual to apply to work in a regulated activity knowing they are barred by being on one of these lists, and it is a criminal offence for an employer or volunteer manager to knowingly employ someone in a regulated activity from which they are barred. Consequently, being on one or both of these lists creates significant restrictions on the freedom of an individual, and it is therefore important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as you are notified that a referral to the DBS is being made.
How we can help
In many situations individuals will be allowed to make ‘representations’ before being include on one or both of the barred lists. It is at this stage when it is most important to seek experience legal advice to ensure representations are as strong as possible to avoid being added to the list.
There is also a ‘Review Process’ and an ‘Appeals Process’ once a name has been added to either of these lists. We have a team of solicitors who are experienced at advising and representing individuals whose names appear on these lists.