Disclosure and Barring Service

Introduction:

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority.

The Disclosure and Barring Service are responsible for:

  • Processing requests for criminal records checks;
  • Deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list;
  • Placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for England.
Information on the work of the DBS can be found at: DBS website.

Safe Recruitment:

All organisations engaging people in 'Regulated Activities' must have robust and transparent recruitment procedures in place to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and they should be familiar with the Local Safeguarding Children Board policies and procedures.

Before recruiting staff (whether paid or unpaid), the following should be considered:

  • The application process should include the organisations commitment to safeguarding in for example the Job Description and any other documentation;
  • Thorough checks should be made of an applicant's identity, work history and references including any gaps in time;
  • Proof of qualifications should be obtained;
  • Checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service should be undertaken;
  • A probationary period and supervision of the person should take place;
  • References should be obtained and verified.

This is not an exhaustive list but a framework for sound recruitment practice.

Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service:

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) places a legal duty on Regulated Activity Providers (employers, volunteer managers and personnel suppliers) to refer any person who has:

  • Harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult;
  • Satisfied the harm test; or
  • Received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence.

Under the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006, the following groups have a power to make a referral to the DBS:

  • Local authorities (safeguarding role);
  • Education and library boards;
  • Health and social care (HSC) trusts (NI)
  • Keepers of registers e.g. General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council;
  • Supervisory authorities e.g. Care Quality Commission, Ofsted.

Further information and guidance, including factsheets and instructions can be found in the DBS referrals guidance.

Referring a teacher in England to the Teaching Agency

If the person to be referred to the DBS is a teacher in England consideration should also be given to refer the case to the National College for Teaching and Leadership. It is responsible for the regulation of teachers in respect of serious misconduct.