Forthcoming Infrastructure Upgrades
31 July 2017
In order to maintain robust and comprehensive systems, Disclosure Services are undertaking a major investment in infrastructure for our systems and services.
We're commencing implementation from 1st August 2017 and you may notice small changes to how our Invoices look when you receive them.
We will keep you updated of further system and operational improvements.
Guidance: Quality assurance framework, version 9 (QAF v9)
Updated: Various Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) attachments updated with newer versions.
QAF version 9 was developed to support the DBS Update Service. QAF version 9 is built upon the foundations of version 8, which reflected the changes brought about by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
Version 9 also includes process maps and general guidance for considering offences which may be removed by the filtering of ‘old and minor’ convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.
Collection: Migration transparency data
Updated: Updated migration transparency data collection.
These documents include performance data related to areas in the Home Office business plan.
These documents also include data on borders and immigration activity which has been regularly requested from the Home Office by the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Also included alongside this quarter’s publication is data relating to the number of children transferred to the UK during the UK’s comprehensive support to the clearance of the Calais camp, following a request from the French government in October 2016.
General statistics on immigration are in the Migration statistics collection.
News story: Basic disclosure changes
From January 2018, if you need a basic disclosure check for a job in England and Wales, you should apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). If you need a basic disclosure check for a job in Scotland, then you should apply to Disclosure Scotland. If you want a check for personal reasons rather than work purposes, you should apply where you live – DBS if you live in England or Wales or Disclosure Scotland if you live in Scotland.
If you are applying to DBS you will be able to use our new online application route that will be available on www.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can use a ‘Responsible Organisation’ (RO) – a third party registered with DBS – to submit checks on your behalf. A list of Responsible Organisations can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/responsible-organisations.
Organisations that can demonstrate that they can submit a minimum of 1000 basic checks a year, meet our processing standards and agree to the Terms & Conditions https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-check-guidance-and-policies will be able to apply to become an RO and build a web service. If you are eligible and thinking about becoming a RO please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
DBS has already increased staffing levels to deal with the additional checks. Those organisations that have already transferred their basic disclosure checks to DBS are already benefiting from a speedy service, with checks taking on average less than one day to process.
Individuals and ROs should send basic disclosure checks to the right organisation, DBS or Disclosure Scotland, so that the correct Rehabilitation of Offender (ROA) rules are applied. There is a risk of legal action if incorrect ROA rules are applied and impact a recruitment decision.
For any enquiries please contact email@example.com.
Detailed guide: Responsible Organisations
Updated: New Responsible Organisations added.
A Responsible Organisation (RO) is an organisation registered with the DBS to submit basic checks through a web service.
An RO will capture the details of a basic check application in their system before transferring it to DBS via a web service. You can apply for basic checks with DBS by visiting the website of a Responsible Organisation.
An RO is responsible for confirming that:
|Responsible Organisation Name||Website|
|Access Personal Checking Services Ltd (APCS)||www.criminalrecordchecks.co.uk|
|CRB Disclosure Services Ltd T/A Disclosure Services||www.disclosureservices.com|
|Northgate HR PeopleChecking||www.peoplechecking.com|
The list of Responsible Organisations who are registered with the DBS will be updated regularly.
Collection: DBS barring referral guidance
Updated: A new link has been added to the contents (Register for a digital account), to enable users to register for a DBS online services account.
DBS caseworkers make decisions about who should be placed in the child barred list and/or adults barred list and are prevented by law from working with children or vulnerable groups.
Referrals should be made to DBS when an employer or organisation believes a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups, including children.
An employer or volunteer manager is breaking the law if they knowingly employ someone in a regulated activity with a group from which they are barred from working.
A barred person is breaking the law if they seek, offer or engage in regulated activity with a group from which they are barred from working.
If you don’t need detailed guidance you can read the quick guide about DBS barred lists.
Detailed guide: Making barring referrals to the DBS
Updated: One of the headings has been changed to highlight which section of the guidance users need to view in order to register for a DBS online services account.
Advice about when employers and volunteer managers can make a barring referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
This guide is not legal advice and doesn’t cover all aspects or examples of harm, referrals and barring. If you need legal assistance, you should speak with a legal advisor.
A referral is information about a person. It tells us of concerns that an individual may have harmed a child or vulnerable adult, or put a child or vulnerable adult at risk of harm.
The referral duty doesn’t apply to family or personal arrangements, parents or members of the public. If a parent or member of the public has a safeguarding concern, they should contact the police, social services or the person’s employer.
These agencies can then investigate the allegation and if appropriate make a referral to the DBS.
When a person has been referred, DBS consider if they need to be added to a barred list(s).
You can look at the referral flowchart to help you decide if you need to make a referral.
Under legislation, the following can make referrals to the DBS:
The power to refer happens when an organisation is not acting as a regulated activity provider. This will usually be when the organisation is undertaking their safeguarding role.
The power to refer can be used when an organisation thinks a person has either:
Northern Ireland also have guidance in relation to regulated activity with adults.
Regulated activity providers (employers or volunteer managers of people working in regulated activity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and personnel suppliers have a legal duty to refer to DBS where conditions are met. This applies even when a referral has also been made to a local authority safeguarding team or professional regulator.
A personnel supplier may be an employment agency, employment business or an educational institution and are described as:
If you are a regulated activity provider or fall within the category of personnel supplier, you must make a referral when both of the following conditions have been met:
This includes situations when you would have taken the above action, but the person was re-deployed, resigned, retired, or left. For example, a teacher resigns when an allegation of harm to a student is first made.
You think the person has carried out 1 of the following:
A child is a person under 18 years of age.
Relevant conduct is:
A person’s conduct endangers a child if they:
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A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who is being provided with, or getting a service or assistance which is classed as regulated activity for adults.
Relevant conduct is:
A person’s conduct endangers a vulnerable adult if they:
A person satisfies the harm test if they may:
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This is not defined in legislation. DBS view harm as its common understanding or the definition you may find in a dictionary.
Harm is considered in its widest context and may include:
This is not a fully comprehensive list, harm can take many different forms.
A person satisfies the harm test if they may harm a child or vulnerable adult or put them at risk of harm. It is something a person may do to cause harm or pose a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.
If you engaged a person to work in regulated activity, you have a legal duty to refer where the relevant conditions are met.
The duty to refer applies even when a report has been made to another body such as a local authority safeguarding team.
The duty to refer applies irrespective of whether another body has made a referral to the DBS in relation to the same person.
This helps to make sure the DBS have all the relevant information to consider a case. DBS can then make a fair, consistent and thorough decision about whether to bar a person from working with vulnerable groups.
A person who is under a duty to refer and fails to refer to us without reasonable justification is committing an offence. If convicted they may be subject to a fine up to £5,000.
There could be times when you consider that you should make a referral in the interests of safeguarding children or vulnerable adults even if you have not removed the person from working in regulated activity.
This could include acting on advice of the police or a safeguarding professional, or in situations where you don’t have enough evidence to dismiss or remove a person from working with vulnerable groups.
DBS are required by law to consider any and all information sent to us from any source. This includes information sent to us where the legal referral conditions are not met.
DBS will use legal powers and barring processes to determine whether the person should be barred from working in regulated activity with children and / or vulnerable adults.
If you want to make a referral to us where the referral conditions are not met, you should do so in consideration of relevant employment and data protection laws.
You may want to seek your own legal advice in relation to these cases.
Anyone convicted or cautioned for certain serious offences will, subject to the consideration of representations where permitted, be barred from working in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.
We accept referrals made using our online referral form or by post (paper).
Either way you’ll be asked to provide prescribed information. This is information that you must legally provide, if you’re under a duty to refer or if you fall within those persons/bodies who are legally required to provide information on request. You should be aware that the legal duty to provide prescribed information may apply whether you’ve made a referral to the DBS or not.
It’s important that you provide us with as much relevant information as you can. DBS rely on the quality of information provided to us. You’re not expected to provide information that you don’t have access to. As part of the process to decide if an individual should be placed on a barred list, any information in your referral may be used by us and could be disclosed to the referred person or other parties.
You can read more about what we do with your information in our data protection and security guide.
We recommend making a referral to DBS using our online referral form. To do this you’ll need to register for a DBS online services account, which will enable us to engage and communicate with you more securely.
To register for a DBS online services account:
Once logged into your DBS online services select the ‘Submit a referral’ option in the Services menu, on the left side of the screen.
Our online form makes it faster and easier for you to send a referral to us. You can:
Each individual question allows a single document to be attached, which must be less than 10MB and can only be one of the following file types: .jpg, .tiff, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .odt, .pdf, .txt.
You can still send us paper documents, or information on digital media (USB or CD/DVD only) if you need to. Any information you attach to the online referral form or send via digital media should be free from password protection or encryption and will be scanned for malware. Where any malware is found you will be asked to resubmit a “clean” version of the information.
Alternatively, you can complete the DBS paper referral form and read the guidance with it. The paper referral form should be posted to the DBS, with all of the information that has been requested on the form.
Please send any paper referral forms to DBS Barring, PO Box 3963, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 4HH.
We cannot guarantee the security of information until it is in our possession, and will not take responsibility for such information until we receive it. For this reason we recommend submitting referrals via our secure online referral form, however if you are using a paper referral form we recommend using registered post.
When an allegation is made, you should investigate and gather enough evidence to establish if it has foundation.
This will inform your processes for any decision to dismiss or remove the person from working in regulated activity.
You should make a referral even if a significant period of time has passed between the allegation and the gathering of evidence to support a decision to make a referral.
You should complete your investigations and disciplinary processes (even if the person has left your employment).
This is particularly important as DBS rely on referral evidence and any other relevant evidence gathered.
The duty to make a referral may not be triggered by temporary suspension, it depends if you have sufficient information to meet the referral duty criteria. You may suspend a person pending an investigation where there have been allegations of harm or risk of harm.
Following investigation, if you decide to let the person return to a position working in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults then there may not be a legal duty to make a referral.
But, if you decide to dismiss the person or remove them from working in regulated activity then you would need to make a referral.
Only if you can prove a legitimate interest in the person you have referred.
If you no longer employ the referred person or let them engage in regulated activity, then you may not be able to show a legitimate interest and won’t be advised of the outcome.
You can call us on 03000 200 190 if you need help or advice.
Corporate report: DBS annual report and accounts: 2016 to 2017
A summary of the activities of the DBS and its financial statements from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.
Guidance: Basic check guidance and policies
These documents are for Responsible Organisations who submit basic checks to DBS. Details of documents needed to verify a person’s identity are provided in the basic check identity guidance (above).
Responsible Organisations who submit basic checks to DBS on behalf of individuals will need to comply with these terms and conditions, policies and guidance.
News story: Changes to identity checking guidelines
New ID checking guidelines are being introduced on 24 October 2017. These guidelines will apply to all applications for standard or enhanced checks.
We appreciate that you’ll need to make changes to relevant literature and inform your customers. Therefore, you can start using the new guidance from 24 October 2017, but have 3 months to transition fully to the new guidance.
The enhancement is being introduced so that DBS’s identity checking process is aligned with right to work checks. These state that employers must prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work.
Guidance: DBS ID checking guidelines
Updated: New guidelines regarding DBS identity (ID) checking to be used from 24 October 2017. These guidelines are to replace the guidelines published on 02 October 2017.
Organisations registered with us need to check the identity of a DBS check applicant as part of the application process. A slightly different process is also part of a countersignatory or lead countersignatory application.
We have two guidance documents to help with each identity check:
From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed.
For the DBS ID checking process this means that just the driving licence photocard needs to be checked, unless an old style paper driving licence is produced (pre-1998).
You can read about the DVLA changes in our news story.