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Please find below our latest news items:

Detailed guide: DBS disclosure representations process


Updated: Representations template letter updated.


In certain circumstances, if the Chief Officer of a relevant police force is considering the release of information regarding an applicant, the subject of the information may be given the opportunity to provide representations about the information that is being considered for release.

This is only applicable in certain circumstances, such as:

  • if it is unclear whether the position for which the applicant is applying requires the disclosure of such information
  • where the information may indicate a state of affairs that is out of date or no longer true
  • if the subject has never had a fair opportunity to answer the allegation(s)
  • if the subject appears unaware of the information being considered for disclosure
  • if the facts are unclear and in dispute

Supreme Court judgement

The need for representation was highlighted in a Supreme Court judgement on 26 October 2009 that considered the impact of the information released by the police on the applicant, as part of the enhanced DBS check process. The court referred to the role of the Chief Officer, who is required to:

  • determine if information ‘might be relevant’ to the application
  • determine if the information ‘ought to be included’

The court focused on the second element and considered the impact that the release of information could have on an applicant, if the Chief Officer did not properly assess if the information ‘ought to be included’.

The process of making representations means that where a force considers that the information intended for disclosure may be regarded as false, unreliable or out of date, or where the outcome is not known, the subject should be able to review the information and make representations about the information and its proposed release.

Subsequent to the Supreme Court judgement, the case of R (B) v Derbyshire Constabulary, 16 September 2011, provided further insight into the matter:

…typically, where a Chief Officer is considering the issues of an ECRC, it is likely to be appropriate for him to afford the applicant an opportunity to make representations, unless, for example, the facts are clear and not in dispute…

– Munby LJ, R (B) v Derbyshire 2011.

To support this process, part of the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF v9) has been updated to reflect the judgement.

The process

The representations process will operate within the Quality Assurance Framework (MP7 and MP8 stages – the final part of the process), undertaken by senior practitioners and the Chief Officer of the relevant force.

Where the Chief Officer considers that representations should be afforded:

  • the force should inform the subject that they require them to either view the proposed disclosure text, or provide further information for the purpose of representations
  • the force should inform the subject that written representation is available
  • the force should provide two copies of the appropriate representation letter – the subject will keep one copy for their own records
  • the force should issue a reminder letter to the subject if no response is received within the specified time


The force must send the proposed disclosure text or details of the information required, within two copies of a standard agreed template letter, accompanied by applicant guidance.

The force must monitor the delivery status and record the date of receipt by the subject. The letter will advise the subject that they have 14 days from receipt to review the content and provide written representations. A specific postal address for return should be provided within the body of the letter by the force.

If the subject does not respond within 14 days of signing for receipt, the force must issue a reminder letter and provide a further 7 days for response. The force will advise that if no response is made within 7 days, the proposed disclosure text will be released on the enhanced DBS certificate.

In each instance, the force must record the details (the rationale for offering representation; the dates sent/received; the subject response; and the rationale for the decision outcome) with their QAF audit trail documentation.

Guidance: DBS update service: applicant guide


Updated: Welsh translation added for update service payment information.

You can join the update service when you next apply for a DBS check, and you may never need to apply for another one again.

Currently, the update service is only available for standard and enhanced checks. You cannot use the update service for a basic check.

Log in to the update service if you’ve already joined.

Payment for the update service

Payment for the update service will automatically be collected 14 days prior to your subscription end dat,e using the card details you previously provided. Successful payment will result in your subscription being updated and extended for another year.

If your card details have changed, you can update your payment details by logging in to your account, navigating to the screen which allows you to view your correspondence details and selecting the ‘renew subscription’ link.

If your payment is unsuccessful, you will receive an email notification which will tell you when payment is due and how to make the payment.

Payment for the update service (Welsh)

Bydd taliad am y gwasanaeth diweddaru’n cael ei gasglu’n awtomatig 14 diwrnod cyn y dyddiad y daw’ch tanysgrifiad i ben, gan ddefnyddio manylion cerdyn a ddarparwyd gennych ynghynt. Bydd taliad llwyddiannus yn arwain at ddiweddaru’ch tanysgrifiad a’i ymestyn am flwyddyn arall.

Os yw manylion eich cerdyn wedi newid, gallwch ddiweddaru’ch manylion talu drwy fewngofnodi i’ch cyfrif, mordwyo i’r sgrîn sy’n eich caniatáu i weld manylion eich gohebiaeth a dewis y ddolen ‘adnewyddu tanysgrifiad’.

Os nad yw’ch taliad yn llwyddiannus, byddwch yn derbyn hysbysiad drwy e-bost a fydd yn dweud wrthych pryd fydd taliad yn ddyledus a sut i wneud y taliad.

Guidance: Handling of DBS certificate information


Updated: Further amendments made in line with GDPR

Secure storage, handling, use, retention and disposal of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates and certificate information.

Guidance: DBS referral guide: data protection and security


Updated: Further amendments made in line with GDPR.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) guidance about data protection and security in relation to barring and referrals.

Detailed guide: DBS online account guidance


Updated: Information updated to reflect that a DBS online account is for barring and basic check products only.

A DBS online account can be used to access a range of services available to you as an applicant. Currently, an online account is only for barring or basic check products, and cannot be used for standard or enhanced checks, or for the update service.

In order to access the full range of online services available to you as an applicant, you will need to create and activate an individual DBS online account. The guidance on this page details how to do this, alongside how to complete other actions relating to your account.

Additionally, you will find links to our YouTube page alongside some of the guidance documents below. Our page contains videos that also explain how to complete actions relating to your DBS online account.

Individual online account

Create and activate an individual online account (PDF, 427KB, 4 pages)

Create an individual online account

Activate an individual online account

Edit your online account (PDF, 367KB, 3 pages)

Request a one time passcode (PDF, 394KB, 3 pages)

Trouble signing in (PDF, 492KB, 4 pages)

DBS basic checks

Link your online account to a DBS profile (PDF, 351KB, 3 pages)

Link your online account to a DBS profile

View your DBS basic certificate (PDF, 432KB, 3 pages)

View your DBS basic certificate

Manage consent (PDF, 728KB, 6 pages)

Standalone services

Track a DBS basic application (PDF, 348KB, 3 pages)

View an applicant's DBS basic certificate (PDF, 650KB, 5 pages)

Guidance: DBS barring: local authority referral duty and power


Updated: Information updated in line with GDPR.

This guide is for local authorities bodies. It explains the duty as an employer, as well as their power in relation to child protection and adult safeguarding, to refer a person to the DBS.

Policy paper: DBS Data Retention Policy


Updated: Updated version of Data Retention Policy added.

At the DBS, we operate a Data Retention Policy to ensure that data is not held for longer than necessary.

However at present, there is a restriction on the destruction of information due to the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. DBS are currently reassessing the retention requirements in light of this.

Any data that we identity that could be called on by the enquiry will be retained until completion of the inquiry. At this point the information will be securely destroyed as soon as is practicable.

Policy paper: Online Services and Enquiry Matrix Privacy Policy


Updated: PDF attachment added for accessibility reasons.

This is our Privacy Policy. It tells you how we will use and protect any information we hold about you in regards to using DBS’ online services or the enquiry matrix.

Policy paper: Consent Policy


Updated: PDF attachment added for accessibility reasons.

This policy outlines when the DBS will rely upon your consent as the legal basis for processing your data. It tells you when your consent will be obtained. This enables the DBS to be in line with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Policy paper: Subject Access Request Privacy Policy


Updated: PDF attachment added for accessibility reasons.

This is our Privacy Policy. It tells you how we will use and protect any information we hold about you in relation to Subject Access Requests.