Disclosure and Barring Service advice


Your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate is vital if you are looking for employment working with children or vulnerable adults.

On 1 December 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS is a non-departmental public body in place to prevent unsuitable people working with vulnerable groups, including children across the UK. As a result, all barring decisions are now made by just one organisation.

Your DBS Certificate

Your DBS Certificate will include information about any convictions that you have received. There are special rules about spent convictions which can be disclosed on a DBS Certificate.

As well as detailing convictions, the local police force can disclose “other relevant information”, which can include intelligence that they have or details of a police investigation where charges weren’t brought or where you were found not guilty after trial.

You can challenge the inclusion of this information, through raising a dispute with the Disclosure and Barring Service. If they uphold the decision to include such information, you can ask a body called the Independent Monitor to review the decision. Ultimately, you have the right to ask the High Court to review any decision to disclose non-conviction information.

Working with children and vulnerable adults

If you have received a letter from the DBS stating they are minded to bar you from working with children or vulnerable adults, our specialist solicitors can assist. The DBS will consider barring you when they have cause to believe you have engaged in ‘relevant conduct’. This may include conduct likely to endanger a child or vulnerable adult and conduct of a sexual nature.

Being added to one of the barred lists means that you will be prevented from working in a regulated capacity with children or vulnerable adults. Therefore any decision to bar will have serious implications professionally and it is vital that you seek advice from specialist solicitors as soon as possible. Our solicitors can assist with preparing written representations to the DBS and, where necessary, appeals against decisions to bar.

Contact us 

Our team has successfully challenged many DBS Certificates. If you need advice, it is important that you speak to one of our team quickly.

We can meet you in our offices in Newcastle and South Shields. We can also provide telephone advice or advice via email and Skype. Legal aid is not available but we offer competitive fixed fee services for advising and assisting you.

Contact our team on 0191 243 8167.