What is a DBS Disclosure (Disclosure and Barring Service)?

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service in December (DBS) 2012. This merger was designed to improve the process of CRB checks. As a result of the merger the DBS took control of the ISA, including the list 99 check (a list that contained information of anyone who was unsuitable to work with children). The list 99 is now the Children's Barred List. This has enabled employers to check the criminal records of employees and potential employees, in order to ascertain whether or not they are suitable to work with vulnerable adults and children. For individuals working in certain positions, a valid DBS disclosure is a legislative requirement.

The Disclosure and Barring Service also manage lists of individuals who are barred from working with children and adults. New safeguarding regulations introduced in October 2009 place an obligation on employers, social services and professional regulators to notify the DBS of relevant information that could affect the outcome of the result for an application. This obligation ensures that individuals who pose a threat to vulnerable groups can be barred from working with them.

It is a criminal offence for barred individuals to apply to work with these groups if they are on either of these barred lists and for employers to knowingly employ them.

The requirements for DBS Disclosures and the different levels vary from organisation to organisation, depending on the sector and the employees' individual job role.

What do I need to know as an employee?

The DBS check searches your details against a range of different information sources including the Police National Computer and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.

Due to the DBS filtering guidance changes, the check may reveal criminal convictions and cautions.

Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions and what you need to disclose can be found in the criminal records checks section of the Nacro website.

DBS filtering guidelines for both employer and employee

Filtering identifies and removes protected convictions and cautions so that they are not disclosed on a DBS certificate.

See the DBS filtering guidelines.

More information on DBS Disclosures and who is required to be checked can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

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