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DBS Filtering – What is it and how is it changing?

Previously, DBS checks or CRB checks disclosed all information relating to an applicants history, whatever that conviction, reprimand, warning or conviction was or however old it was. But in May 2013 the DBS filtering rules were introduced which meant minor criminal offences that met a certain criterion would be removed and filtered from an Enhanced or Standard DBS certificate.

Why was DBS filtering implemented?

Back in May 2013 filtering was implemented due to a supreme court ruling that worked in favour of applicants who were having convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings disclosed that were not relevant to the jobs and positions they were applying for. In many cases, individuals would have offers of employment withdrawn due to what was contained on their certificate which was not necessarily fair.

However, Certain convictions would never be filtered from a DBS certificate, and there is quite an extensive list via But examples of these would be the most serious convictions which involve, danger to life, violence, sexual offences and drug offences amongst a few.

Under the existing filtering rules, if an applicant had more than one caution, reprimand, warning or conviction of any kind, then all would be disclosed and non would be filtered. The DBS would also show juvenile, warnings, reprimands and convictions, but as of the 28th November, this is set to change due Supreme Court ruling. 

The DBS has informed us today that as of the 28th November 2020 the filtering rules for Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks will change.  This is because The Supreme Court has judged that some elements of the current filtering rules are disproportionate. The legislation has been changed and as of the 28th November, the certificates will disclose criminal records according to that legislation.

What is the new legislation?

The new legislation dictates that a DBS certificate will no longer disclose youth reprimands, youth warnings, or youth cautions.  The DBS will also no longer disclose all convictions where somebody has more than one conviction. Instead, each individual conviction will be assessed against the other rules (Previously is an applicant had more than one conviction then no convictions would be filtered)

The changes to the filtering rules will be applied at the end of the DBS’ processing stages, if a certificate is created before the 28th November 2020 then the current filtering rules will apply, if after that date then the new filtering rules will be applied. 

Guidance on these changes is now available on but is watermarked to show that this does not come into effect until the 28th November.  The watermark will be removed at 00.01am on 28th November 2020.   

For further information relating to filtering, or any DBS help or advice please contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 or email

Care Check is a registered umbrella body with the DBS and processes DBS Checks at Basic, Standard and Enhanced level for organisations. Care Check get 90% of Basic DBS Checks back in less than 24 hours, and 60% of Standard and Enhanced DBS checks back in under 24 hours