Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults at Risk

 

When a DBS application of any type is completed, the employer or voluntary organisation may want or need to review the certificate before the applicant commences employment. Especially if it is known to contain information which may impact the recruitment decision.

Receiving an applicants’ DBS Certificate 

If an employer or voluntary organisation submits applications directly to the DBS via paper method, they will need to ask the applicant to produce the certificate to them in all cases, this is because a hard copy is only sent to the applicant.

If an employer or voluntary organisation has utilised the electronic e-Bulk application system, they will receive a notification and will be given the disclosure number, issue date and a result upon logging into their client account. The result will say if the applicant’s certificate is clear, or if it needs to be reviewed by the organisation before work can commence.

 If the certificate needs to be reviewed, the organisation will need to request the applicant to produce the hard copy to them upon receipt from the DBS. This has been a requirement since 2013, following the DBSs’ decision to not send Standard/Enhanced DBS certificates to the organisation requesting it, only the applicant. This is so the applicant can keep greater control of the information being requested on them. If the check is at a Basic level the applicant can opt to have the certificate sent directly to the employer for review. 

What should an employer/voluntary organisation do if a DBS certificate contains convictions?

Having convictions does not automatically bar an applicant from working, unless they have been placed on either the adults or children’s barring lists. If this is the case, it is unlawful for them to apply for a role involving either of those groups. If an applicant has convictions in general then the procedure would be for the employer or voluntary organisation to review that certificate with the applicant. A discussion should be had with the applicant at which point they should be given the opportunity to explain the circumstances behind the convictions listed. 

The organisation should take into account what the convictions are, when they were and the circumstances surrounding them. The organisation can then make an informed recruitment decision and establish whether they believe the applicant to be a risk to their service users. 

Establishing what criteria an applicant has been checked against

All DBS checks are different, and DBS checks can only be requested with the relevant categories to what the applicant is working with. So if an applicant goes to an organisation with a certificate that has already been issued by another and that organisation is willing to accept it then you need to check that it is relevant to the role they are applying for. 

Below is a brief guide of what the certificate should contain for the relevant groups for enhanced DBS Checks, and what is shown on a Standard or Basic DBS Check. Each of the below checks would have either Not Requested, None Recorded or convictions listed next to them. If the certificate states not requested it means that the applicant has not been checked against that section of the DBS Check, none recorded means no convictions. 

Working with Children

Enhanced
Child Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings
Information from the list held under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002
DBS Children’s Barred List Information
Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion

Working with Adults in Regulated Activity

Enhanced
Adult Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings
DBS Adults Barred List
Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion

Working with Adults (No regulated activity)

Enhanced
Adult Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings
Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion

Working with Children and Adults in Regulated Activity

Enhanced
Child and Adult Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings
Information from the list held under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002
DBS Children’s Barred List Information
DBS Adults Barred List
Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion

Working with Children and Adults (Not in regulated activity with adults)


Enhanced
Child and Adult Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings
Information from the list held under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002
DBS Children’s Barred List Information
Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion

Standard DBS Check


Other Workforce
Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings

Basic DBS Check


Unspent Police Records or convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings

Children’s and Adults Barring List Information – What if someone is barred?


Although general convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings don’t automatically bar a person from working, being placed on a barring list will. If an applicant has been placed on a barring list, it is unlawful for them to apply for a job that involves working with the relevant group they have been barred from. It is also unlawful for an organisation to knowingly employ someone to work with a group they have been barred from working with. 

It is rare that an applicant will apply for a role they have been barred from working with, as they will, or should be well aware they have been placed on a list. In cases where an applicant does apply, the police will generally contact them directly when the application is submitted to ascertain why they have applied as the applicant may not have knowingly been checked against those lists. 

It is common that employers will unlawfully request checks for working with groups that are not relevant to the applicant. In cases such as these the applicant has not applied for a role that involves working with those groups so would not be guilty of breaching the rules of them being barred.

 

Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion


On an Enhanced DBS Check, one part of the application checking process is a section called ` Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion’

If an applicant is investigated for a crime, but not convicted, the chief police officer may decide to disclose this to the organisation via the Enhanced DBS certificate. This will generally only happen if what the applicant was investigated for poses a relevant risk to service users of the organisation that they are applying to. When information such as this is disclosed, the certificate will go into great detail as to what happened, information surrounding the arrest and investigation and the outcome. It is very important that information such as this is reviewed very carefully and it may be worth an organisation taking legal advice before a recruitment decision is made.

If you are an organisation that needs help with ascertaining what a certificate contains, or help with conviction interpretation or guidance as to what to do if a certificate does contain information you can contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 or email info@carecheck.co.uk

Care Check get 85% of Standard and Enhanced checks back within 5 days, 60% within 24 hours and 90% of Basic DBS Checks back in under 24 hours.