DBS Appeals

Written 9th February 2023 by Connor Brylczak

What are lists that the DBS can bar individuals from?

There are two lists that the Disclosure & Barring service can seek to bar individuals from. One relates to individuals barred from working with children and the other relates to those barred from working with vulnerable adults. It is also possible to be put on both lists. Those on the list are barred from working in ‘regulated activity’ and it is a criminal offence for those included on the barred lists to work in regulated activity.

Minded to Bar letter & Representations

Generally, when the DBS are considering inclusion on the barred list they will send an ‘intention to include in Barred List’ letter followed by a ‘Minded to Bar’ letter. This will outline the allegations against the individual and often contains an appendix of supporting evidence. It will invite an individual to submit representations as to why they should not be barred. If representations have not been provided at this stage and an individual is subsequently included on the Barred List, it may be possible to provide Late representation. Examples of situations when this may be allowed include occasions when an individual did not receive the original letter (perhaps due to changing address), was in ill health at the time or in custody. Representations should include information about the individuals background, personal circumstances and employment circumstances. It would generally be appropriate to include information in relate to the allegations leading to the referral and any supporting evidence. Often it is advised to provide character references and any medical reports that may have been obtained. If individuals have sought professional assistance e.g. therapy subsequent to any conduct, then it would be appropriate to provide confirmation of the same. Olliers can assist in the preparation of representations to the Disclosure & Barring Service.


An application for permission to appeal is lodged to the ‘Upper Tribunal’ (Administrative Appeals Chamber) which is one of the four chambers of the Upper Tribunal. Such body makes decisions in legal disputes and is responsible for dealing with appeals against decisions made by certain lower tribunals and organisations. Initially permission for appeal needs to be applied for and only if permission is granted will an actual appeal be heard. There is no automatic right of appeal and appeals can only be lodged with the Upper Tribunal on the grounds that the DBS has made a mistake:
  • on a point of law; or
  • on a finding of fact made by the DBS on which the decision to bar was based.
For the purposes of an appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the decision whether or not it is appropriate for an individual to be included in a barred list is not a question of law or fact.

How can we help?

Olliers Solicitors are specialist DBS lawyers with considerable experience of preparing representations to the DBS and thereafter advising on appeal and, if appropriate, lodging an application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. Once an appeal has been lodged, the DBS will ‘review’ their initial decision. We can advise on whether it is appropriate to consider appealing and draft grounds for submission. We can then represent at hearings for permission to appeal and the actual appeal hearing itself. Olliers Solicitors do not undertake such work on a legally aided basis and are only able to be instructed on a privately funded basis.
Connor Brylczak

Connor Brylczak

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