Disputing information included on a DBS certificate

Written 25th November 2022 by Nathalie Potter

Our DBS team are here to assist you with a number of matters. Our most common enquiries relate to minded to bar investigations in which the DBS are seeking to bar our clients from working in regulated activity (with vulnerable adults or children). See our article on minded to bar letters. We also assist clients with making representations to the DBS on why information that has been disclosed on their DBS certificate is not appropriate, relevant or proportionate to include. We class these as Reference and Vetting enquiries. We are able to dispute information if you believe it has been incorrectly recorded against you or may hinder your chances of employment. There are a number of offences which can be filtered (deleted) from a DBS certificate after a certain period of time, and representations can be submitted to the police for their consideration:
  • Filterable offences include but are not limited to theft, common assault and minor drugs offences.
  • Non-filterable offences are more serious and include robbery, ABH (Actual Bodily Harm) sexual offences and other safeguarding offences. If you have received a prison or suspended sentence then unfortunately this can never be filtered.

The Police procedure

The Chief Police Officer of the relevant police force may disclose other information they deem appropriate such as police intelligence or approved information. This could include matters for which you have been NFA’d (no further actioned) which may significantly impact a job application.  We have an excellent success rate with regards to having this ‘Other Relevant Information’ removed. Examples of disclosure made under Other Relevant Information tab are:
  • Child abuse and neglect – assault against a minor in care and using inappropriate restraint techniques
  • Abuse against service user – allegations of using torture tactics to control and subdue an elderly patient
  • Sexual assault – historic allegations of rape and sexual assault
The decision for the police to disclose the information must be meticulous and not exceed its purpose. The police will consider disclosure on the basis of a number of factors; is it reasonable to believe the information to be true, is it reasonable to believe the information is relevant to the consideration of risk, is it reasonable to believe the information is relevant to working with vulnerable adults or children? In our representations we would strongly argue against these factors. You may receive a letter from the police force notifying you of the information they wish to disclose. If this is the case the police usually give you 14 days to respond and we can assist by writing representations on why the information is not relevant to the position applied for.

How can we help?

If you receive your enhanced DBS certificate and the information has already been disclosed, we can appeal against the same. We would submit an application form, together with representations, to the DBS who would then forward our argument on the relevant police force and ask for their consideration. Please speak to myself on 0161 834 1515 or by email at nathaliepotter@olliers.com to discuss further.

Nathalie Potter

Head of Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Department


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