DBS Checks for Transgender Applications

Transgender individuals may find the process of a DBS check a daunting experience.

You understandably may not wish to disclose previous names or genders to your employer for fear of workplace bullying, which is significantly more common within the transgender community. Sadly, there is also a risk of deadnaming should the correct processes to maintain confidentiality not be followed.

It is essential that transgender DBS applicants know which parts of their previous/current identity they must disclose to a new employer. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provide a confidential service for transgender applicants to help protect their identity.

The following blog will discuss the DBS check process for transgender applicants, and exactly what information is legally necessary to disclose in a DBS check, including how to maintain confidentiality over past identities to prevent deadnaming or workplace bullying.

The DBS Check Process for Transgender Applicants

As with any applicant, transgender individuals still require a DBS check before starting any new role where they’ll be working with children or vulnerable adults. Though this may be a sensitive topic to reveal to an employer, there are methods to request confidentiality concerning previous identities.

The primary method to maintain confidentiality over past identities whilst carrying out a DBS check for your new job role is to contact the government’s Sensitive Applications team. The Sensitive Applications team will be able to help you by providing confidentiality throughout the DBS checking process.

How to Contact the Sensitive Applications Team

The sensitive applications team can be contacted 24/7 on 0300 106 1452 or by email at sensitive@dbs.gov.uk. Please note that this number includes an out-of-hours answer machine, allowing you to leave a message so that a member of the team can call you back later.

It’s imperative to contact the team prior to submitting the DBS application. By doing so, the team can ensure a confidential service, ensuring no unwanted information is disclosed to the employer. Although it is a legal responsibility to inform them of previous names and addresses to ensure transparency about the applicant's background, the sensitive applications team can provide this in complete confidentiality.

If you have no problem having your previous identity disclosed on a DBS certificate, you do not need to contact the sensitive applications team.

What Can Happen if You Don't Use the Sensitive Application Route

If the sensitive applications team are not contacted prior to the application start, they will not be able to monitor that application and certificate. Previous names, genders and criminal information may be made available to employers. To prevent deadnaming, which may be emotionally distressing, this is something that most applicants would wish to avoid, which is why the sensitive application route is so vital.

The Sensitive Applications team are experienced with handling sensitive cases and have handled the applications of many transgender applicants in the past. They will know exactly how to prevent unwanted information pertaining to past identities from being revealed to employers, as this is taken very seriously.

Can Previous Convictions & Cautions be Transferred to a New Name?

It is possible to have previous convictions & cautions transferred to a new name if the individual has obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate. The police will amend an individual’s records to reflect their new information; Previous names will be recorded on the police database but will not show on a DBS check. However, if you don’t have a Gender Recognition Certificate, you should still follow through by contacting the Sensitive Applications team for further information.

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