Enhanced DBS Check: What is a Barred List Check?

What are the DBS Barred Lists?

The UK’s system for conducting criminal record checks on people, whose work involves the care and supervision of children or vulnerable adults, isn’t always easy to understand. Many people still refer to the now correct term, DBS checks, as CRB checks. Even though the Criminal Records Bureau merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) years ago, to form the Disclosure and Barring Service as we know it today.

The ISA was initially responsible for ensuring that unsuitable people were prevented from working with children or vulnerable adults. Their responsibility was to make safer barring decisions for employers. Now the DBS itself handles that responsibility; when someone applies for certain positions, these require a DBS barred list check.

Certain roles require applicants to apply for DBS checks as well as those of barred lists. The majority of the time, an Enhanced DBS check is required. But how can employers ascertain whether a role required an Enhanced DBS application along with a barred list check? This guide should hopefully help.

Different Barred Lists

Firstly, it’s important to remember there are two different DBS barred lists.

  1. The Children’s Barred List (formerly known as a List 99 Check)
  2. The Adults Barred List (replacing the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) Check)

These barred lists are also maintained by the DBS, much like all DBS applications. These lists allow the DBS to keep records of unsuitable individuals, and prevent them from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Who is Eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check and Barred List Check?

As said earlier, barred list checks can be requested when someone is eligible to apply for an Enhanced DBS check.

If someone is eligible to apply for an Enhanced DBS online, the role they are applying for must involve engaging in regulated activities with children and/or vulnerable adults. These roles must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 1975, and be specifically included in the regulations listed in the Police Act 1997, as permitted to check these barred lists.

Here are some examples of regulated activities involving children and vulnerable adults:

  • Healthcare
  • Personal care
  • Nannying or childminding
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Conveying adults because of their age, illness or disability
  • Conducting an adult’s personal affairs under formal appointment

If an applicant is required to carry out any of the above roles, they will be eligible for a relevant barred list check, alongside their Enhanced DBS check application.

For more detailed information, applicants and employers should refer to the government’s guidance on regulated activities.

It is a criminal offence for an individual to work with a group that they are barred from working with. 

It’s also an offence for employers to hire barred individuals working in regulated activities with the relevant groups.

How Long Does Someone Stay on a Barred List?

Individuals are not placed on barred lists without good reason, and the DBS themselves make the final call on whether someone should be added to one or both lists.

When a name is added, it’s safe to say that person will remain listed for life. However, depending on certain factors such as their age, they can potentially ask the DBS to reconsider their placement after a specific period of time. Usually, they can appeal after 1 year (if they were under 18 at the time of barring), 5 years (if aged between 18-24) and 10 years (if over the age of 24).

This does not mean that the DBS is guaranteed to change their verdict.

Employers Making Barring Decisions

Much like when an Enhanced DBS check for individuals is ongoing, the DBS will factor in any information from the police, employers or regulatory bodies, when deciding whether someone should be added to a barred list.

The DBS barring team can be notified of certain people in several ways:

  • Automatically – this is when someone has been convicted or cautioned for a serious offence, that warrants immediate barring.
  • Disclosure – when someone is applying for an Enhanced DBS check, and the check reveals information that results in the applicant being considered for inclusion on one or both lists.
  • Referral – when employers and volunteer managers raise concerns about people they suspect has caused harm, or has the potential to do so.

Employers have a duty to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. They must prevent unsuitable people from working in their organisation, so they must be prepared to give as much information as possible to the DBS where necessary.

Recommended blogs

Social Services Role and Responsibilities in Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Social Services Role and Responsibilities in Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults The social services are public industries provided by the government, and…

business people shaking hands

Pending Matters: Do They Appear on DBS Checks?

Pending Matters: Do They Appear on DBS Checks? When asking the question, “what does a DBS check show?” There are…

The Six Principles of Safeguarding

The Six Principles of Safeguarding Safeguarding is a term commonly used among various employment and educational sectors, providing a large…

Posted in blog, DBS Check, Safeguarding