Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

The disclosure and Baring Service are responsible for:

  • Processing requests for criminal records checks;
  • Deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list;
  • Placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for England.

Information on the work of the DBS can be found at: DBS website

This includes information on:

  • Criminal Record Checks;
  • Referrals;
  • Barring;
  • Autobars.

The DBS work with:

  • Police, who provide information that is held locally or on the police national computer;
  • Department for Education - owns the safeguarding policy for children;
  • Department of Health - owns the safeguarding policy for vulnerable groups
  • TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) - private sector partner that operates an administration infrastructure and call centre for our disclosure service;
  • Registered bodies - organisations that have registered with the DBS checking service, and are the primary point of contact for:
    1. Checking disclosure applications and validating information provided by the applicant;
    2. Establishing the identity of the applicant;
    3. Submitting fully completed application forms;
    4. Countersigning application forms to confirm entitlement.


Safe Recruitment:

All organisations engaging people in 'Regulated Activities' must have robust and transparent recruitment procedures in place to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and they should be familiar with the Local Safeguarding Children Board policies and procedures.

Before recruiting staff (whether paid or unpaid), the following should be considered:

  • The application process should include the organisations commitment to safeguarding in for example the Job Description and any other documentation;
  • Thorough checks should be made of an applicant's identity, work history and references including any gaps in time;
  • Proof of qualifications should be obtained;
  • Checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service should be undertaken;
  • A probationary period and supervision of the person should take place;
  • References should be obtained and verified.

This is not an exhaustive list but a framework for sound recruitment practice.

Click here to return to top.