New Disclosure and Barring Service goes live


A new organisation put in place to oversee criminal records checking, referral and barring has formally gone live.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was formed following the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and aims to provide a “one-stop shop” service for those in need of criminal records disclosures and barring checks for employment purposes.

The DBS has also said it will oversee a number of government reforms including the introduction of portable CRB checks, which will remove the need for multiple checking, and an online update service that will make it easier for employers to assess candidates.

Changes to the system of criminal record checks and barring include:

  • introducing portable criminal records checks to eliminate unnecessary repeat checks, along with an online updating service to make it easier for employers to assess individuals;
  • introducing a single criminal records certificate which will be sent only to the applicant;
  • introducing an independent right of review to allow individuals to challenge information disclosed about them before it is given to their employer; and
  • reducing the number of positions requiring barring checks from 9.3 million to around 5 million.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, minister for criminal information, said: “The DBS will provide a seamless service that will protect vulnerable groups, including children, in our society, while at the same time making checks simpler for individuals and their employers. It is a service that will help employers and volunteers – not ask them to jump through hoops and force them through unnecessary bureaucracy.

“But it is also important that employers do not just rely on checks by the DBS to make recruitment decisions. They have a professional duty to ensure that staff are properly managed and supervised and that, if they have concerns, information is referred to both the police and the DBS.”

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