Ever since the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) ceased to exist in 2012 and the new body called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) took over in England and Wales, there has been a bit of confusion over what the service does and what the Barring part of the DBS means. Here’s a simple run down of what the barred lists are, and how they may affect you if you’re applying for a job.
Disclosure and Police Checking
Most UK employees are aware that there are some occupations which require a deeper level of checking into the backgrounds of applicants than just taking up references and discussing experience. These are mainly jobs involving working with children or adults considered to be vulnerable, and the aim of the checking is to make sure that the sort of people who are putting themselves forward for these jobs are the right kind of people to be given access to vulnerable groups. Information flagged up on a police check gives employers the tools to make the decisions to recruit the right people. Not all criminal convictions will mean that you can’t get a job as a carer or a teacher; a teenage conviction for getting into a fight outside a pub or for one instance of shoplifting is something employers come across all the time and won’t rule you out. However, more serious crimes might lead to a person’s inclusion on a Barred List, and that does rule people out.
Sometimes, people commit crimes which are so serious that it is decided in Court that they should be banned from ever working with children or vulnerable adults again. There are two separate Barred Lists, one detailing the people banned from working with children, and one for adults. Names may appear on one list or on both depending on the crime. If you appear on one of those Barred Lists, it is a criminal offence to try to apply for a job which requires DBS checking. It’s also a criminal offence for an employer to hire someone in a position which requires DBS checking when their name appears on the relevant list.
There is a long list of offences which might result in someone’s name appearing on a Barred list. These crimes might also be referred to as autobar offences or automatic barring offences. Only serious crimes fall into this category – crimes such as rape, murder, kidnapping, or supplying drugs to a child. A full list of all of the offences is widely available on government’s websites and is updated regularly as the law changes. If you are convicted of one of these crimes then you will be made aware by the judge that your name will be on the Barred lists. If you are charged with this type of crime but not convicted, then this information will probably appear on a DBS disclosure certificate and it will be up to the employer to weigh up whether they wish to employ you or not.