Most of the information online about the DBS focuses on the Disclosure part of the service, with people applying for Basic, Enhanced or Standard Disclosure certificates. But the full name of the body is the Disclosure and Barring Service. The “Barring” part of the description refers to the formal legal process for blocking someone from specific types of work. Most workers don’t understand what Barring is all about and how it works, let alone know how to make a referral about a colleague or employee.
The British education system is one of the world’s best, and an estimated 500,000 students enrolled in Universities in the UK are from overseas. This represents around 20% of the total number of students, and 55% of postgraduates. Students coming to the UK to study have to jump through a number of hoops before ever setting foot in a lecture theatre. Once they have negotiated a place on their chosen course, organised accommodation and got the right visa, the next job is looking into DBS checks. And this is when things get a lot more complicated for many foreign students.
Recent changes in the rules around DBS checks have put into legislation the types of offences which may be disclosed on an enhanced DBS certificate. These changes are part of a wider move to improve the job prospects of people who may have had minor criminal convictions in their distant past, but who have reformed and moved on. Rehabilitation legislation is nothing new; there has been legislation around since the 1970s which sets out how long it takes for an offence or caution to drop off the end of someone’s criminal record.
Nearly every aspect of our lives is regulated and licensed in the UK, and selling alcohol is no exception. If you want to open a corner shop selling alcohol, or run a licensed restaurant or pub, then you will have to be approved for a personal licence first. This isn’t just another paperwork formality; applications aren’t just rubber stamped and licences sent out in the post. You will have to satisfy the licensing authorities that you are a fit and proper person to be given the responsibility of selling alcohol to others.
It might sound obvious, but our name is one of the main ways in which we identify ourselves. A name is the starting point for applying for a passport, DBS check and any other type of identity document. It’s therefore worrying that a Freedom of Information request has revealed that 913 people with a conviction for sex offences have “disappeared” from police records after simply changing their names.
One of the key steps in getting any DBS certificate is proving that you are indeed the person who is applying for the check. Proving your identity might seem straightforward but the DBS can’t just take your word that you are who you say you are. There is a wide range of official documents which you could use to back up your application, and one of the most valuable of these is a passport. Passports fall into the category of most trusted government documents. It’s not easy to get a passport, they are only issued by central governments, and as they bear the photo of the holder, it’s a great way to match the application to the face. The UK Passport Office has been under considerable stress since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and this has led to changes in the rules around passports and DBS checks.
Thousands of children in the UK make use of the school to home transport system every school day, and not just because they are too lazy to walk. Any child who lives more than three miles from their school is entitled to help to get there, whether this is by bus or in a private taxi. Many children in rural areas get buses to and from school every day, and even in urban areas, children attending schools far away from their home address may be provided with transport too. All drivers and chaperones involved in this system require an enhanced DBS check, given that the nature of their work means they are in close, unsupervised access with children. However, many drivers and other staff members have been furloughed and not working since schools closed in March, and this might be storing up problems for when schools return in September.
There is lots of terminology around the issue of DBS checks. If you’re not up to speed with all the jargon, it can be very complex. One of the more commonly used terms is filtering. Filtering has been in the news over the last month, as the rules about how the concept is applied have changed. It’s therefore probably a good time to run through the basics of what filtering is, and how it works.
Many important items of news have been slipping under the radar as the world concentrates on the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that one of the most important changes in years to the DBS system has largely flown under the radar. However, if you’re one of the thousands of people in the UK who have criminal record, it could hugely improve your employment prospects and put your mind at rest over what might show up on a DBS certificate.
The volunteering culture in the UK is strong and thriving. During the height of the recent pandemic, thousands of people stepped up to answer the government’s call to help out vulnerable neighbours and community members with shopping and other tasks. Several different volunteering programmes ran concurrently, some organised independently, and others through Councils and the NHS. However, in many areas of the country the response to the appeal for volunteers was so strong that Councils were swamped, with volunteers unable to actually help anyone due to delays in the system.