Although professionals working in the court service or Police try their best to avoid making any mistakes, human error is inevitable. Someone puts the wrong code in a computer, mixes up two names, or gets a date of birth wrong. Often these mistakes are quickly corrected, but sometimes they don’t come to light until much later. One of the more serious mistakes could mean wrong information recorded on a DBS form, showing convictions which never happened, a more serious conviction being recorded, a caution showing as a conviction or any number of other mistakes. These errors could stop applicants from getting jobs, and this is why there are procedures in place to allow people to correct any mistakes on DBS forms.
Who makes the appeal?
Legislation says that either the applicant or the employer can ask the DBS service to correct any mistakes on a DBS form. In order for the employer to request the changes, they first have to get permission from the applicant. The first stage of the process is filling in a certificate dispute form, and these can be downloaded online. Complete the form, giving personal details, the number of the DBS form under dispute and tell the DBS what information is wrong, and why you believe it to be wrong. Give as much relevant detail as you can. The form has to be printed off and signed, and then sent through the post – it can’t be emailed. As well as giving details of offences listed on the form which don’t belong to you, you should also come clean about any offences which you have committed and are not listed on the form.
Photographs and Fingerprints
One of the easiest ways of matching up offences to the correct person is by using fingerprints. Anyone who is convicted of a crime or even just charged with an offence has their fingerprints taken, and these are stored on the Police National Computer. The easiest way of sorting out incorrect information on a DBS form is by using a fingerprint check; the person alleging the dispute presents themselves at a Police Station, has their fingerprints taken, and these are compared to Police records. When requesting that information be corrected, the consent box for fingerprints should be ticked, and a photograph supplied so that the Police can check the person arriving to have their prints taken matches the photograph provided.
Most disputes over DBS information are easily resolved by checking fingerprints. If an applicant is still not happy and still believes there are errors on their DBS form then there is the final right to appeal to the Independent Monitor. This is an impartial body which is not part of the Police or the DBS system, and their job is to rule on cases which cannot be resolved in other ways. People who have found themselves on a specialist barring list, blocking their work with certain groups, also have the right of appeal to the Independent Monitor if information held about them is incorrect.