How to make a barring referral to the DBS

Barring referrals are used to identify particular individuals who may pose a potential risk to the safety and well-being of children or vulnerable adults. They provide a record of concerns that someone may have harmed a child or vulnerable adult. The Disclosure and Barring Service is responsible for barring referrals. In some circumstances, automatic referrals are made. These apply to anyone who is convicted or cautioned for particular specified serious offences.

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Who can make a barring referral

Employersand volunteer managers can make these referrals. If a private individual has safeguarding concerns, they should raise the matter with social services, the police or the relevant person’s employer. Those agencies have an obligation to investigate the concerns and, if appropriate, make the barring referral.

When should a referral be made?

Automatic referrals aside, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, it may help to consider the following: -Is there a concern that the individual has harmed or poses a potential risk of harm to a vulnerable adult or child? -Has the individual satisfied the harm test? -Was the individual in receipt of a caution or conviction for an offence relevant to the current concern? -Is the individual working in a regulated activity or might they do so in the future?

If the answer to these questions is “yes”, the DBS may decide that the individual in question should be added to a barred list.

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What is meant by “harm”?

There is no exhaustive definition, but it might include physical, sexual, emotional, financial, verbal or psychological harm, or neglect.

When is it disclosed that an individual is on a barred list?

DBS checks carried out by an employer, voluntary organisation or umbrella body such as Carecheck will show whether someone is on a barred list if the type of check that is carried out is an enhanced check with barred lists. Individuals who are concerned about what their DBS check might reveal can get useful help and support from Unlock, a charity that provides support for those with convictions.

How is a referral made?

There is an online form, or the procedure can be carried out by post. Either way, certain prescribed information must be provided. An online referral, which is recommended, necessitates registering for a DBS online services account. The referrer will not necessarily be informed of the outcome.