DBS - more information

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) is an Executive Agency of the Home Office. It was set up by the government to allow wider access to information as regards an individuals criminal convictions and other officially held records. It was set up to help employers and organisations makemore informed decisions regarding the people they recruit. One of its prime purposes is to protect what are termed vulnerable children.

Photo of nanny and babyThe process of undertaking checks through DBS is called Disclosure and there are three levels of access to officially held records: Enhanced, Standard and Basic. It is however, Enhanced Disclosure that is the most appropriate to the employment of a nanny.


Enhanced Disclosure

This is the highest level of access to information and, in addition to providing details of a person's criminal record, it also includes a check on List 99, the Protection of Childrens Act list and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list. These are lists of adults deemed not suitable to work with children, but who may not have been prosecuted. In addition information is sought from the Department of Health and Department of Education and Skills.

By virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, a person whose normal duties include caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children (child) is entitled to be asked to apply for Enhanced Disclosure. Nanny Agencies and parents employing a nanny can therefore ask a prospective candidate to apply to be checked.

In the event that a prospective nanny declines to apply for Disclosure an employer is entitled to withdraw any offer of employment that may have been made. Current employees can also be asked to apply for Disclosure but if they refuse, consideration would need to be given to any contract of employment that may exist. It may also be necessary to take legal advice.

At this time DBS only provide access to records relating to the United Kingdom.


Standard Disclosure

This contains information about both spent and unspent convictions as well as cautions, warnings, and reprimands. This disclosure also contains any details from lists held by the Dept of Health, and Dept of Skills and Educations of those considered unsuitable for working with children.


Basic Disclosure

This only contains information held on Central Police records that are unspent according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.


Process of applying for Disclosure

In order to apply for Enhanced Disclosure application has to be made through a Registered Body. Effectively such a Body has a responsibility to check the identity of the person making the application and also to ensure that the category of employment is one that is entitled to apply for Disclosure.


How to apply for a Disclosure Certificate

When a check has been carried out by DBS a copy of the Disclosure certificate will be sent to the applicant (employee or prospective employee). A copy will also be provided to the Registered Body. In the case of an Umbrella Registered Body they will provide their copy to the employer.

In order to make use of the DBS Disclosure service all employers must adhere to the Codes of Practice that DBS have laid down. These include policies on the secure storage, handling, use and retention of Disclosure information as well as the possible recruitment of ex- offenders.

Full details of DBS and the Disclosure service can be found on the Internet at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs or you can telephone the DBS Information Line on 0870 90 90 811.

Parents must be confident, as far as is possible, that they are making the right decision as to who is going to look after their child.

Via an approved Umbrella Organisation, Nannyplus Childcare Ltd is able to provide access to Criminal record checks or screening of candidates.

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