Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

07th February 2019

Can DBS bar people without any notice or information?

Hi Sheila, Can DBS bar people without any notice or information? Do they disclose this to employer without the informing the candidate. If they do this, what are the legal rights of employee?


Dear R,


Thank you for your question.


The straightforward answer to your question is no.


You would always be informed if you have been placed on the barred list. It is an offence for anyone who is on the barred list to seek employment in Adult Social Care or to work with children.


There is a process to go through before anyone is placed on the barred list.


There are two ways of being placed on the list:


1 . Some crimes, due to their serious nature, will mean that if an individual has been convicted of them, they will automatically be placed on the lists. These are known as automatic barring offences.


So if this happens there is no right of appeal following a conviction for one of these very serious crimes.


2. The other method is if the person has been referred to the list by an organisation because of their behaviour or something that has happened. The person will not automatically be placed on the barred list.


The organisation is required to submit information to substantiate the referral. Organisations who are responsible for the provision of what is termed as regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults have a legal duty to refer anyone engaging in conduct which is deemed to pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults.


The DBS will consider all referrals and make a decision as to whether to place an individual on one or both of the lists. There is more guidance on the referral process, and how to make a referral available from the DBS.


There is a guide to making representations if you have been referred to the DBS which says:


This guide will help if you are considering making representations. It’s not intended to be legal advice, but if you need assistance, you should speak with a legal advisor.


If DBS writes to say you may be barred from working/volunteering in regulated activity with children and /or adults, you can make representations. Or you can make representations if you know that a referral has been made about you.


Representations are an important part of making fair, consistent and thorough barring decisions. You can read the full guide here:


I hope this is helpful.




*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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