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.

20th December 2017

Will I Be Told If I Am On The Barred List of a DBS?

Will I be told if I am on the barred list of a DBS and how long before I know?


Dear J,


Thank you for your question.


The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was designed to assist organisations to recruit safely and most importantly to prevent unsuitable candidates from working with vulnerable people. This makes it a very important process.


There are two barred lists:


One is a list of people who have been barred from working with children (which replaced List 99, the POCA list and disqualification orders).


The other is a list of people who have been barred from working with vulnerable adults (which replaced the POVA list).


This means that the DBS is allowed to keep a record of people who are not permitted to work in a regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.


It is a criminal offence for a person to work with a group from which they have been barred from working.


It’s also an offence for an employer to employ a person to work in a regulated activity with children and/or adults if they have been barred from doing so.


When making a decision as to whether or not a person should be barred from working with one of these groups, the DBS will considers a range of information from the police, as well as referrals from employers, regulatory bodies and other agencies and the DBS will also consider offences (convictions or cautions), evidence of inappropriate behaviour and evidence of behaviour likely to harm a child or vulnerable adult.


The important response to your question is:


Before the DBS comes to a barring decision, the individual in question is given the information the decision is based on and the opportunity to explain their case.


You can find much more information on this on the DBS website:


There is also an appeals process. Appeals should be submitted within 3 months of the decision.


Yours sincerely,






*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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