Challenge your DBS check by appeal

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) replaced the Criminal Records Bureau in 2012 and is responsible for helping employers ‘make safer recruitment decisions’ by issuing DBS checks. Before 2012, these checks were known as ‘CRB’ checks.

The DBS issues certificates based on the level of check requested – basic, standard, enhanced, and enhanced with barred list(s). In the case of enhanced checks, the DBS must ask any relevant chief police officer to provide any information which that officer reasonably believes to be relevant for the purpose of the check, and which, in the officer’s opinion, ought to be included in the certificate.[1] This gives chief officers a wide discretion as to what is included in an enhanced certificate, and can be anything that the chief officer considers to be relevant to the role for which the applicant is applying. In effect, this means that certificates often include information about arrests that did not result in your being charged,  or charges and/or remands into custody pending trial, even where you were subsequently acquitted.

Disputing information on an enhanced DBS certificate

It is possible[2] to challenge the information provided in an enhanced certificate where the applicant for the certificate believes that it is either not relevant, or that it ought not to be included in the certificate. Such a challenge is made, in the first instance, to the DBS in writing, detailing the reasons for the dispute. If the Police do not accept that the decision to include information is wrong, then a referral may be made to the Independent Monitor.

If you think that information should not have been included in your enhanced DBS certificate, and you would like to challenge the decision to include it, contact Tom Airey or Amber Richardson in our Regulatory and Crime Department by calling 0207 632 4300 or click the Make An Enquiry button above. Please note that Saunders Law crime department only takes on private paying clients.

[1] Section 113B(4), Police Act 1997 (as amended)

[2] Under s. 117A, Police Act 1997


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