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Criminal records checks in England - Disclosure & Barring Services (DBS)
On 1 December 2012 a new body called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) came into effect. This resulted from a merger of the CRB and ISA. In May 2013, further changes were announced.
We have endeavoured to answer some of your questions
Why has the disclosure and barring system changed?Shortly after the Government came into power, it committed to scaling back the criminal records and barring system – to continue to protect people in vulnerable circumstances but to reduce some of the burden on employers by making the system more proportionate.
What difference will the DBS make to the service?The services provided will not change, but they will be provided by one organisation rather than two. Contact details for the DBS are available from the Home Office website.
What is the new Update Service?From 17 June 2013 candidates can subscribe to the Update Service when they apply for a new DBS (previously CRB) certificate. The Update Service will keep their DBS certificate up to date.
Reusing a DBS Certificate - PortabilityOnce subscribed the individual can then take their DBS Certificate with them from role to role where the same level and type of check are required.
How much will it cost?There will be a 13-pound annual subscription fee for the Update Service.
What do I need to do?After 17 June 2013 when you next update your DBS (previously CRB) disclosure certificate, you will have 14 days from the date of issue of the certificate to register for the Update Service. www.gov.uk/dbs
Providing A24 Group agencies with your new DBS certificate after 17/6/2013From 17 June 2013 A24 Group will no longer be automatically sent a copy of disclosures that we carry out, this means for you to continue working with any of our agencies you will need to provide us with a copy of your DBS disclosure and confirm that you have registered for the Update Service. A24 Group must see a) the original copy of the DBS certificate b) a Post Office verified copy. The certificates can be verified by any of our branch staff see branches on our website www.a24group.com or via the Post Office Verification Service www.postoffice.co.uk/document-certification-service
What happens if I have done my new disclosure with another employer, can A24 Group accept this?Yes we can accept this as long as you follow the document verification procedures outlined above and have registered for the annual Update Service.
Are there any other changes that I need to be aware of?Yes, please check your disclosure carefully when it is issued as countersignatories will now be able to select whether the post that you are applying for is to work only with Vulnerable Adults or Children or both. A24 Group has work with both client groups and in order to maximize your work opportunities we would request that you ask signatories to select both Adults and Children if you are experienced at working with both groups. Alternatively you will not be offered work for the client group that does not appear on your certificate.
Changes to specific minor cautions and convictionsDue to changes in legislation as from 29 May 2013, the DBS will be removing certain specified old and minor offences from criminal record certificates issued from this date. The Home Office has asked us to bring the following to your attention: “In line with these changes we have amended Question e55 on our application for a criminal record check.
To ensure the law is followed correctly, we need Registered Bodies to bring this change to the applicant's attention when completing the form. This question asks the applicant: "Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or received a caution, reprimand or warning? Applicants should now ignore this question and instead treat this question as If they were being asked: "Do you have any unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings?" The filtering rules, together with the list of offences that will never be filtered, are available from www.gov.uk/dbs."