Care Homes Brief

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)

1 December 2012 saw the launch of the DBS which was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and merges the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

The CRB was an executive agency of the Home Office set up in 2002 to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions and enabled organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to identify candidates who may have been unsuitable for certain work, especially work which involved children or vulnerable adults.

Following the Bichard inquiry, the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) was established under which the ISA's role was to make barring orders with the power to place and remove people from one or both of the barred lists - it maintained both the ISA's Children's Barred list and the ISA's Adults' Barred List. However, there was a perception and fear that the VBS went too far in requiring too many people to register with, and be monitored by, the VBS and shifted the responsibility for ensuring safe recruitment too much away from the employer and towards the state.

The DBS deals with disclosure, referrals and barring.

Disclosure: the DBS searches police records and, in relevant cases, barred list information, and then issues a DBS certificate to the applicant and employer to help them make an informed recruitment decision. The checking service currently offers two levels of DBS check; standard and enhanced. As the information released on DBS certificates can be extremely sensitive and personal, a code of practice for recipients of DBS certificates has been developed to ensure that any information they contain is handled fairly and used properly.

Referrals: part of the role of the DBS is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children. Referrals are made to the DBS when an employer or an organisation such as a regulatory body has concerns that a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups including children. In these circumstances the employer legally must, or regulatory body may, make a referral to the DBS.

Barring: there are two principal areas where barring can occur:

Autobars - there are two types of automatic barring cases where a person has been cautioned or convicted for a "relevant offence'". Automatic barring without representations offences will result in the person being placed on a barred list(s) by...

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