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DBS introduce oral representations for barring decisions

The Disclosure and Barring Service has issued new guidance on making oral representations if they’re considering barring someone from working with children or adults.

Up until now, all representations had to be made in writing to the DBS. However, they’ve stated in their latest guidance that “in the interests of fairness and equality and to protect a person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, arrangements can be made to hear oral representations”.

Although making representations does not guarantee that you will not be included in a barred list, supplying information will enable the DBS to consider your case in the fairest and most balanced way.

There’s no legal requirement for you to make representation but, its really important that you are aware of the implications if you don’t.

In our experience, those that make strong representations stand the best chance of not being barred.

Being included on a barred list is for life (subject to review) and may have a significant impact on your ability to gain employment. As the DBS base their barring decisions using the ‘balance of probabilities’ on the information they hold, you have little to lose by making representations.

The DBS state that there are no advantages or disadvantages to making oral representations but in our opinion, there could be some gains:-

  • It’s a much easier way to make representations
  • It gives you the opportunity to immediately clarify any points the DBS raise, and
  • Speech can be a much more powerful way of communicating emotions.

More information can be found in our information: DBS Barring – Representations, reviews and appeals.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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