Skip to main content

Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Do you need help challenging an ineligible DBS check?

Despite the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, some employers try to seek a higher level of criminal record check than they’re entitled to. Sadly, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) don’t have any process in place to flag up potentially ineligible checks; they assume that any application submitted is eligible for the level of check applied for.

If you believe that an employer is trying to carry out an ineligible check then the onus is on you to challenge this; either directly with your employer or through the DBS.

We’ve updated our challenging an ineligible check page to provide templates which you can use to challenge an ineligible check through the DBS. These can be used as a guide to help you write your own email.

As part of our fair access to employment project, we’re working to reduce the number of unlawful checks being carried out by the DBS. We’re keen to hear from anyone who believes that an employer has carried out a standard or enhanced check for a role that wasn’t eligible for that level of check and an employer has subsequently taken into account spent convictions or other information from the police that they were not entitled to see.

More information


Add Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Do you need help & support with an issue you’re facing?

We provide support and advice for people in England and Wales who need guidance with either their own, or someone else’s, criminal record.

Please use the search box to start typing your issue. If you cannot find an answer to your problem then you’ll be given options to contact us directly.

Find out more about the helpline

We want to make sure that our website is as helpful as possible.

Letting us know if you easily found what you were looking for or not enables us to continue to improve our service for you and others.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for?

Thank you for your feedback.

12 million people have criminal records in the UK. We need your help to help them.

Help support us now