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DBS start filtering cautions and convictions

As some of you may have seen from the news, the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) has started, as of yesterday, a process of ‘filtering’ for cautions and convictions held on the Police National Computer.Today, we’ve published our own detailed guide on how the DBS filtering rules will work. This can be downloaded here.

Although we’ve known this has been coming for quite a few weeks now, it wasn’t until last week that we found out exactly when it would be coming into force. It wasn’t until yesterday when, along with everybody else, we got a chance to see the guidance that the DBS had written and, in particular, saw the full list of offences that are exempt from filtering.

We’ve written a lot about this issue in recent years (see more here). Unfortunately, the filtering process that the Government has introduced doesn’t go far enough in lots of ways. However, based on the calls our Helpline has been receiving in the last couple of days, it is certainly going to help some people, and for those people, it could mean the difference between getting refused the role they’ve applied for, and finally getting an opportunity to prove themselves. We will continue to argue that the system should go much further, to ensure that genuinely law-abiding people with convictions are able to reach their potential.

In the meantime, after having chance to digest the DBS guidance, alongside the list of offences, and the numerous questions we’ve asked of Government in recent weeks, we’ve published a detailed guide on the DBS filtering process. We hope that this information will help you to understand whether the process will help you in your own situation; we’ve tried to put together a number of questions that should help, as well as frequently asked questions and some examples.

It is going to take some time for people to understand this process. In particular, it’s likely that employers will be confused about what it means for them and their recruitment. On top of many other changes being made to the DBS process, this represents an unprecedented level of uncertainty about how the DBS process operates. We will continue, as always, to try to help people with convictions better understand the system as best as we can.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact our helpline.
If you’d like to discuss this information with others, there is a specific thread on our online forum.

Best wishes,


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