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Pushing for improvements to how the Disclosure & Barring Service works


Has an employer wrongly checked your official criminal record? Find out more.

For more latest news, you can:

  1. see the posts at the bottom of this page
  2. click here for a full list of news posts
  3. sign up our mailing list to receive updates by email
  4. follow the latest on Twitter using the hashtag #wayDBSworks


The problem

The DBS doesn’t properly challenge employers who unlawfully access information about individuals, nor is the DBS responsive to the needs of people with convictions in the design and delivery of its services.


What we think needs to change

We believe that criminal record checking processes should operate more fairly for people with convictions, and be tightened so that employers are unable to carry out ineligible checks.

We are working on this issue as part of our fair access to employment project.


What we’re doing

As part of our fair access to employment project we are:

  • Pushing for individuals to be able to get a copy of their DBS check before applying for jobs, and for the DBS to introduce a basic disclosure service
  • Working with the DBS to ensure they advise people with convictions accurately, and consider them as a key stakeholder when making changes that have a specific impact on them
  • Monitoring the volume and type of checks carried out by the DBS, and publishing data to show trends and highlight issues that adversely affect people with convictions
  • Pushing for the introduction of a freely available online eligibility tool for both employers and individuals which determines what level of check that can be carried out
  • Pushing for the DBS to be proactive in preventing ineligible checks and for them to take against against employers blatantly applying for ineligible checks


Latest news

See the bottom of this page for our latest posts about this issue.

You can also find below the latest from Twitter, using the hashtag #wayDBSworks (although we cannot endorse what gets displayed here).

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For more information

  1. Practical self-help information  – We have guidance on the Disclosure and Barring Service on our information site
  2. Personal experiences – We have posts relating to the way the DBS works on our online magazine, theRecord
  3. Discuss this issue – Share your views and experiences on our online forum


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