What are the barred lists? Everything you need to know

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) exists to help organisations recruit safely and to prevent unsuitable candidates from working with vulnerable people.

Jobs involving contact with vulnerable adults or children may require the job applicant to undergo a DBS check.

Some roles require an enhanced DBS check with a check of the barred lists. This will check whether the applicant is included on one of the two DBS barred lists (previously the ISA barred lists).

What are the barred lists?

The two barred lists were created following the enactment of The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

One is a list of people who have been barred from working with children (which replaced List 99, the POCA list and disqualification orders).

The other is a list of people who have been barred from working with vulnerable adults (which replaced the POVA list).

What are the barred lists for?

The barred lists allow the DBS to keep a record of people who are not permitted to work in a regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.

It’s a criminal offence for a person to work with a group from which they have been barred from working.

It’s also an offence for an employer to hire a person to work in a regulated activity with children and/or adults if they have been barred from doing so.

How does the DBS decide whether to add someone to the barred lists?

As part of its decision-making process the DBS usually considers a range of information from the police, as well as referrals from employers, regulatory bodies and other agencies.

The DBS considers offences (convictions or cautions), evidence of inappropriate behaviour and evidence of behaviour likely to harm a child or vulnerable adult.

Before the DBS comes to a barring decision, the individual in question is given the information the decision is based on and the opportunity to explain their case.

What sort of jobs require a check of the barred lists?

To be eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s or adults’ barred lists, a role must be included in the ROA Exceptions Order and be specifically included in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations as able to check the appropriate barred list(s).

The DBS’ guide to eligibility for DBS checks provides more detailed information on this.

How can I apply for a DBS with barred lists check?

An individual cannot apply for a DBS check. The application must come from the organisation employing the individual.

If you work for an organisation that carries out DBS checks on its employees, uCheck can help you.

Once you’ve registered your organisation with us, requesting a DBS check through our online system takes less than five minutes, and most checks are completed within 48 hours.

Get in touch with us today and let us help you take the headache out of the DBS checking process.

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