6. Appeals and disputes

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are now called Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Applicants (job candidates) and employers may both be able to appeal against a barring decision following a check. The decision could be changed if the appeal is successful.

Appeal against a mistake

You can appeal if you believe there’s been a mistake in either:

  • the records provided, like wrong or irrelevant information on convictions
  • personal information, like a name or employer’s details

Applicants can appeal their own DBS check. An employer or licensing authority can also appeal a DBS check if they’ve talked to the applicant first.

The police may ask for fingerprints to prove identity if there’s a mistake in the records.

How to appeal

Report the mistake within 3 months of issue of the DBS check certificate.

For mistakes in records

Fill in the certificate dispute form.

For mistakes in personal information

Fill in Section A of the certificate dispute form, or call the DBS customer services team.

Appeal against a DBS update service certificate change

Call customer services if you subscribe to the DBS update service and want to dispute the status of a certificate. They’ll send out the forms you need to appeal against a certificate status.

DBS certificate dispute line
Telephone: 0300 0200 190
Minicom: 0300 0200 192
Welsh: 0300 0200 191
International: +44 151 676 9390
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Send the form to:

DBS
Disputes
Customer Services
FREEPOST RTHU-TRJY-KSHY
PO Box 165
Liverpool
L69 3JD

Independent Monitor review

DBS will work with the police to make a decision about your appeal. If the police don’t agree there’s a mistake, the appeal will be referred to the Independent Monitor only if the objection is that information is:

  • not relevant to the position applied for
  • should not be included in the certificate

The enhanced certificate will be corrected if the Independent Monitor agrees with your appeal.

You must raise a dispute with DBS before a referral to the Independent Monitor is made.

Contact the Independent Monitor IndependentMonitor@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Independent Monitor
Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit
Home Office
4th Floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

Appeal against a new barring decision

You can appeal to a tribunal to reverse a new barring list decision. The tribunal may remove someone from the barred list if it agrees, or refer you back to DBS for a further decision.

You can appeal if:

  • you were automatically added following a relevant caution or conviction
  • you believe DBS has made a legal mistake
  • DBS barred you based on information that was wrong

It’s up to the tribunal whether they hear your appeal.

Contact the Upper Tribunal to appeal against a new barring decision in England or Wales.

Upper Tribunal adminappeals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7071 5662
Fax: 020 7071 5663
Find out about call charges

Administrative Appeals Chamber
5th Floor Rolls Building
7 Rolls Buildings
Fetter Lane
London
EC4A 1NL

Contact the Care Tribunal to appeal against a new barring decision in Northern Ireland.

Care Tribunal in Northern Ireland caretribunal@courtsni.gov.uk
Telephone: 02890 724893
Find out about call charges

Care Tribunal
3rd Floor
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast
BT2 7FD

Appeal against being on the barred list

You can ask DBS to review this if:

  • you were automatically added following a relevant caution or conviction
  • you believe DBS has made a legal mistake
  • DBS barred you based on information that was wrong

You can also ask for a review if your circumstances change after the minimum barred period.

The minimum barred period is:

Age Minimum barred period
Under 18 1 year
18 to 24 5 years
25 or over 10 years

Evidence for changed circumstances includes medical reports, successfully appealing against a conviction and specialist assessments.

It’s up to DBS whether they choose to review.

Contact DBS to ask for a review.

DBS barring helpline
Telephone: 01325 953 795
Find out about call charges

Appeal against the outcome of a DBS review

You can appeal to a tribunal if you asked DBS to review a barring list decision, and DBS either:

  • refused to conduct a review
  • decided to keep someone on the barred list after a review

The tribunal may remove a person from the barred list if it agrees with the appeal. It’s up to the tribunal whether they hear the appeal.

Contact the Upper Tribunal to appeal against a DBS barred list review in England or Wales.

Upper Tribunal adminappeals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7071 5662
Fax: 020 7071 5663
Find out about call charges

Administrative Appeals Chamber
5th Floor Rolls Building
7 Rolls Buildings
Fetter Lane
London
EC4A 1NL

Contact the Care Tribunal to appeal against a DBS barred list review in Northern Ireland.

Care Tribunal caretribunal@courtsni.gov.uk
Telephone: 02890 724893
Find out about call charges

Care Tribunal
3rd Floor
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast
BT2 7FD