DBS checks (previously CRB checks)

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