News story

New Disclosure and Barring Service goes live

A new streamlined organisation to oversee criminal records checking, referral and barring goes live today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will provide a one-stop shop service to those requiring criminal records disclosures and barring checks for employment purposes.

Portable CRB checks

Formed from the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), it will make the process clearer and simpler for the thousands who use it every year.

The DBS will also oversee a number of key government reforms including the introduction of portable CRB checks which will eliminate the need for multiple checking and an online update service which will make it easier for employers to assess individuals.

Effective, robust and proportionate public protection

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Minister for Criminal Information, said: ‘The maintenance of effective, robust and proportionate public protection arrangements is of paramount importance to this government.

‘The DBS will provide a seamless service which will protect vulnerable groups, including children, in our society, while at the same time making checks simpler for individuals and their employers.

‘It is a service that will help employers and volunteers – not ask them to jump through hoops and force them through unnecessary bureaucracy.

‘But it is also important that employers do not just rely on checks by the DBS to make recruitment decisions. They have a professional duty to ensure that staff are properly managed and supervised and that, if they have concerns, information is referred to both the police and the DBS.’

What is changing?

Changes to the current system of criminal record checks and barring include:

  • introducing portable criminal records checks to eliminate many unnecessary repeat checks, along with an online updating service to make it easier for employers to assess individuals;
  • introducing a single criminal records certificate which will be sent only to the applicant;
  • introducing – for the first time – an independent right of review to allow individuals to challenge information disclosed about them before it is given to their employer; and
  • reducing the number of positions requiring barring checks from 9.3 million to around 5 million.

Improving disclosure and barring service

Bill Griffiths, chairman of the DBS, said: ‘The creation of the Disclosure and Barring Service brings together the skills, experience and expertise of staff from the CRB and ISA.

‘It is a very exciting time and while there are challenges ahead, the legislative changes introduced last September and those planned for 2013 will provide the DBS with the platform to further improve the disclosure and barring elements of our work.

‘I very much look forward to working with the DBS Board and colleagues as we further develop the organisation to build upon the effective, robust and proportionate safeguarding and barring arrangements currently in place.’

Published 1 December 2012