Complaints procedure

As part of our commitment to provide a high standard of customer service, we welcome comments and suggestions as to how we can continuously improve.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) aims to provide a high quality and consistent service however we recognise there will be occasions when customers are not satisfied with the service provided.

Complaints charter

DBS aims to apply the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) principles of good administration. These outline the PHSO’s approach to good customer service and how to help customers when things go wrong.

If you have an enquiry or would like to discuss a complaint, we may be able to resolve the matter swiftly and informally. Please call us on 03000 200 190.*

*Please note that all calls to this number are recorded for training and security purposes.

How to make a complaint

If you are unhappy with the way that we have dealt with you, please contact Customer Services in the first instance, either by email, fax, telephone or letter and explain what has gone wrong and how you would like us to put this right.

To help us investigate your complaint, please provide:

  • full details of what has caused you to make a complaint
  • how you would like us to resolve your complaint
  • your full name, address and postcode
  • your customer reference number, if available
  • your phone/email contact details

You may wish to use the DBS Complaint Form (ODT, 11.4KB)

Please address your complaint to ‘Customer Services’.

To submit your complaint via email:

To submit your complaint via fax: 0300 123 1660

To submit your complaint by post:

DBS Customer Services
PO Box 165
L69 3JD

If you email, we cannot guarantee the security of information until it is in our possession, and we will not take responsibility for such information until we receive it.

Complaint Policy

More information about the DBS complaint procedure can be found in our Complaint Policy (PDF, 199KB, 14 pages). The policy outlines:

  • when you can expect a response to your complaint
  • what to do if you’re not satisfied with the response
  • our internal escalation review process
  • how to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you remain dissatisfied
  • how to dispute a DBS certificate or make an appeal against a barring decision
  • how to complain about the DBS Welsh language service

DBS aims to provide a complaint procedure that is simple, clear, and involves as few steps as possible. We have therefore decided to withdraw the Independent Complaint Reviewer Stage with effect from 21 August 2019.

Unreasonable Behaviour Policy

DBS also has an Unreasonable Behaviour Policy (PDF, 93.7KB, 5 pages) which details what DBS deems as unreasonable, and what this means in practice.