Management of DBS certificate information

Updated 3 March 2016

1. General principles

The Office of the Immigration Services (OISC) is an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to help assess the fitness of applicants applying to be regulated to provide immigration advice and services.

The OISC complies fully with the DBS code of practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of information provided by the DBS.

The OISC complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of DBS information and has a written policy on these matters.

The Commissioner also has regard to Section 93 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which, among other things, prohibits the disclosure of information received by the Commissioner except with lawful authority, including where disclosure is necessary in the public interest.

2. Storage and access

Information provided by the DBS is held separately and kept securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.

3. Handling

In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, information provided by the DBS is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties.

The OISC maintains a record of all those to whom information has been revealed and recognises it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.

4. Usage

Information provided by the DBS is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.

5. Retention

Once a final decision has been made on an application for regulation, including any appeal hearing, information provided by the DBS will generally be kept for a period of up to 6 months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints.

In very exceptional circumstances it may be considered necessary to keep this information for longer than 6 months. If this occurs the OISC will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the data protection and human rights of the individual before doing so.

Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding the safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.

6. Disposal

Once the retention period has elapsed, we will ensure that any information is immediately destroyed by shredding, as soon as possible after the matter for which it was obtained has been completed.

While awaiting destruction information will be kept in designated secure storage. The OISC will retain a record of the date information was received from the DBS, the name of the subject and the unique reference number applied to each disclosure of information supplied by the DBS.