Disclosure and Barring Service Appeals
In circumstances where the DBS is considering barring you following a referral, they will provide you with a “minded to bar” letter. Accompanying this will be the documents to be taken into consideration.
You will then be provided with a period of 8 weeks in which to respond in writing.
It is often advisable and beneficial to have written representations made on your behalf by a professional. A variety of matters will prove relevant to any decision including demonstration of insight, those who can attest to your character and any mitigating circumstances that are relevant.
Appeals to the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper tribunal
As with most appeals processes a person would need to demonstrate that an error of fact or law has been made.
Appeals can also be made in order to review previous decisions made, although certain periods of time need to have elapsed in order to ask for review, all dependant on the age of the party at the time that they were barred.
Generally speaking, it must be proved on the balance of probabilities that a “significant risk to vulnerable adults or children” is no longer posed. Each case is fact specific but some of the decisions will depend on what has happened since and the circumstances demonstrating why a change of circumstances has arisen. For reference to the periods required to have elapsed the position is as follows.
- Under 18 years of age – 1 year following barring
- 18-24 – 5 years following barring
- 24 and above – 10 years following barring
A variety of circumstances may be relevant to a change of circumstances, such as a successful Judicial Review or appeal in regard to a conviction, or evidence of a significant change of circumstances owing to rehabilitation in the commensurate period of time following barring. As stated above all of these matters would be fact specific.
Enhanced DBS checks and regulated areas.
In regulated sectors involving work with children or vulnerable adults an enhanced assessment applies and will trigger a Police National Computer check with a turnaround time of around 8 weeks. Often even where convictions or cautions do not apply “other relevant information to be provided may include cases resulting in no further action or a household member having a series of convictions, (for instance).
A chief officer is duty-bound to consider matters that “may be relevant” and “ought in all the circumstances to be included”. Often reviews of the chief officer can be sought based on either a lack of consideration of the facts available, the time elapsed or surrounding circumstances that are particularly relevant to the scenario. Therefore, it is often key to obtain advice at an early stage, where it may or may not be advisable to write representations to the Chief Officer in order to try and negate any foreseeable problems going forward. Proportionality will also play a deciding factor in this decision-making process.
Advice on what matters need to be disclosed
Not all convictions or cautions need to be disclosed. We can assist you with what does need to be disclosed including non-custodial sentences and cautions.
Police procedures for disclosure to third parties
While differing from the DBS checking system, what a Police Officer chooses to disclose is still a matter of fact. It may be the case that employers or regulators still seek certain information. A short period of time is provided for individuals to provide representations in regard to the relevance or validity of any such disclosure to third parties. We can assist in providing representations on such matters in order to try and prevent disclosure.
The same proportionality test will apply when considerations re made and that is why representations are such a valuable tool in the circumstances.