Latest News

May 2019 - Important changes to enhanced applications

From 6 May 2019, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will no longer be able to amend enhanced applications that have been submitted with missing or incorrect information, in particular to addresses at which an applicant has resided within the last five years, that have not been declared on the application. Applications found to have missing address information will be withdrawn with the fee forfeited and a new application will need to be submitted. Please ensure that all the information provided on the disclosure application form is correct and has been properly checked for errors before it is submitted. The job role and any barred list checks requested must correspond to the appropriate level of check i.e. standard or enhanced as set out in the eligibility guidance, available from www.gov.uk/government/collections/dbs-eligibility-guidance.

If errors are detected by the DBS then the application will be withdrawn and the fee forfeited.

April 2021 - Filtering rules update

Filtering rules were first introduced on 29 May 2013 when amendments were made to legislation that affected both what an employer can ask an individual in relation to convictions and cautions (for example a self-declaration on an application form of ‘do you have any convictions’), and what is disclosed on a Standard or Enhanced DBS certificate.

These rules were updated on 28th November 2020 as follows:

  • warnings, reprimands and youth cautions will no longer be automatically disclosed on a DBS certificate
  • the multiple conviction rule has been removed, meaning that if an individual has more than one conviction, regardless of offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than all being automatically disclosed

Updating your recruitment application forms for changes to the filtering rules

Employers may wish to consider updating their recruitment processes to reflect the changes in the filtering rules.

Job application forms relating to positions that are eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check will need to reflect the filtering rules so that:

  • employers ask the right questions, and
  • employees give the right (legally accurate) answer

We suggest that you use the following questions as a template for your own recruitment processes:

Do you have any unspent conditional cautions or convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974? (Y/N)?

Do you have any adult cautions (simple or conditional) or spent convictions that are not protected as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020? (Y/N)?”

You are also encouraged to include the paragraphs below in your standard application forms:

The amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020) provides that when applying for certain jobs and activities, certain convictions and cautions are considered ‘protected’. This means that they do not need to be disclosed to employers, and if they are disclosed, employers cannot take them into account.

Guidance about whether a conviction or caution should be disclosed can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.