Did you know, if you are a regulated activity provider, you have a legal duty to refer an individual to DBS?

Let’s look closer at the process and reasons a barring referral must be made.

Firstly, what is a DBS barring referral?

A referral is the process of informing and sending information to DBS which indicates that an individual has harmed or poses risk of harm to vulnerable adults or children. The referral duty does not apply to family or personal arrangements, members of the public or parents. If there is a safeguarding issue in these situations, contacting the police, social services or an employer is advised.

Who can make a barring referral? The following can make a referral to DBS:

  • Local authorities
  • Education authority in Northern Ireland
  • Eealth and social care bodies in Northern Ireland
  • Keepers of register in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Supervisory authorities in England, Wales or Northern Ireland

Regulated activity providers (employers or volunteer managers of people working in regulated activity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and personnel suppliers also have a legal duty to refer to DBS where conditions are met. This applies even when a referral has also been made to a local authority safeguarding team or professional regulator.

There are two conditions that must be met before a barring referral can take place. Firstly, you must immediately ensure the individual ceases any regulated activity with vulnerable adults and/or children and secondly, you think the person has harmed or poses harm to vulnerable adults or children, satisfied the harm test or they have been cautioned or convicted of a relevant offence.

How to Make a Barring Referral

If you are satisfied that a barring referral is necessary, you can make the referral online or by post direct to DBS. You will be asked to provide prescribed information and it is your legal duty to do so. You must ensure that you provide as must information as possible as DBS relies on the quality of the information you submit and as a result, an individual could be placed on the relevant barred list that DBS maintains.

Must I Really Make a Referral?

It’s important to remember that a person who is under a duty to refer and fails to refer to DBS without reasonable justification is committing an offence. If convicted, you may be subject to a fine up to £5,000. If you engage a person to work in regulated activity, you have a legal duty to refer where the relevant conditions are met.

What Happens After Referral Has Been Made?

DBS will gather all submitted information across all bodies that has submitted a barring referral and open a case. DBS can then make a fair, consistent and thorough decision about whether to place an individual on the relevant barred list.

If you would like any more information on DBS barring referrals, contact our support team today.