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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 3:55 pm

All You Need To Know About Barred Lists

Certain individuals have, as a result of past conduct, proven themselves unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. These individuals are entered onto what are known as “barred lists”. Barred lists are maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and are used in certain situations to protect children and vulnerable adults from dangerous, predatory or generally unsuitable individuals.

How Many Barred Lists Are There?

The DBS maintains two barred lists. One list contains the names of those considered unsuitable to work with or around children in any capacity. The other list contains the names of those considered unsuitable to work with or around vulnerable adults.

A person may be entered on one or both of these lists, depending on their personal history. Both lists are maintained by the DBS and are continually updated. Together they form an integral part of the DBS background check process designed to protect vulnerable members of society.

Barred Lists

Is a Barred List Check Part of Every DBS Check?

No. Most individuals who qualify for a DBS Check will not be required to submit to a barred list check. The barred list check is reserved for those individuals who, during the normal performance of their job, engage in ‘regulated activity’ with children or vulnerable adults. That stipulation automatically excludes more than 90% of the workforce.

Should an individual’s job call for them to engage in said regulated activity, the Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List becomes a legal requirement for their employer. The individual may not apply for a Barred List Check themselves. Only the employer may do that. However, an employer may not apply for an Enhanced Check with Barred List for a worker whose duties do not specifically require it.

What is “Regulated Activity”?

Regulated activity differs between children and vulnerable adults. With regards to children, regulated activity is defined as:

  • Any type of unsupervised work in a fixed environment, such as schools or childcare centres
  • Any kind of unsupervised teaching, training, guidance or caring for children

When it comes to vulnerable adults, regulated activity is defined as:

  • Providing any type of healthcare service
  • Engaging in social work with vulnerable adults
  • Providing any type of personal care
  • Assisting vulnerable adults with their daily tasks
  • Transporting vulnerable adults to and from appointments

Essentially any person who plays an active, unsupervised role in the life of a child or vulnerable adult will need to submit to an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List. Should their name appear on one or both lists, they will be prohibited from working with members of these groups.

How Do People End up on a Barred List?

Perhaps the most common way for an individual to end up on a barred list is a conviction for committing a sex crime or a crime of violence against a child or a vulnerable adult. Such convictions will result in the person being automatically added to one or both lists. In the case of certain lesser offenses, the individual may have the right to make representations before a decision is made to place him or her on a barred list.

But criminal convictions are not the only way a person may wind up on a barred list. If an individual has received an official caution to stay away from a child, children or a vulnerable adult, this may be sufficient for the person to be added to a barred list. In the case of a caution, a person may have the right to make representations before a decision is made to include them on a barred list.

barred lists

Referring Someone for Barring

In some instances, organisations may want to refer individuals to the DBS for inclusion on a barred list. Perhaps an individual was observed acting in a suspicious manner. Or perhaps there had been talk of a person acting in an inappropriate way with members of a vulnerable group.

Of course, the DBS cannot bar someone based solely on suspicion or hearsay. Therefore, an investigation will be initiated by the DBS. During the course of the investigation, the individual will be given a chance to make representations on their own behalf. The DBS will then make its decision based solely on the evidence.

Once placed on a barred list, it will be illegal for the individual to attempt to procure work with children or vulnerable adults. Any attempt to do so may lead to prosecution.


Not everyone who qualifies for a DBS Check will also qualify for an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List. But if an individual intends to engage in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults, then a barred list check will be mandatory and the results non-negotiable. To learn more about barred lists and how they could impact your job search, contact The Check People today.