Is It Possible For A DBS Check To Be Wrong?
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the national clearinghouse for criminal background checks. Technically it is a public body of the Home Office. It was formed via the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012. The mission of the DBS is to help private and public businesses and institutions to make informed recruitment decisions that safeguard their interests and the interests of the people they serve. But is it possible for a DBS check to be wrong?
Accidents Will Happen
The DBS carries out several different types of background checks depending on the type of position being applied for. And while they have an admirable record of providing timely information and sound guidance it does occasionally happen that an error – or at least the appearance of an error – occurs. So can a DBS check be wrong? Of course. Nothing is perfect. As such, it is important that applicants know their rights and have some knowledge of how to dispute the results of a DBS check.
Disputing Mistakes on a DBS Check
If an applicant believes the findings of a DBS certificate to be in error they have the right to challenge or dispute those findings. Because it can take some time to track down the source of an error (or to verify that the information on the DBS check is in fact accurate) the sooner the aggrieved party makes their challenge or dispute the better. As a point of law, any challenge to the veracity of a DBS check must be made within 3 months of the date the certificate is issued. The applicant, employer, counter signatory or licensing authority have the right to challenge the veracity of a DBS check.
The Appeal Process
Any of the above listed parties to a DBS check who believe that either personal details or facts pertaining to a conviction or other legal matter are in error may advise the DBS of their challenge. If the challenger is an employer, counter signatory or licensing authority they must discuss the matter with the applicant before proceeding with their challenge. The appeals process typically unfolds as follows:
- The aggrieved party notifies DBS within 3 months of the date the DBS check is issued to dispute some aspect of it.
- If the alleged error is one pertaining to personal information or records the disputing party will need to obtain a DBS Certificate Dispute Form from the DBS and file it immediately.
- If the dispute involves information provided by the police, DBS will work with them to determine if there was indeed an error.
- In certain cases where the relevance of particular information is in dispute an Independent Monitor may be engaged.
Should the challenge be successful the particulars of the DBS check will be changed.
Appeal a Barring Decision
When they learn they have been added to a barred list many individuals take exception and wish to appeal. If you believe you have been unfairly added to a barred list you are able to appeal if:
- Your name was added automatically following a conviction or caution
- You believe the DBS barred you based on inaccurate information
- You have reason to believe DBS made a legal error in adding you to the list
A tribunal will decide whether to hear your appeal. If they do, their ultimate decision in the case will be considered final.
Get a DBS Check
If you need a DBS check for yourself or an applicant, contact The Check People. We help scores of people every week successfully navigate the DBS process.