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Making a barring referral to the DBS

Did you know that organisations have a legal duty to refer barred volunteers and employees to the Disclosure and Barring Service? In our recent Volunteer Managers Forum, we found this was not common knowledge. Thank you to Kiran Rehal from the DBS for providing the information below:

Who has a legal duty to refer?

Regulated activity providers (employers or volunteer managers of people working in regulated activity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and personnel suppliers 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.

 A personnel supplier may be an employment agency, employment business or an educational institution and are described as:

  • an employment agency that makes arrangements to either find a work-seeker employment with a hirer or to supply him to a hirer to employ
  • an employment business that engages a work-seeker and supplies him to a hirer to work under a hirer’s control
  • an educational institution if it makes arrangements to supply a student following a course at the institution to a regulated activity provider such as a school.

Legal duty to refer: the two conditions that must be met

If you are a regulated activity provider or fall within the category of personnel supplier, you must make a referral when both of the following conditions have been met:

Condition 1:

You withdraw permission for a person to engage in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults. Or you move the person to another area of work that isn’t regulated activity.

This includes situations when you would have taken the above action, but the person was re-deployed, resigned, retired, or left. For example, a teacher resigns when an allegation of harm to a student is first made.

Condition 2:

You think the person has carried out 1 of the following:

  • engaged in relevant conduct in relation to children and/or adults. An action or inaction has harmed a child or vulnerable adult or put them at risk or harm or;
  • satisfied the harm test in relation to children and / or vulnerable adults. eg there has been no relevant conduct but a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable still exists, or
  • been cautioned or convicted of a relevant (automatic barring either with or without the right to make representations ) offence

The following links also provide further information about how to make a referral to the DBS:

Barring Referrals Leaflet

Barring Referrals Guidance

Barring Referrals Guide

How to make a good quality barring referral

Barring Referral Forms

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