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DBS Minded to Bar Proceedings

15 Nov 2021

The DBS operate the Barring Lists for both Children and Vulnerable Adults. These lists, for anyone placed upon them, prevents that person from then undertaking any regulated work with either Children, Vulnerable Adults or both. It also prevents them from undertaking certain non-regulated activities such as volunteering roles. This Bar is effectively for life.

The decision making process regarding whether or not someone should be placed on one or both of the Barred Lists, begins when a referral or some other notification is made to the DBS. A referral can be made by the police, an employer, Social Services, or any other agency with the power to do so. The DBS will gather evidence from that referrer but does not investigate themselves. Once a referral has been made, the DBS will normally write to the person involved to notify them that a referral has been made.

If the DBS are satisfied that the person and the conduct within the referral meets the requisite requirements for them to place someone on a Barred List, then they will send that person what is called a ‘Minded to Bar’ letter. This letter sets out the allegations that have been made in the referral, the reasons why the DBS believe it means that person should be placed on the Barred Lists and the evidence that is being relied upon.

In many cases, the wording of the Minded to Bar letters are brutal and uncompromising. This can be very upsetting. The letter will provide an 8 week deadline for the recipient to make representations against the consideration to place them on one of the lists.

These 8 weeks are critical as drafting a comprehensive response to the DBS and obtaining supporting material can be a lengthy process. Meeting the deadline is therefore crucial or a decision will be taken without any opposing information being considered. The outcome is always a negative one in these circumstances.

Being placed on a barred list is, for most professionals, an end to their career. Anyone over the age of 24 when barred has a minimum term of 10 years before they can have the original decision reviewed. A review is not automatic after the minimum period but must be applied for. A review must contain clear evidence that the risk identified during the original decision to bar, no longer exists.

It is possible to appeal a decision when placed on one or both of the Barred Lists within 3 months of the decision being made. This appeal is heard by the Upper Tribunal and will consider if the DBS have made an error in law or fact in making their decision. These are very narrow grounds and require careful legal consideration before making a full application to appeal.

Mark Hopwell and Latoya Atkinson at Richard Nelson LLP specialise in assisting people who are facing Minded to Bar proceedings or have already been placed on the lists and want to explore either an appeal or a review. We undertake the vast majority of our services under a fixed fee for either our initial advice or for taking full conduct of your matter to conclusion. This means certainty of costs up front. We offer a range of services that will meet most budgets that means you are always supported with our advice, guidance and/or full conduct of your case.

The main thing with any Minded to Bar matter is to act quickly to take advantage of the full time that has been stipulated by the DBS. Call 0333 888 4040 and ask to speak to either Mark or Latoya for us to help with the stress this DBS process always causes anyone facing Minded to Bar proceedings.

Written by Mark Hopwell

Mark Hopwell is a solicitor at Richard Nelson LLP with over 20 years' experience. He now focuses on the removal of police cautions and professional disciplinary cases in healthcare and education, with previous experience leading national fraud, crime and regulatory teams.Read more about Mark Hopwell.

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