Defence Lawyers for DBS Appeals & Referrals
If the DBS has written to you to let you know that they have received a referral about you, you should consider contacting our DBS solicitors for urgent advice. We can advise you tactically about the best approach to take and when we should make written representations to the DBS about your position.
Once the DBS has considered the information that has been referred to them, they will decide whether they are minded to consider that the information they have been given makes it appropriate to consider barring you. If so, they will send you a ‘minded to bar’ letter.
Minded to bar DBS letter
Once the DBS has given you a ‘minded to bar’ letter together with a bundle of the documents they are proposing to take into consideration, they will give you 8 weeks to respond to the DBS with your representations. It is highly advisable to make written representations in this situation.
Our DBS solicitors can make legal representations to explain to the DBS why it is inappropriate or disproportionate for the DBS to include you on one or both barred lists. You may want to give your version of events, explain the background circumstances, offer mitigation, demonstrate insight and provide character references.
Whether you simply wish to know how to respond to a Minded to Bar letter yourself or wish for our DBS solicitors to guide you through this process and prepare compelling written representations to the DBS, to seek to persuade them not to include you on a barred list.
If the DBS has already made a decision to include you on a barred list, it may be possible to appeal this decision, depending on your circumstances. For an appeal to be successful, it is necessary to demonstrate that the DBS made an error of fact or in law. It is not possible to simply appeal because of an adverse outcome.
DBS Appeals are made to the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. If you wish to discuss the merits of a DBS appeal, please contact one of our DBS solicitors today for a confidential telephone discussion about your case. We have solicitors who specialise in these issues on hand.
Asking the DBS to review a previous decision to bar
You can ask the DBS to review their decision to bar, only after a minimum barred period has elapsed. The length of time depends on your age when you were barred:
- Under 18 – 1 year
- 18-24 – 5 years
- 24 plus – 10 years
To successfully persuade the DBS to review their previous decision to include you on a barred list, we will need to demonstrate that you no longer pose a significant risk to children or vulnerable adults. It will be necessary for your circumstances to have changed significantly to the extent that the DBS are persuaded that your continued inclusion on a barred list is no longer appropriate.
The DBS can review a decision at any time if new information has come to light, or there has been a change of circumstances or they have made an error. This may be relevant if, for example, the Court of Appeal has overturned a relevant criminal conviction.
Our DBS solicitors can give you advice about applying for a review of your inclusion on a barred list.
Enhanced DBS – written representations to the Chief Officer
Anybody who applied for a role in a regulated sector involving children or vulnerable adults will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS (EDBS). The process should take about 8 weeks so as to allow relevant checks be made in relation to any history of the applicant recorded on the Police National Computer.
Cautions and Convictions will be included but there is a section within the EDBS certificate where any ‘Other Information’ deemed to be relevant to the application may be included. (For example, an allegation of unlawful behaviour, a police investigation which resulted in no further action being taken at the time, or even information relating to the behaviour of close family members).
The Chief Officer of the relevant police force will need to determine a 2 stage process:
- Whether information ‘might be relevant’ to the application; and
- Whether the information ‘ought to be included.’
Where the Chief Officer considers that the information which they intend to disclose may be regarded by the applicant as false, unreliable or out of date or where the outcome is not known, the applicant should be able to review the information and make representations about the information and its proposed release. It is highly advisable to make written representations in this situation.
Our DBS solicitors can make legal representations to explain to the DBS why it is inappropriate or disproportionate for the information to be included on the EDBS certificate.
Our DBS solicitors can guide you through this process and prepare compelling written representations to the Chief Officer to seek to persuade him not to include the information being considered for disclosure.
Advice for DBS filtering
Certain convictions and cautions do not have to be disclosed on a DBS certificate, most commonly cautions given several years in the past and convictions that did not result in a custodial sentence. Recent cases have tested the filtering system, though current legislation remains unchanged. Get in touch with our DBS Solicitors if you are worried about the effect of historic data on your DBS Check.
Written representations to the CLPD Coordinator
The Common Law Police Disclosure procedure compliments but remain separate from the above DBS arrangements. Police apply this procedure to disclose information regarding an individual to a third party such as an employer, regulatory body or voluntary organisation.
The police have the power to share personal sensitive information with third parties where there is a pressing social need to do so.
The same factors are considered as when the Chief Officer is considering disclosure to the DBS, but here it will be considering disclosure to other third parties.
If the police are considering such a disclosure, an offer of representations may be sent to the individual giving them a short timeframe, normally 2 to 3 weeks, to provide any written representations as to why the disclosure should not be made.
Our DBS lawyers have the expertise to advise on how to deal with any offer of representations. When dealing with professionals in the regulated sector, our DBS solicitors are mindful that there may be associated professional obligations to the relevant regulator and will liaise with the relevant Professional Disciplinary lawyers within the firm to ensure that the appropriate response is made.
“Your expertise and intelligence gave me the confidence to fight once more when I truly had given up with taking on an institution such as the DBS, after everything else I had been through. You have truly changed my life. I could not recommend you highly enough. I wish you all the luck and success in defending others out there who feel there is no one ‘in their corner’”
– Teacher client
“Jonathan Wright did an amazing job. He was very easy to talk to on the phone, very professional. The report he wrote was excellent, far better than I could of written and I think it made a profound difference to the result. I would highly recommend Jonathan’s services on any DBS issues.”
– A client
Contact our DBS solicitors
If you have been referred to the DBS and certainly, if you have received a ‘minded to bar’ letter, you wish to obtain advice about a DBS appeal, or you wish to apply for the DBS to review a previous decision to bar, please contact our DBS solicitors today.
What we do...
Our DBS solicitors are highly experienced in advising professionals who are at risk of being barred from working with children or vulnerable adults by the DBS. Our range of services includes:
Assistance with responding to a Minded to Bar letterr
Appealing a DBS decision
Asking the DBS to review a previous decision to bar
Making written representations to the Chief Officer
Making written representations to the CLPD Coordinator