Our DBS lawyers assist anyone who needs to challenge the information placed on a DBS certificate, who is being considered for being placed on a Barred List, or who needs to appeal or review a previous decision made by the DBS.
Minded to the bar DBS Letter
If the DBS has written to you to let you know that they have received a referral about you, you should make contact with us as soon as possible, so 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 based on that information, whether it is appropriate to consider barring you. If so, they will send you a ‘minded to bar’ letter.
The minded to bar letters are often drafted very bluntly and contain only the worst aspects regarding the allegations about you. They will also contain the bundle of documents they are proposing to take into consideration. You will only be given 8 weeks to respond to the DBS with your representations, or you will automatically be placed on the suggested Barred List(s). It is highly advisable to make robust and clear written representations to challenge anything within the allegations you disagree with and any legal aspects that may be being proposed in error.
It is absolutely vital that you engage with this process as soon as possible, as being placed on a barred list is for life, with the only options of being removed being either through an appeal within 3 months of the decision, or a review after a minimum period of 10 years if you were over 24 years of age when the decision was taken (see more on these below). For most people, this can end long and promising careers.
Richard Nelson LLP’s DBS solicitors can make legal representations to explain to the DBS why it is inappropriate or disproportionate for them 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.
Depending on the level of advice and assistance you require, we can simply advise and guide you on how to respond to a Minded to Bar letter yourself, or we can take full conduct of your case and prepare compelling, written representations and submit them on your behalf, to persuade the DBS not to include you on a barred list. In either event, the relatively short deadline means acting sooner rather than later is the best course of action.
Appeals & Reviews
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 the circumstances. For an appeal to be successful, it is necessary to demonstrate that the DBS made an error of fact or an error in law. It is not possible to simply appeal because of an adverse outcome.
This means that not every case with a negative decision will be appealable, but we will examine the allegations, the representations made and the decision and advise you whether there are any effective appeal points we can raise to overturn the decision. The DBS does sometimes make mistakes.
DBS Appeals are made to the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. If you wish to discuss the merits of an appeal, please contact our DBS lawyers today for a confidential telephone discussion about your case.
Asking the DBS to review a previous decision to bar
You can ask the DBS to review their decision to bar after a minimum period has elapsed since the decision was made to place you on a barred list. 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 full advice about applying for a review of your inclusion on a barred list.
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 letter
- Appealing a DBS decision
- Asking the DBS to review a previous decision to bar
- Making written representations to the Chief Officer
- Advice & guidance for DBS filtering
- Making written representations to the CLPD Coordinator
Written Representations & DBS Filtering
Anybody who applies 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 to 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 also 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 make representations about the information and its proposed release. It is highly advisable to make written representations in this situation.
Our DBS solicitors offer advice and guidance to those wishing to challenge such disclosure themselves, or we can prepare compelling written representations to the Chief Officer to seek to persuade them not to include the information being considered for disclosure on the EDBS certificate.
Advice for DBS Filtering
ertain convictions and cautions do not have to be disclosed on a DBS certificate, most commonly, cautions given several years ago and convictions that did not result in a custodial sentence. Recent cases have tested the filtering system, although current legislation remains unchanged. Get in touch with us if you are worried about the effect of historic data on your DBS Check.
Written representations to the CLPD Co-ordinator
The Common Law Police Disclosure procedure compliments but remains separate from the above DBS arrangements. The 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.
We have the expertise to advise on how to deal with any offer of representations. When dealing with professionals in the regulated sector, our solicitors are mindful that the client may have be associated professional obligations to their relevant regulator and we will liaise with the relevant Professional Disciplinary lawyers within the firm, to ensure that the appropriate response is made.
Richard Nelson LLP’s DBS solicitors are able to assist with wide variety of related matters, including the provision of advice and guidance on offences that may be eligible for DBS filtering.
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