What Are Barred List Checks & When Are They Needed?
Safeguarding is an important part of any job role that involves working with children or vulnerable adults. Safeguarding policies and procedures should be in place to protect vulnerable people from harm.
One of the most important parts of any safeguarding procedure is making sure that employees or volunteers don’t have any criminal convictions that might mean they pose a risk to others. In the UK, criminal background checks are carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
The highest level of DBS Check, which is an Enhanced DBS Check, can be done alongside something known as a barred list check. We’ll explain exactly what a barred list check is in this article, as well as describing when it is needed.
What is a barred list check?
The DBS maintains two lists of individuals who are banned from working with vulnerable people due to the nature of their past crimes. The lists are called the children’s barred list and the adults’ barred list.
When a barred list check is requested, the DBS checks the details of the individual against the relevant database and alerts the employer or organisation if there is a match. It is then illegal for the employer to appoint the person in a role that needs to be safeguarded.
Who carries out the barred list check?
In 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Interdepartmental Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS carries out the barred list checks and controls the data that goes onto the barred lists.
The DBS application process requires filling in a form with personal details of the applicant and these are checked against the barred list, if required.
Who appears on the barred lists?
Individuals that have committed and been convicted of serious crimes that may affect the safety of vulnerable groups will appear on one or both of these lists, depending on the type of crime.
Some crimes are considered to be so serious that they qualify for automatic barring, which means that their name goes directly onto the barred list.
An individual may also be added to the barred list if they are referred to the DBS for conduct that poses a risk to children or vulnerable adults. For instance, if a person behaves in a sexually inappropriate way to a child while working in a regulated activity, then they can be referred straight to the DBS before being convicted of a crime.
The DBS considers every referral seriously before making a decision to include the individual on one or both of the barred lists.
What types of roles need a barred list check?
To request a barred list check from an applicant, the employer or organisation must first decide if the job role in question is eligible for one. A barred list check is usually only requested alongside an Enhanced DBS Check.
Any individual that is engaged in a regulated activity will require an Enhanced DBS Check and barred list check. A regulated activity is defined by the DBS as a role that involves direct, unsupervised contact with children on a frequent basis (more than three times in a thirty day period).
The nature of the work is usually a good indicator of whether a barred list check is needed or not. For instance, if the role involves working in a school, children’s home, or a nursery, then it is highly likely that it will be a regulated activity.
If the role involves working with vulnerable adults, then the nature of the work is relevant. For instance, providing healthcare or personal care would be considered to be a regulated activity.
How can you request a barred list check?
If you are an employer that recruits people for regulated activity positions, then you need to request an Enhanced DBS Check with a barred list check. If you don’t, and you employ an individual who appears on the barred list, then you’re breaking the law and could be prosecuted.
Also, if a person who is listed on the barred list knowingly applies for a job in a regulated activity role, then they are breaking the law too.
In order to request a DBS Check, the employer or third party organisation who is verifying and submitting the application (sometimes known as a DBS umbrella body) will need to complete Section Y on the DBS application form. Section Y asks whether the role is a regulated activity that involves working with vulnerable adults or children and “Yes” should be selected if this is true.
The DBS will then automatically run the barred list check of the appropriate list – either the adults or children’s barred list.
What is an ‘Adult First Check’?
An Adult First Check is a special type of barred list check that the DBS can carry out upon request. It allows employers to get people started in a regulated activity role before the full Enhanced DBS Check is completed.
An Adult First Check allows employers to request a barred list check on the applicant and get the results quickly. If the check comes back clear, then the individual can start work in the regulated activity role, but they must be supervised at all times.
A summary of barred list checks
To put it in simple terms – a barred list is a list of individuals that are not allowed to work with children, vulnerable adults, or both groups due to the nature of past crimes or behaviour.
A barred list check requires that an applicant completes a form and sends it to the DBS, who will cross-reference their details against an up-to-date list of banned people. There are two barred lists – the adult’s barred list and children’s barred list.
A barred list check must be carried out if the job role is considered to be a regulated activity and it is a legal requirement.
If you want to find out anything else about barred list checks, or discuss anything related to DBS Checks, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.