What is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and how do I get one?

The current legislation does not allow the self-employed or individuals to apply for a DBS check on themselves. In addition, parents who employ a nanny/au pair/baby sitter directly cannot apply for a DBS check; however, if an agency supplies the nanny/au pair/baby sitter, the agency is entitled to carry out a DBS check.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is an executive agency of the Home Office. By providing wider access to criminal record information, the DBS helps employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors identify candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving contact with children or other vulnerable members of society.

The DBS helps protect the public through its Disclosure service. For further information on this service, visit the DBS website.

What is the difference between Subject Access and a DBS Disclosure?

As highlighted above, a DBS check about yourself can only be requested by another organisation e.g.: a prospective employer, where the role will involve working with children or vulnerable adults. Relevant information will be disclosed by the police to the DBS.

Subject Access is your right and you alone can make a request for information held about yourself. A solicitor may forward your request but you will need to complete the application. Subject Access provides you with a general right to access all information held about yourself, unless an exemption contained within the Data Protection Act applies.

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