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1.5.3 Applications to Disclosure and Barring Service for Disclosure of Information


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Levels of Disclosure
  3. DBS Disclosures for Parents, Carers and those with Unsupervised Contact
  4. Data Protection Considerations
  5. Proof of Identity
  6. Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service
  7. DBS Application Procedure

    Appendix 1: Legislation and Guidance


1. Introduction

This chapter outlines the procedure to ensure that appropriate applications are made to the Disclosure and Barring Service for disclosure of information from Police and Probation records and those held by the Disclosure and Barring Service; in pursuance of the Council’s regulatory duties to ensure the suitability of adults involved in the care of children.

The DBS was established to provide an efficient and co-ordinated approach to the disclosure of information from central records to employers, particularly those organisations who recruit people, including volunteers, foster carers and prospective adoptive parents to work with children or vulnerable adults.


2. Levels of Disclosure

  1. Disclosures can be at three levels, Basic, Standard and Enhanced.
    1. Basic disclosures will only contain information held in Police records, which is not spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of offenders Act 1974, or will state that there are no such convictions;
    2. Standard disclosures will contain information of any spent or unspent convictions as well as cautions, reprimands and warnings issued by the Police centrally. It will also reveal whether the individual is barred from working with children by virtue of his/her inclusion on lists maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service;
    3. Enhanced disclosures will provide all the information contained in a standard disclosure and may also contain non-conviction information from local Police records, which a chief Police officer thinks may be relevant in connection with the matter in question. It will contain information of any spent or unspent convictions as well as cautions, reprimands and warnings recorded on the Police National Computer. It will also reveal whether the individual is barred from working with children by virtue of his/her inclusion on lists of those considered unsuitable to work with children maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  2. Any individual, subject to proof of identity, may apply for a basic disclosure. However applications for standard and enhanced disclosures can only be made in circumstances where the Exceptions Order under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act applies. These include an individual applying for a childcare position within a local authority, whether paid or not, and where the local authority has a regulatory duty;
  3. A person or organisation, including local authorities, must be registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service in order to receive information contained in a standard or enhanced disclosure. The application for these disclosures, although made by the subject of the disclosure, must be countersigned by a registered person. Only the Recruitment Team Manager and Recruitment Manager within Human Resources are authorised by the Council to act as counter-signatories. Continuing registration with the DBS is dependent upon the registered persons, and others who are authorised to receive disclosure information, abiding by the Code of Practice issued by the Service. This provides for the handling, storing, and destruction of disclosure information. The DBS will carry out assurance checks to ensure the Code is enforced. The administration process for DBS checks within East Riding of Yorkshire Council is handled by the Criminal Records Team based within Human Resources at County Hall in Beverley.


3. DBS Disclosures for Parents, Carers and those with Unsupervised Contact

The Council is obliged to give certain information to any individual it requires to apply for an enhanced disclosure. The information which must be provided is:

  1. The individual must be told at the time they make their application that they will be required to apply for an enhanced disclosure, and must be made aware of how the information will be used;
  2. The individual must be given a copy of the council’s policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders;
  3. They must be told of the existence of the DBS’s Code of Practice, which must be made available to them on request;

  1. It will be appropriate for social workers to obtain enhanced disclosure information in the following situations:
    1. When an individual applies to the council to foster or adopt a child*;
    2. When an individual is likely to have a significant amount of unsupervised contact with a looked after child, e.g. relatives or friends of foster carers who may be involved in babysitting;
    3. When assessing the suitability of a private fostering arrangement;
    4. When making arrangements which are subject to the Placement with Parents (see the Preparation for Placement with Parents Procedure).           

Reference should also be made to the separate procedures covering each of these circumstances.


4. Data Protection Considerations

  1. Social workers who are recipients of disclosure information should ensure that they are fully familiar with this procedure and the Code of Practice issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service before initiating an application for an enhanced disclosure. Particular attention is drawn to the section Handling of Disclosure information.
    • Information must not be passed to persons not authorised to receive it. Unauthorised disclosure is an offence under section 24 of the Police Act 1997;
    • Disclosures, and the information contained in them must be stored securely. They will, therefore be received by the Recruitment Team Manager/Recruitment Manager acting as counter-signatory, and retained by them whilst the outcome is being decided. The subject of the disclosure will also receive a copy of the information, excluding any non-conviction information provided from local Police records, from the Disclosure and Barring Service. The individual may choose to show their copy to the Social Worker. The Social Worker should not make a copy of the document or its contents;
    • Disclosures, and any record of information contained in them, must not be retained for longer than is necessary (maximum six months). Disclosures will be destroyed centrally as soon as the outcome has been decided, and any dispute about content resolved.


5. Proof of Identity

  1. The counter-signatory to an application for an enhanced disclosure must ensure that the individual provides proof of identity. The Social Worker must check and confirm what evidence of identity the individual has produced when submitting the disclosure application form to the counter-signatory. The evidence provided must, whenever possible, include an item of photographic evidence (e.g. a current passport, or a new style UK driving licence) and an item of address related evidence (e.g. a utility bill or a bank, credit card or mortgage statement containing the name and address of the applicant). The following points must also be noted.

    • In the absence of photographic evidence, a full birth certificate issued at the time of birth will carry more weight than one issued more recently;
    • Consistency of information with other information provided by the individual as part of the assessment/enquiry process, will lead to a greater level of confidence in his/her identity;
    • Where an individual claims to have changed his/her name by deed poll, marriage, adoption, statutory declaration or by any other mechanism supporting documentary evidence should be requested;
    • A previously obtained Disclosure is not acceptable as proof of identity.
    The Social Worker must inspect the documents carefully to check that they do not appear to have been tampered with and that they appear to be authentic.
  2. The Criminal Records Team within Human Resources will oversee applications for disclosure information and returned Disclosures in respect of the procedures listed in Key point 5. They will be responsible for monitoring the progress of Disclosure applications, and the storage and destruction of Disclosure information.


6. Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service

With effect from 17 June 2013, an optional online Update Service is operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), designed to reduce the number of DBS checks requested.

Instead of a new criminal records/Barred Lists check being necessary whenever an individual applies for a new paid or voluntary role working with children/Vulnerable Adults, individuals can opt to subscribe to the online Update Service. This will allow them to keep their criminal record certificate up to date, so that they can take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce.

Employers do not need to register, but can carry out free, instant, online status checks of a registered individual’s status. A new DBS check will only be necessary if the status check indicates a change in the individual’s status (because new information has been added).

For further information please see the Disclosure and Barring Service website.


7. DBS Application Procedure

Click here for more information on applying for DBS Checks via the GOV.UK website.


Appendix 1: Legislation and Guidance

Caption: Appendix 1: Legislation and Guidance
   
LEGISLATION The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  The Police Act 1997
The Protection of Children Act 1999
The Criminal Justice and Court Service Act 2000
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Caption: Appendix 1: Legislation and Guidance 2
   
GUIDANCE Disclosure and Barring Service Code of Practice for Registered Persons and other Recipients of Disclosure Information
  East Riding of Yorkshire Council Recruitment Policy and Procedure
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Safeguarding Checks (DBS) Policy

End