Ineligible check leads to DBS considering adding employee to adult’s and children’s barred list

We’ve recently been involved in a case where a local council has, by their own admission, carried out an ineligible enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check which has resulted in an individual being considered for inclusion on the adult and children’s barred lists.

The individual concerned had been working for the council for many years in roles which have been eligible for enhanced DBS checks. It has always been necessary for her to disclose a conviction she received in 1985 for which she was given a 2 year community order. She was 18 at the time. The council have previously taken the view that her conviction is very old and not relevant to the job she’ll be doing.

Earlier this year, she stepped down from her management role to take on a less stressful position which involved dealing with resident’s complaints.

The council submitted an application for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the barred list, on the basis that although she would not be working with children, she may occasionally be visiting adults to take details of their complaint and there may be children present.

On receipt of the application, the DBS contacted the individual to inform her that as she was now applying for a job working in regulated activity, and due to the nature of her conviction, the DBS were considering her for inclusion on the barred list.

Having reviewed a copy of her job description, we provided her with information setting out the reasons why we didn’t believe her role was eligible for this type of check. She immediately arranged a meeting with her HR manager to discuss the matter with her. After considering the information provided, the council agreed that the role wasn’t eligible for an enhanced check and asked the DBS with withdraw the application, although the application had already been processed at that stage.

The employer rightly disregarded the ineligible check, but the individual is now having to deal with the fact that the barring team at the DBS are considering her to be barred.


This case showed how employers often don’t have a good understanding around the eligibility for enhanced checks with a check of the barred list. Getting it wrong can have significant impact on individuals with old and minor criminal records.


Notes about this case study

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