DBS News Jan/Feb 2017

February 6th, 2017 by Jonathan Bazely

iPad with latest DBS news update

For a summary of the DBS News and how it affects DDC Customers please read below. To view the news in full please follow the link to the DBS website.

Release 1 (R1) Project update

The DBS recently announced plans to introduce new IT systems to improve several aspects of the DBS systems, to the benefit of all user types. The schedule for these changes has been pushed back and the DBS are still working hard to provide more specific deadlines in the near future. This has now been updated to confirm that online basic criminal record checks will be available with the DBS in June 2017. The improved data matching, analysis and insight will result in quicker turnaround times and a more informed safeguarding environment.

Disclosure Fraud Team

The DBS Fraud Team have been working closely with other agencies to identify counterfeit documents used to obtain DBS certificates. These certificates can then be used to obtain work under a false name and potentially hide cautions or convictions. Employers should continue to be alert to counterfeit documents and report anything they feel is suspicious. This includes any tampering with the certificate itself or the identity documents. Checking an applicant’s identity and ensuring compliance with the detailed DBS guidance is an essential part of the application process. Organisations should ensure they have strict controls on document checking. More details on security features on a DBS Disclosure can be found here.

DBS Certificate Numbers

The DBS have reported an increase in the volume of enquiries relating to DBS certificate numbers, after a check has been issued. They wish to  remind all organisations using DBS checks that they should see the certificate. Accordingly the DBS will not be providing certificate numbers upon request. DDC recommend that all security features on the certificate are reviewed, full identity is checked and that steps are taken to ensure the certificate can be used for a new role. These minimum standards fall below best practice. More information on re-using DBS certificates is available on our DBS Update Service page.

Significant MPS improvements

The DBS have been working with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to reduce their backlog and ensure they are operating within their Service Level Agreements (SLAs). To date up to 100 new members of staff at the MPS have been trained to reduce the caseload and return results more efficiently. The DBS ask for applicants and those reviewing certificate information to be patient during this period.

Department for Education (DfE) advice

In this months DBS News the DfE have released more advice relating to fostering positions and who to run checks upon. This includes key terms such as ‘placement with parents’ and ‘fostering positions’ and who can request information and through which channels. This specifically excludes eligibility for a standard or enhanced check for the birth parents or other adults living in the household. The Local Authorities can obtain the information required under The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 through two channels:

  1. Using a Basic criminal record check currently through Disclosure Scotland
  2. Using a Direct Police Check with The Public Protection Units (PPU) of the police, under arrangements by the Home Office.

In addition to this advice is a note to confirm that only those under 18 years of age can be fostered. Therefore a check of the adults barring list is not eligible for a fostering role.

Updates to DBS guidelines

The DBS have recently released updated versions for commonly used documents. Please check that you are using the most up to date version.

Guidance on workforces information

DBS Eligibility guidance

Barring Referral Improvements

The DBS are reliant on information received from referrals, when making barring decisions about who should and should not work with vulnerable groups.  The DBS have improved their website to make information more easily accessible and guidance clearer. The aim has been to improve this communication channel. Between 1st April 2016 and 30th November 2016 the DBS received 4824 barring referrals from regulatory bodies, employers and other employment providers. This is a year on year 4% increase.