The criminal record checking process for transgender applicants

August 21st, 2018 by Jonathan Bazely

I am a transgender applicant, what is the DBS process?

The law requires that applicants disclose all previous names and addresses to the DBS so that they can process an application correctly, and return accurate results. The DBS have a process to allow applicants to disclose previous gender/name information to the DBS only. This information does not need to be revealed on the DBS application form or to a potential employer. This is known as the ‘Sensitive Applications Process’.

How does this process work for the applicant?

An individual completing a DBS form should contact the DBS Sensitive Application Team, ideally a few days before the application form is submitted. This will ensure that any previous gender/name is not released on the DBS certificate, unless permission is provided. A member of the DBS team will be able to answer any questions about completing the application form and will record details to allow the tracking of the application when it arrives.

What can happen if I don’t use the DBS’s Sensitive Application route?

If the individual has not contacted the DBS’s Sensitive Applications Team they will not be able to monitor that application and certificate. This could result in previous names, gender and criminal information being made available. If the applicant is happy for this information to be released then the normal application route would apply.

Can I have my convictions, cautions or other criminal information about me transferred to my new name?

Yes. If an individual has obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate the Police can transfer the information to a new name. The Police will amend the record, by changing the gender and file name to reflect the new name. Former names will be retained on police record but will not appear on a DBS Certificate.

What if I don’t have a Gender Recognition Certificate?

If the individual does not have a Gender Recognition Certificate, they should still contact the DBS’s Sensitive Applications Team. If the DBS check is going to reveal information in a previous gender/name the DBS will initiate contact before it is issued. If the individual has no criminal information then the DBS can remove previous names / gender so that they do not appear on a certificate.

How contact the DBS or find out more about the process?

For more information, the DBS’s Sensitive Application’s Team is available on 0300 106 1452 or email

The Sensitive Application Team Customer Services

Disclosure and Barring Service

PO BOX 165


L69 3JD

What is the process for Basic/PVG applications for transgender applicants through Disclosure Scotland?

Disclosure Scotland operates a special application process for transgender persons to assist in ensuring discretion is afforded to such individuals who do not wish their previous gender and names to be disclosed. When completing a Basic Disclosure application form or PVG application form the individual should only declare current gender and names. There is no requirement to disclose on the form any names previously known by. Applicants will be required to provide details of previous name(s) under separate cover to Disclosure Scotland. Please send this letter to Disclosure Scotland marked Private and Confidential providing details of the current names and any previous names used along with the current address and National Insurance number.

The letter should be sent to :-

The Operations Manager

Disclosure Scotland

PO Box 250


G51 1YU

Further assistance is available from Disclosure Scotland on 0870 609 6006 or email

What is the process for AccessNI disclosure applications for transgender applicants?

AccessNI do not require applicants to declare previous gender or names on the online AccessNI disclosure application form. Before an application is submitted please contact AccessNI on 0300 200 7888 or email Applicants will need to provide details of any previous names used along with current details to enable the correct information to be checked for the disclosure.

If you have any further questions on this process you can contact one of the team using the DDC Contact Page.

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