Join Our Network

Changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service come in on 17th June 2013

There will be significant changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as from Monday 17th June 2013.

The long awaited introduction of portable certificates which can be used with one or more organisation will start on that day; this is to be known as the DBS Update Service.

Certificates issued after that date will also not include some minor conviction information if the offence was the individual’s only offence and happened some years ago.

DBS Update Service

Applicants will be able to join the online DBS Update Service either at the time that they complete their DBS application form or within 14 days of receiving their certificate.

It is the individual’s responsibility to decide whether to join the DBS Update Service and if they are an employee it will cost £13 per year to become a member and for volunteers it will be free to join.

Once an individual has joined the Scheme they will be able to reuse their DBS certificate with multiple organisations providing the work is of a similar type, i.e. if the certificate has been issued for work with children then it can only be used for other employment or volunteering with children. If an individual who has a certificate for work with children wants also to work with adults they will have to apply for another certificate which is relevant for work with adults.

An organisation will be able to check online to see if a certificate which has been registered with the DBS Update Service would contain any different information if another certificate was applied for or if it would be exactly the same. If the online system shows that no change has taken place then the certificate can be taken as accurate. If it shows that new information exists then the individual would need to get a new certificate which would show the up to date information.

We will be publishing more information on how the new arrangements will work in practice but if you would like more information please visit the DBS website at

To read the employer guide please visit

To read the applicant guide please visit

Removal of minor conviction information

As a result of a case heard by the Court of Appeal in January 2013 it has been decided that some minor convictions should no longer appear on DBS certificates.

An adult conviction will be removed from a DBS certificate if:

  • 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction,
  • it is the person’s only offence, and
  • it did not result in a custodial sentence.

Even then, it will only be removed if it does not appear on the list of, very serious, specified offences. If a person has more than one offence, then details of all their convictions will always be included.

An adult caution will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution – and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.

For those under 18 at the time of the offence:

  • A conviction received as a young person would become eligible for filtering after 5.5 years – unless it is on the list of specified offences, a custodial sentence was received or the individual has more than one conviction.
  • A caution administered to a young person will not be disclosed if 2 years have passed since the date of issue – but only if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.