Barring Referral Improvements

In the last DBS Newsletter, the Disclosure and Barring Service stressed how much they rely on quality barring referrals from organisations with a legal ‘duty to refer’. The content of a referral is crucial in order for them to make effective barring decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working in regulated activity.


What is a referral?

A referral is information regarding an individual who is linked to children or vulnerable adults through working in regulated activity and has, or may harm these groups.

Referrals are made to the DBS when an employer or organisation has had to dismiss or permanently remove a member of staff or volunteer from regulated activity. This could be because either that person has caused harm to children or vulnerable adults, or poses a future risk of harm.



The DBS have recently improved their website, to make barring guidance easier to find and use. This has resulted in an increase in visits and referrals to the DBS.

Between the 1St April and 30th November 2016, the DBS received 4,824 referrals from employers, regulatory bodies and other employment providers which is a 4% increase on the same period the previous year.

Referrals that have been recently received and already contain all the information available can be completed much quicker and prevent the DBS from having to request further information. These referrals maximise safeguarding impact and allow the DBS to provide excellent customer service.

The DBS have a specialised team who process all referrals from employers and regulatory bodies, they deal with all information requests from which local authorities who are one of their key information providers.

The DBS are passionate about a thorough and proper decision-making process, they therefore recently attended a meeting of Yorkshire and Humberside LADOs (Local Authority Designated Officers) to reinforce the importance of the information they hold and its relevance to the DBS decision making process. These discussions are crucial to enable everyone to understand that are faced and the shared commitment to safeguarding.

The Disclosure & Barring Service work hard to assist organisations in understanding both the legal and informative requirements of making a barring referral.

Looking for more information about making a barring referral? Head to our Barring and Referrals page.

If you are making a referral and there is anything you are unclear about, the DBS provide a helpline and an email address you can contact here: [email protected] or 01325 953795.


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