Disclosure and Barring Service

Duty to refer

“Duty to refer employees to Disclosure and Barring Service” Many applications for enhanced checks will require AccessNI to check if the applicant is included in the lists of those individuals who are not allowed to work with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), based in Liverpool has the responsibility for taking decisions about barring for persons who live and work in Northern Ireland and provide these lists to AccessNI to allow us to make the relevant checks. Employers already know that it is an offence to employ anyone or allow them to volunteer to work with vulnerable groups, if they are on one or both lists. However, employers or voluntary organisations who offer work with children or adults in regulated activity, also have a legal duty to report or refer an employee or volunteer to the DBS in certain circumstances. This in turn enables DBS to decide if that person should be included on the lists. In that way appropriate safeguarding decisions can be taken.

The leaflet at the link below, sets out clearly for you when you must refer someone to the DBS and how you should do this. We would refer you specifically to pages 6 and 7 of the booklet.

AccessNI would encourage you to read this carefully and ensure that everyone in your organisation is made aware of this requirement, especially those that work directly with children or adults.


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