Disclosure & Barring Scheme

Disclosure & Barring Scheme – DBS

Regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do. As a key part of changes to reduce the scope of regulated activity, the Protection of Freedoms Act removes from regulated activity, broadly, supervised work such as instructing or looking after children, which if unsupervised would be regulated activity.

The Act also places a duty on the Secretary of State to publish guidance on supervision. This guidance, to which organisations must have regard, is to help them decide whether the supervision they plan to provide will take the supervised activity out of regulated activity.

Organisations will be able to obtain an enhanced Access NI check, but not check barred list status, for supervised work that is no longer regulated activity.

The new definition of regulated activity came into force on 10 September 2012. A factual note on regulated activity can be found on this page. The statutory guidance on supervision, which can also be found on this page, came into effect at the same time. 

The Home Office website has downloadable leaflets which explain the changes to disclosure and barring  There are separate leaflets for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


What is the definition of regulated activity relating to children and young people?

From 10 September 2012 regulated activity relating to children will include:

  • Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing caring for or supervising children, providing advice/guidance on well being, driving a vehicle only for children;
  • Work for a limited range of establishments (specified places) with opportunity for contact with children for example schools, children’s homes, childcare premises, children’s hospital. Work undertaken by supervised volunteers in these places is not regulated activity
  • Work under 1 or 2 is regulated activity if undertaken regularly. Regular means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more) or on 4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight.
  • Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing, or health care by or supervised by a professional; (even if carried out once).
  • Registered childminding and foster care.

The Education Authority’s guidance on the Disclosure and Barring Arrangements vetting requirements for those working or providing a service in youth organisations is available.

For more information, contact Mary O’Hara.