New DBS filtering rules

Image of paperwork

On 28 November 2020, the new Disclosure and Barring Service filtering rules will come into effect.

The changes mean that:

  • youth cautions, reprimands and final warnings will no longer be subject to automatic disclosure
  • the multiple conviction rule has been removed, meaning that if an individual has more than one conviction, regardless of offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than being automatically disclosed. 

The DBS has produced guidance that sits alongside the new rules.

The rules affect what employers can ask an applicant to self-disclose, as employers can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that they are legally entitled to know about.

Employers should refer to the Ministry of Justice guidance on self-disclosure. They may wish to signpost applicants to Nacro who have produced guidance on self-disclosure or Unlock. NHS Employers is updating model declaration form A and B and supplementary guidance and working with NHS Jobs to ensure the changes are reflected in the documents and are aligned across systems. The documents will be published as soon as possible.

The changes to the filtering rules are a result of a Supreme Court judgement on criminal record disclosure made in January 2019 and debated in Parliament in September 2020. Employers can understand the background to the case and its implications by watching the webinar NHS Employers hosted with Nacro and Dominic Headley & Associates in August of this year.

NHS Employers will be updating the criminal record check standard and webpages to provide employers with the information they need to understand the changes. 

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