Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors have been instructed to represent a doctor in relation to information the Police want to include on his enhanced DBS certificate.
The information relates to allegations made by two of his patients whilst he was working at two different hospitals.
The Police want to include the details of these two allegations notwithstanding that he was acquitted of all charges, based upon them, before a jury and, also, enquiry reports from the two hospitals and General Medical Council concluded there was no case to answer.
The content of these allegations could have serious ramifications for the doctor and his future employment should the Police disclose them on his enhanced DBS certificate.
Kangs Solicitors are instructed to challenge the proposed disclosure by the Police.
What is a DBS? | Solicitors for DBS
Steven Micklewright of Kangs Solicitors explains the nature of a DBS certificate and discusses a recent successful appeal conducted by Kangs Solicitors of the decision of a Chief Constable of Police to include information about a our client on an Enhanced DBS certificate.
A DBS certificate used to be known as a Criminal Records Bureau check.
Supplied by the Disclosure and Barring Service, DBS certificates are, generally, requested by and disclosed to employers seeking to carry out background checks of prospective employees.
There are three types of checks:
- Standard Certificate
- This is the most basic check that can be carried out and will contain information relating to spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
- This is the most common form of DBS certificate requested.
- Enhanced Certificate
- This includes the same information as a Standard Certificate plus any additional information held by a police force that is reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for.
- Enhanced Certificate with List Checks
- This is similar to the Enhanced Certificate but includes a check of the DBS barred list.
- The DBS barred list names people who are deemed unsuitable for working with children and vulnerable adults.
Where do things go wrong?
If someone has a caution or conviction, this will certainly be included on a Standard Certificate and, so long as the content is true and accurate, usually, very little difficulty will arise.
However, problems may well arise where there is information contained within an Enhanced Certificate which may be no more than an allegation or series of allegations.
Enhanced Certificates contain a section entitled ‘other relevant information’ which can be completed by the Police when completing the form.
‘Other relevant information’ includes ‘non-conviction information’ and ‘police intelligence’ and, in practise, this is used to reveal:
- Fixed Penalty Notices;
- Findings of Innocence;
- Cautions and Convictions of those you with live;
- Other Police intelligence.
Additionally, information relating to an allegation, including one where you have been charged, tried at court and acquitted, can be included on an Enhanced Certificate.
The disclosure of such information can clearly have serious consequences for your prospective employment opportunities.
The decision as to whether to disclose local police information is made by the Chief Constable in the relevant Police force area.
Challenging an Enhanced Certificate | Kangs Solicitors
If you disagree with the content of the ‘other relevant information’ which has been disclosed by the Police, you have the right to appeal through an independent monitor who will consider the content of the material.
The Police will, prior to the matter being considered by the independent monitor, be given the opportunity to reconsider their decision to include the information.
This reconsideration will have regard to all the representations made on your behalf.
The ‘other relevant information’ can only be challenged on the grounds that:
- The information contained within the Enhanced Certificate is not relevant; and/or
- Even if the information is relevant, it ought not to be included within the Enhanced Certificate.
DBS Case Example | Kangs Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors were instructed by a client who had applied for a job with a Government Agency.
Due to the nature of the work, having successfully passed the interview stage, the Government Agency requested an Enhanced Certificate.
Following receipt of the Enhanced Certificate, our client was concerned to see that information had been inserted into the ‘other relevant information’ box by the Chief Constable of Police.
The information related to the fact that our client was the subject of an on-going fraud investigation.
Although our client had not been charged with any offence, information was contained within the Enhanced Certificate that would have had serious consequences for the client’s employment prospects.
Following extensive submissions, through a detailed application of the relevant European and National Law, Kangs Solicitors argued that the information disclosed by the Chief Constable of Police in the Enhanced Certificate was:
- not relevant and
- even if it was relevant, it ought not to be included as it interfered with our client’s Article 8 Right to Private Life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Following our submissions, our client’s appeal was upheld and the Chief Constable of Police removed the ‘other relevant information’ from the Enhanced Certificate.
Our client now has a clean Enhanced Certificate.
How can we help with DBS Checks? | Kangs Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors have a proven track record in challenging the decisions of Police authorities to include information on Enhanced DBS certificates.
There is a vast amount of case law in this area, both from the European Court of Human Rights and our own UK Courts.
Consequently, if you wish to challenge the content of your Enhanced Certificate, it is imperative that you choose a lawyer with a strong understanding of the law in this area.
If you seek to challenge the content of your DBS Certificate, then please contact Steven Micklewright of Kangs Solicitors.