DBS Policies

Update March 2020

Our DBS service is still running but we're remote now so please don't send forms to the Albany, email our Legal & Industrial Relations Manager, Jackie, for the address they should go to.


If you use the DBS’s Disclosure service to help assess the suitability of applicants for positions of trust you must comply with the DBS’s Codes of Practice, including having written policies on the recruitment of ex-offenders and the handling and safekeeping of Disclosure information. As a DBS Registered Body, ITC complies with these policies.


Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Employers are required by law to treat all job applicants equally, this includes not discriminating unfairly against the subject of a disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed. The DBS insists on a written policy on this area which should be given to all applicants for positions where a disclosure is requested. The DBS’s sample policy is set out below, it can be used as it stands or adapted. Adherence to this policy will ensure compliance with the DBS Code of Practice in this respect. You may also wish to include this policy statement in your Company Equal Opportunities policy.


DBS Sample Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

  • As an organisation using the DBS Disclosure service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, [Organisation Name] complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.
  • [Organisation’s name] is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
  • We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills, and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • A disclosure is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that this is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For positions where a Disclosure is necessary all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will state that a Disclosure will be requested if the applicant is offered the position.
  • Where a disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of any criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential, cover to a designated person within [Organisation Name] and we guarantee that this information is only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.
  • Unless the nature of the position allows [Organisation Name] to ask questions about your entire criminal record we only ask about 'unspent' convictions, as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • We ensure that all those in [Organisation Name] who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences and that they have received appropriate guidance and training in relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. An applicant’s failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
  • We make every subject of a DBS Disclosure is aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.
  • We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
  • Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.


Handling & safekeeping of disclosure information

DBS Disclosure Certificates are sent to the applicant. You can ask the applicant to show you their Disclosure but you should not keep it or keep details of the information it contains. The only information you should record is the date of the Disclosure and its reference number. If you are keeping any information, however, minimal, relating to DBS Disclosures you must have a Policy on its Handling and Safekeeping in order to comply with the DBS Code of Practice. The DBS’s sample policy is set out below, it can be used as it stands or adapted.


DBS Sample policy on handling & safekeeping of disclosure information

  • General principles: As an organisation using the Criminal Records Bureau (DBS) Disclosure service to help assess the suitability of applicants for positions of trust, [organisation name] complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure information. It also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosure information and has a written policy on these matters, which is available to those who wish to see it on request.
  • Storage & Access: Disclosure information is never kept on an applicant’s personnel file. It is always kept separately and securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.
  • Handling: In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, Disclosure information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. We maintain a record of all those to whom Disclosures or Disclosure information has been revealed and we recognise that it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.
  • Usage: Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.
  • Retention: Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we do not keep Disclosure information for any longer than is absolutely necessary. This is generally for a period of up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep Disclosure information for longer than six-months, we will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights individual subject before doing so. Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.
  • Disposal: Once the retention period has elapsed, we will ensure that any Disclosure information is destroyed immediately by suitable, secure means, e.g by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, Disclosure information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g. waste bin or confidential waste sack). We will not keep any photocopy or other image of the Disclosure or any copy or representation of the contents of a Disclosure. However, notwithstanding the above, we may keep a record of the date of issue of a Disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of Disclosure requested, the position for which the Disclosure was requested, the unique reference number of the Disclosure and the details of the recruitment decision taken.