What is a Barred List Check? Our Complete Guide

Barred list checks form an integral part of safeguarding, and can be requested as part of the DBS application process. But what is a barred list check? And who are they useful for?

What is a barred list check?

What is a barred list check? The facts

There are two barred lists which are maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). One list contains the details of individuals who are barred from working with children, and the other those who are barred from working with vulnerable adults. These lists are commonly referred to as the children’s and adults’ barred lists.

A barred list check is simply a check against one or both of these lists to see if the individual in question is barred from working with either of these vulnerable groups.

Barred list checks now form part of the DBS checking process. The merge of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Interdepartmental Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012 meant that the newly formed DBS took control of these lists.

As a result, a barred list check can be requested as part of a DBS application.

When will someone appear on these lists?

An individual will be placed on one or both of these lists either for a crime, or if they have been referred.

Some crimes, due to their serious nature, will mean that if an individual has been convicted of them, they will automatically be placed on the lists. These are known as automatic barring offences.

An individual can also be placed on the lists if they’ve been referred by an organisation due to their behavior. Organisations who are responsible for the provision of what is termed as regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults have a legal duty to refer anyone engaging in conduct which is deemed to pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults.

The DBS will consider all referrals and make a decision as to whether to place an individual on one or both of the lists. There is more guidance on the referral process, and how to make a referral available from the DBS.

Who needs a barred list check?

Just like a DBS check, individuals have to be eligible in order for their employer to request a barred list check for them. The eligibility for these checks also means that the applicant will most likely only be able to have a barred list check if they are also eligible for an enhanced DBS disclosure.

Individuals need to be engaging in regulated activity with either children or vulnerable adults in order to be eligible for an applicable barred list check.

When working with children, this can be determined either through the nature of the work, or where an individual is working, e.g. a school, nursery or children’s home.

When working with vulnerable adults, regulated activity is determined through the nature of the activity, such as providing personal or health care.

There are comprehensive guides to regulated activity with both vulnerable groups available here.

How can you request a barred list check?

Requesting a barred list check is essential if you’re employing staff who will be engaging in regulated activity. If an employer knowingly employs an individual in regulated activity with a vulnerable group with which they’ve been barred from working, then they’re breaking the law.

Equally, if an individual is barred from working with either children or vulnerable adults, then they’re committing an offence by seeking to engage in regulated activity with that group.

Barred list checks can be selected as part of a DBS check. Employers completing section Y of the application form will be asked if their applicant will be engaging in regulated activity with either children or vulnerable adults. Employers should select ‘yes’ if applicable.

This will mean the appropriate barred list check/s will be selected as part of the application.

What is an adult first check?

An adult first check also checks an individual’s details against the vulnerable adult’s barred list. However, this can be requested as an extra check to the DBS, meaning that the results can be returned before the certificate is issued.

Consequently, a clear result from this check allows those engaging in regulated activity with vulnerable adults to work before their DBS certificate is returned. To do so, they must be  supervised at all times, and follow the CQC requirements as set out in their guide at page 14.

What is a barred list check? A summary

So – what is a barred list check?

As we have seen, a barred list check is simply a check against either the children’s or adult’s barred list to confirm if an individual is barred from working with either of these vulnerable groups.

This check can be requested as part of an enhanced DBS application. Depending on the nature of the applicant’s work, individuals can be eligible for a check against one or both lists.

Barred list checks are essential components of safeguarding measures that organisations must adopt when working with either of these groups.

Looking to get started requesting DBS and barred list checks? You can register for free here.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.