Last week the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) published an independent review that has been conducted into their barring operations.
As part of our fair access to employment project, we acted as a stakeholder and fed in our thoughts to the review team.
Although the review has only just been published, the date on the review is November 2015, which seems to reflect when the review was completed. After that point, the DBS appear to have set about responding to the recommendations.
Of particular interest to us was that it was good to see the review recommend that the DBS consider situations where oral representations (instead of just written ones) could be made by those at risk of being barred. This is something that we featured as an update to our information site back in February of this year.
The review also recognised how the letters and factsheets sent out by the DBS are not as effective as they might be in:
- encouraging those at risk of barring to participate in the process and to make representations, or
- communicating the outcome in a fashion that is both easy to understand and accurate.
The review recommended a ‘mini-review’ and suggested working closely with those who have experience of would be barrees, such as Unlock. The DBS has since done some of this work and we’ve engaged with them to improve the information and communications with those subject to the barring process.