DBS told to stop accepting old application forms

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Back in March this year, we announced that, following a complaint we’d made to the ICO, the DBS were updating their application form to reflect the recent ‘filtering’ provisions.

At the time, we were pleased to see the DBS take this step. Unfortunately, they failed to follow this through properly, meaning that although new forms were put into circulation, old forms were still being used by many Registered Bodies.

When this was brought to our attention by individuals with convictions who this impacted on, we made a further complaint to the ICO.

Today, we’re pleased to learn that the ICO has issued a further undertaking, requiring the DBS to make sure that these old application forms are either removed or rejected.

In a document on their website, the ICO state; “It has recently come to light that application forms which do not contain the necessary amendments remain in circulation. This is because a large number of third party organisations are continuing to rely on legacy forms issued prior to the amendment of question e55. In the Commissioner’s view, the failure to address these legacy forms could be considered to create circumstances under which the unfair processing of personal data arises.”

Christopher Stacey, Director (Services) of Unlock, said “We’re glad to see the ICO take this action. It’s incredibly important that all efforts are made to ensure that individuals applying for roles which involve DBS checks are clear about what they do and don’t have to disclose.”

“The system is complicated enough as it is, without having two different forms in circulation. This was causing people to think they had to disclose information that they didn’t need to. In one particular case, a University admissions team tried to insist that an individual had to disclose a minor conviction from over 20 years ago that was now filtered, meaning it wouldn’t come back on a DBS check. Thankfully, the individual contacted our helpline, and we were able to advocate on their behalf, but this kind of situation is clearly unacceptable.”

“It’s disappointing that it took the DBS so long to respond to the issue, but we’re pleased that, moving forward, this issue will be rectified.”


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