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What are the Barring Lists?

In May 2002 the Department for Education introduced a list of individuals they deemed not suitable to work with children, this was named ‘List 99’, shortly afterwards it was maintained by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and then finally the Disclosure and Barring Service who renamed this list the ‘DBS Children’s Barred List.’

A similar thing happened when the Department for Health introduced their own version of the List 99 named ‘POVA First’ in 2004 which was also later maintained by the ISA and then the DBS, who re-named it ‘DBS Adult First.’

If an individual poses substantial risk to children or vulnerable adults they will be barred from working with these as their name will appear on one of more of the lists.


What do the lists do?

These lists allow us to check whether applicants (where eligible) are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. It is illegal to employ an individual if they appear on either of the lists.

Employers usually undertake barred lists check to provisionally employ the applicant, with increased supervision until their full DBS check is retuned. A barred lists check can be returned immediately compared with a DBS Checks which can take a few weeks.

Inclusion in the barred lists is a result of information found through undertaking a comprehensive risk assessment process which reveals any relevant convictions or cautions as well as any information passed on. This outcome will then suggest that the individual may pose future risk of harm.

Some offences cause an individual to be added onto a barred list and due to the severity of the offence they are not able to make representations as to why they should not appear on a barred list. These are called ‘Automatic Barring Offences’.  

There is also cases where an individual is cautioned or convicted but are invited to make representations, and whether the DBS believes that the person has/is or may in the future work in regulated activity, then this may also result in the individual being included in a barred list, these are called Automatic ‘Inclusion Offences’.