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Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) acts as a single point of contact for any organisation to gain access to criminal records for employment purposes. It delivers the service through strategic partnerships with the police, Capita (a private sector partner that operates an administration infrastructure and call centre) and registered bodies, such as the Isle of Man Vetting Bureau.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (UK Act)

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was introduced in the UK to ensure that offenders who have not re-offended for a period of time since the date of their conviction are not discriminated against when applying for employment. The equivalent law in the Isle of Man is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 2001.

The Act provides that people are no longer legally required to disclose to organisations convictions that have become ‘spent’. However, in order to protect certain vulnerable groups within society, there are a number of posts and professions that are exempted from this law by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. The Isle of Man equivalent is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 2001.

In cases where an organisation is entitled under this legislation to ask applicants for details of spent and unspent convictions, the 2 types of DBS check available are:

  • Standard disclosure
  • Enhanced disclosure

Standard disclosure

Standard disclosure is available to anyone working with children and/or vulnerable adults together with certain other occupations and professions as specified in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions Order) 1975 (UK legislation) and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 2001. Standard disclosures show spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings as held on the Police National Computer.

Enhanced disclosure

This is the highest level of criminal record check. It should only be applied for when an individual is expected to ‘engage in regulated activity of a specified nature or in a specified place, frequently, intensively or overnight, or is engaged in a specified role’.

In addition to the information contained in a standard disclosure, an enhanced disclosure will also contain any information which the relevant police force deems relevant and proportionate to the position applied for.

The information contained in a criminal record check is highly confidential and the DBS has to be certain that the recruiting organisation requesting a criminal records check on a prospective or existing employee is:

  1. entitled under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 2001 to make a request, and
  2. suitable to store and handle such personal information for the purposes of either making a recruitment decision or updating staff record and is also able to meet its obligations under:

(i)   Part V of the Police Act 1997 and associated regulations

(ii)  Data Protection Act 2002

(iii) Human Rights Act 2001

(iv) Any other relevant legislation, and

(v)  DBS Code of Practice relating to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of disclosure information.

To use the Isle of Man Vetting Bureau, an employing organisation must be registered in order that DBS can be satisfied that the organisation meets the 2 conditions set out above. Therefore, an employing organisation must enter into a contract with the Isle of Man Vetting Bureau to act fully in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice (see downloadable documents). 

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