Does “No Further Action” Show On DBS Checks?

Introduction – Does “No Further Action” Show On DBS Checks?

“No Further Action” is a term used when a person is arrested, interviewed, or investigated by the police in connection with an allegation or the suspicion that they may have committed a criminal offence, but the police decide not to continue the investigation.

There’s a range of reasons the police might not have continued the investigation:

  • If the suspect is under 18, they may have been diverted from the formal criminal justice system, following a discussion with the Youth Offending Team.
  • The police may have decided that there isn’t enough evidence to proceed with the investigation.
  • The police have decided that you probably didn’t commit the offence.
  • The police may have issued a formal warning/caution, or a fixed penalty notice, instead of charging you with an offence. If this has happened in your case, you can find more specific advice at the links below:

Is No Further Action Noted On Criminal Records?

When the police decide to take No Further Action against a person, this is included on the individual’s criminal record, even though an offence hasn’t necessarily been committed.

This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, as it will be made clear on the record that No Further Action was taken, after all.

Does No Further Action Show On DBS Checks? Basic & Standard

No Further Action will not be disclosed on Basic or Standard DBS certificates.

This is because these levels of DBS check only disclose convictions and cautions/reprimands/warnings – No Further Action isn’t any of those.

Does No Further Action show on DBS checks?

Does No Further Action Show On DBS Checks? Enhanced

In the majority of cases, No Further Action won’t show on Enhanced DBS checks either, for the same reasons it won’t show on Basic or Standard checks.

However, the police may disclose cases of No Further Action on DBS certificate if they believe it’s relevant to the role being applied for. Here’s how it works:

Local Police Information

Enhanced DBS checks are only used for roles that involve a high level of trust, around children or Vulnerable Adults.

What sets them apart from Standard checks, is that police forces carrying out the check have the option to include any information on their records they deem relevant to the job role the DBS applicant has provided. The link below goes to our guide to Local Police Information:

Guide to Local Police Information

Because instances of No Further Action are included on criminal records, the police might decide to disclose these if they think the No Further Action cases are relevant to the job role.

The Barred Lists

Cases of No Further Action will also be considered when assessing whether to place individuals on the Barred Lists. For more information about the Barred Lists, click here.

Does No Further Action show on DBS checks?

Case Study

It might seem a bit unfair at first that employers are allowed to make judgements based on cases that have been dropped – but there’s a good reason for it, and the case that prompted the introduction of the Barred Lists is a great example.

In 2002, two schoolgirls were murdered by Ian Kevin Huntley, the caretaker at their school. Despite having dozens of allegations and investigations against him for sexual offences and burglary, none resulted in charges. They were all, in one way or another, No Further Action cases.

If the case happened today, Ian would be required to get a DBS check before working at the school. Then, the police would be able to disclose all the allegations and No Further Action cases as Local Police Information. Once the school sees the DBS certificate, they’d hopefully decide that he’d be too much of a risk to employ.

In fact, he’d most likely already be on the Barred List from all the allegations, so him even applying for work at a school would be a criminal offence.

Hopefully, this illustrates why No Further Action cases can be considered by employers on DBS checks.

Does No Further Action show on DBS checks?

Summary: Does ‘No Further Action‘ Show On DBS Checks?

In summary, criminal cases where the police decide to take No Further action will only appear on Enhanced DBS checks, and then only if the police determine that the case is relevant to the role being applied for. In practice, this happens very rarely.

Further Information

If you’ve found our post, “Does No Further Action Show On DBS Checks?” helpful, these might also be of interest:

About The Author

Does No Further Action show on DBS checks?

Kellie Dawson

Kellie is our in-house legal expert when it comes to DBS checks. With a background in the legal sector, she has become a recognised authority in this area.

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