The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has two barred lists: The Children's and Adult's.

A Barred List check can only be requested alongside an Enhanced DBS Check - and not with a Basic or Standard. It can also only be requested by an employer, not an employee.

But, what is a Barred List? How do you get on there? And what does it mean? We aim to answer these questions, and others you may have in this blog!

What is a DBS Barred List Check

As mentioned previously, there are two barred lists that checks can be made against.

One is the Children's Barred List, which contains a list of individuals who are banned from working with children.
The other is the Adult's Barred List, which contains a list of those banned from working with vulnerable adults, but it is possible for someone to be included in both lists.

In "normal" DBS checks, (i.e. ones that do not need the Barred List) the employer can make a judgement call on whether to employ someone or not, regardless of the outcome.

For example, if a DBS check comes back with spent and unspent convictions, they can still be employed at the employer's discretion. Of course, there are some situations where it would be in the best interests of the company, and its customers, to employ someone without convictions. However, this is not the case when a Barred List check is required.

If you are on the Barred List, it is against the law to be hired for a role that includes regulated activity with the concerned group and are essentially there for safeguarding reasons. 

What Does it Mean to be on the Barred List?

Anyone on the Adult and/or Children's Barred List, would be breaking the law if they applied for roles that included regulated activity with the group they are banned from working with.

As for an employer, if they knowingly employ someone who is barred to engage in regulated activity with, they are breaking the law.

DBS Barred List

How Does Someone Get On The Barred List?

Being added to a Barred List isn't a measure that is done lightly, as it has a monumental impact on the career of an individual.

There are three ways the DBS can decide to put someone on a Barred List:

Discretionary Process

A case can be referred to the DBS by any member of the public, however, the most common come from:

  • Employers.
  • Local Authorities.
  • Education Boards.
  • Regulated Activity Providers.
  • Health and Social Care Trusts.

If an employee has been dismissed due to harming/ risking the safety of a child/vulnerable adult, it is the legal duty of the employer to notify the DBS as well as any relevant authorities.

Upon Enhanced DBS Checks/Getting Relevant Information from the Update Service

When a person applies for work including Regulated Activity and undergoes the Enhanced DBS Check, the Disclosure and Barring Service will consider including them on the Barred List if they have been cautioned or convicted.

For the last two methods, the individual being placed on the list will be able to make a representation to why you should not be placed on the Barred List.

Auto-bar Process

Automatic Barring (auto-bar) occurs when someone has been cautioned/convicted for a 'relevant offence', or has been issued with a Risk of Sexual Harm Order.

There are two types of Automatic Barring:

  • Automatic Barring Offences - This is the most serious of cases, and the individual cannot make a representation on why they shouldn't be on the list. If they're put on, that's it - no arguments!
  • Automatic Inclusion Offences - When cautioned or convicted for this, the individual can make a representation before being included on the list.
Barred List

Barred List Offences

The list of barring offences is somewhat extensive and can vary slightly from country to country within the UK. Below, we have included a selection of offences that can lead to being added to the Children's Barred List, or Adult Barred List, which gives a clear idea of the severity of the offence that must be undertaken to be included.

  • Rape
  • Murder.
  • Sexual Assault.
  • Ill-treatment of patients.
  • Cruelty to persons under 16.
  • Sexual intercourse with someone under 16.
  • Possession or distribution of indecent images of children.
  • Causing a child/vulnerable adult to die, or suffer serious physical harm.

You can download the full, official list from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) by clicking here.

How Long Is Someone On The Barred List For?

When someone is added to the Barred List, it is expected that they will remain there for life - however, this doesn't mean they can't ask the Disclosure and Barring Service to reconsider the decision.

Under 18: You can request reconsideration after 1 year.

18 to 24: If someone has been added to the list between this age, they can ask for reconsideration after 5 years.

Over 24: If added when over the age of 24, the individual can only ask for reconsideration after 10 years.

Of course, asking doesn't mean you'll be removed from the list - it just means the DBS will reconsider whether you should remain on the list.


Jobs That Require An Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Information

A Barred List check can only be requested alongside an Enhanced DBS Check and is only for those working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Some examples of jobs that require a Barred List Check include:

  • Personal Carers.
  • Teachers.
  • Taxi Drivers.
  • Personal Drivers.

A Barred List check can only be requested when the candidate legally meets the requirements of needing the check for their role. If they do not legally need a Barred List check, it cannot be requested.

roles for a barred list check

DBS Adult First Check

In some situations, there may be circumstances when someone needs to get their employee into work with vulnerable adults as quickly as possible, whilst waiting for the full DBS to be returned.

If this is the case, at Aaron's Department we offer Adult First Checks. These can be requested when filling out an Enhanced DBS Check with the Adult's Barred List and allow the employer to find out, (usually within 48 hours), whether the candidate can begin working with vulnerable adults whilst supervised.

The Adult First Check is particularly useful when you need to cover staff shortages, for example in a care home, where the applicant would be engaging in regulated activity with vulnerable adults, but wouldn't be left unsupervised.

How Does The Barred List Protect Vulnerable People?

The Barred Lists mean that anyone who is deemed to be a risk to those in vulnerable situations, will not be allowed to engage in regulated activity with them.

As mentioned earlier, being added to the Barred List is not done lightly, and to be on it means a serious offence has been committed.

Barred List Checks With Aaron's Department

You can begin your stress-free Enhanced DBS with Barred List Check with Aaron's Department today!

As a registered DBS Umbrella Body, we will process your DBS questions the same day as receiving them (before 4 pm) to ensure the fast possible turnaround to get your employees into work faster. On top of this, we offer an error-proof online system, backed up by our team of specialists, all at an unbelievably low price!

Why pay more when you can get a faster, more reliable service for less?

And if you have any questions about your Barred List checks with Aaron's Department, feel free to drop us an email at, or give one of our friendly experts a ring on +44 113 877 0171, and we'll be happy to help!