The DBS Dispute Process

The famous phrase “to err is human” acknowledges that we all make mistakes. Businesses and organisations can design procedures to keep mistakes to a minimum, but human error can never be totally eliminated. Sometimes mistakes can have serious consequences. This is certainly the case when you apply for your DBS check. If your certificate is returned showing crimes which you know you haven’t committed, don’t panic. There is a DBS Dispute system in place. This system is there to clear up any confusion over your record.

Why Is A DBS Dispute Service Even Needed?

As we said above, nobody’s perfect. A wrong click of a mouse, and a crime committed by someone with the same name as you, or the same date of birth could get accidentally added to your record. Or one of your dodgy mates decides to give your name, date of birth and address when arrested for fighting or graffiti. It happens. It’s not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination but can be dealt with.

Complete the Dispute Form

Normally, the applicant raises the Dispute with the DBS. However, an employer, licencing authority or countersignatory can do it too. Fill in the form, and state whether the error concerns your personal details, or your criminal record. Sign the form, so that it can be checked against the signature you provided when applying. If you are disputing your criminal record, complete the space asking for details of dispute. Don’t write an essay; just state clearly and concisely what you are disputing and why. If you are disputing your criminal record, you will also need to complete additional paperwork. Fill in the form to consent to having your fingerprints taken, and send a photo.

Why Do They Need my Fingerprints?

Anyone who is charged or cautioned in the UK has their finger prints and photograph taken as a matter of course in the police station. Comparing the fingerprints you provide as part of the dispute against the prints held on record should give the a clear answer to whether it was you or not. You’ll have to go to your local police station to give your prints for comparison. Make an appointment with them – don’t just turn up at the front desk.

This is where the photograph comes in. The police officer taking your prints will make sure that you match the photo you have submitted previously. You probably won’t get an instant answer. The police will search their files, and feed their findings back to the DBS, along with a new certificate. You have the right to refuse to have your fingerprints taken, but remember that this might be the only way of resolving the dispute.

Cost for resolving disputes

There is no extra charge for putting through a dispute on your DBS certificate. However, you can’t claim back for the cost of having photographs taken, or time off work to go to the police station to have your fingerprints taken. If you have a particularly understanding employer, they might cover these costs for you.