Independent Review of the Disclosure and Barring Regime

As part of the government’s strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, the Home Office commissioned Simon Bailey to carry out a review of the effectiveness of the disclosure and barring regime in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. 

Mr Bailey, a former Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary, is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection and abuse investigation.

He concluded that the disclosure and barring regime is delivering its mission of helping employers and organisations to make safer employment decisions but he identified several areas where the regime could be strengthened.

He made 9 recommendations (see below) which the government will now consider:

Read the Report (53 pages): Report and recommendations of the independent review carried out by Simon Bailey CBE, QPM. Published 18 April 2023 


Recommendation 1 The definition of regulated activity relating to children be amended to remove the exemption for supervised activity.

Recommendation 2 Consideration be given to amending the definition of regulated activity with the aim of making it more easily understood by those who must apply it.

Recommendation 3 The legislation governing enhanced checks with barred lists checks is amended so that aid workers, who are nationals or residents here, whose contracts of employment are made here and whose work would bring them into contact with aid beneficiaries overseas are eligible.

Recommendation 4 Self-employed persons seeking to work with children or vulnerable adults are rendered eligible to apply for an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list check.

Recommendation 5 An enhanced criminal record check is made mandatory for all councillors in Unitary and Single Tier Authorities who are being considered for appointment to any committee involved in decisions on the provisions of children’s services or services for vulnerable adults. I accept that this would require legislation and therefore some inevitable delay, so I further recommend that these authorities are encouraged to adopt this procedure as best practice pending legislation. The Independent Review of the Disclosure and Barring Regime 7

Recommendation 6 Enhanced DBS checks together with barred lists checks are made mandatory for applicants for the grant or renewal of a door supervisor’s licence.

Recommendation 7 Enhanced DBS checks together with children’s barred list checks are made mandatory for applicants for the grant or renewal of a close protection licence.

Recommendation 8 The Home Office and the DBS continue the work of assessing what, if any, further steps can be taken to mitigate the risk of individuals circumventing the DBS identification validation process, including the consideration of mandating the provision of a birth certificate as one of the documents establishing identity.

Recommendation 9 The DBS carries out the work necessary to establish the feasibility and cost of redesigning the Update service to enable employers, who have been given permission to carry out status checks, to receive notification of any change to the status of the certificate

Read the news item: Independent Review of the Disclosure and Barring Regime