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Criminal Records Office



Changes to the DBS filtering process do not affect ACRO services

May 2013




From 29th May 2013, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly the CRB) will filter some old and minor offences from their criminal record certificates.


The filtering rules, together with the list of offences that will never be filtered, are available from the DBS website.


These rules only apply to those seeking employment in the UK, and DO NOT apply to Police Certificates, International Child Protection Certificates or Subject Access reports. Please see the questions and answers below for further information.


For further information relating to changes to DBS filtering, please contact the DBS directly. If you have a query relating to the services provided by ACRO, please contact ACRO Customer Services.



Questions and Answers:


Why do these changes NOT affect Police Certificates / ICPC / Subject Access? 

Police Certificates and the ICPC are produced as a condition of the application process required by foreign governments, overseas authorities and other overseas organisations.


A Subject Access disclosure is for the applicant to ascertain what information is held about them by the police in England and Wales only. It is not designed to be used for any other purpose.


The DBS position has been decided following a court case and has not been legislated by Parliament. The case only relates to vetting for employment within the UK.



Why will my record not be filtered for employment purposes overseas? 

The Police Certificate and Subject Access disclosure are not for employment vetting use either within the UK or overseas and hence the DBS filtering model does not apply.


The ICPC is for the protection of children and young persons. The information included on this certificate is to help prevent those that are not suitable to work unsupervised with children from doing so abroad.



Why are these changes not being applied to ACRO services? 

As above, the certificates produced by ACRO are not for UK employment purposes and the content is a requirement of the relevant foreign government, authority or organisation in order for them to assess the suitability of the applicant. If this level of information is not provided, those bodies may refuse to issue a visa or other permission that the applicant requires.



Does this mean ACRO breaks the law by revealing all cautions and convictions? 

No. The DBS position has been decided following a court case and has not been legislated by Parliament.


ACRO continually monitors developments with regard to the disclosure of personal information held by law enforcement bodies within the UK and works closely with the Home Office and Information Commissioner.


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