AccessNI criminal records checks

Work involving children and adults - your obligations


For positions which involve working in regulated activity with children or adults, the Enhanced criminal records check includes a check of the names of persons held on the two Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) barred lists and the equivalent lists in Scotland.

The DBS manages these 'barred lists'; one list holds information on individuals who are unsuitable for working with children, the other on those who are unsuitable for working with vulnerable adults. Individuals placed on either list are not allowed to work with the relevant group. An individual can be on both lists.

Employer responsibilities

You must not employ someone, or use a volunteer, in regulated activity who is on one of the barred lists.

Employing somebody who is on a barred list

A person who is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults will commit a criminal offence if they work or volunteer, or try to work or volunteer, with those groups.

An organisation that knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with those groups will also be breaking the law.

Where AccessNI is aware that a person has applied to work in regulated activity who is on a barred list or they are working for an employer in regulated activity, it will pass this information to Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for further investigation.

Referring information on individuals to the DBS

You must refer information to the DBS about an employee you have dismissed because they harmed or - had you not dismissed them - might have harmed a child or vulnerable adult.

You must still make a DBS referral even if the employee resigns before you have the chance to formally dismiss them.

If you fail to make such a referral to the DBS, you are committing a criminal offence.

DBS barring referral form.