We have provided
a series of frequently asked questions together with answers that may help you
to understand the process more. If you are unable to find a question or answer
that you have please email us your question on email@example.com.
exactly is Atlantic Data Ltd. and how does it operate?
Atlantic Data Ltd. is a registered Umbrella Body with the both the Disclosure and Barring Service and the Disclosure Scotland, which enables us to offer disclosure
services to its clients. This means Atlantic Data Ltd. is able to obtain Basic,
Standard and Enhanced Disclosures for organisations seeking to carry out out
checks on personnel. To use our services all organisations must enter into agreement
to ensure the Disclosure Code of Practice is upheld to protect individuals applying
In addition Atlantic Data Ltd. offers a comprehensive range of services to employers
and employees please see "our Services" section in the information
is an umbrella body?
Are organisations which are Registered Bodies with the DBS but which act as
intermediaries for other organisations who wish to use the disclosure service
but are not registered themselves. The function of an umbrella body is therefore,
to countersign applications on behalf of organisations which have chosen not
to register in their own right.
criteria must an umbrella body fulfil?
For an umbrella body to agree to countersign a disclosure on behalf of another
organisation, the umbrella body must assure themselves that the organisation,
for which the applicant has had to apply for a disclosure, is depending upon
the type of Disclosure check entitled to ask an exempted question under the
rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order 1975. Umbrella Bodies are also
responsible for ensuring that all parties with whom they share the disclosure
information act in accordance with the Code of Practice.
can I register to use this service?
To register for the service please contact us. You can find our contact information
by selecting the "Contact" link in the information area.
are the costs?
We provide a range of services for organisations that wish to submit Disclosure
applications. Our pricing structure works on a fixed pricing structure. However
different organisations require different services in a way that best fits with
their organisations structure. With this in mind we believe it is best for you
to contact us to discuss our services and to find out which services are best
Disclosures - The Fundamentals...
What is Disclosure?
This is the process by which individuals can make an application to find out
if they have a police record, whether this is a conviction, final warning, reprimand
or a caution. In the case of Standard and Enhanced checks, the applicant is
also checked against the Department of Health list of those unsuitable to work
with children and the list held by the Department for Skills and Education of
those who are deemed unsuitable to work in the teaching profession. The results
of the Disclosure checks are provided in a certificate which can be used in
conjunction with an application for employment.
is disclosure important?
It is a way to help protect the vulnerable in our society by providing a system
whereby those deemed unsuitable to work with, or be in a position of responsibility
and trust over, either children or adults, are identified. In this
way disclosure helps organisations to make more thorough recruitment decisions.
does the Disclosure process work?
In order for an individual or organisation to make a disclosure application
they must either register with the DBS to become a registered body in their
own right. This means nominating a lead counter signatory for your organisation
who, will have to undergo an enhanced disclosure check themselves. There is
however a registration fee of £300. Alternatively an individual or organisation
may prefer to undertake the services of an Umbrella Body like Atlantic Data
Ltd. who will act as an intermediary and countersign the application on the
organisation or individual's behalf. Once either of these two routes has been
adopted the applicant must fill out a form which will be checked by the registered
body and then sent to the DBS for processing where the police record check and
the DH and DfES checks will be done. Finally a disclosure certificate will be
sent simultaneously to the applicant and the lead counter signatory of the registered
needs to apply for a Disclosure check?
Anyone who is working with children or adults whether in a paid or
unpaid capacity will need to have either a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure check.
In addition, if an individual is likely to come into contact with vulnerable
people either through the course of their work or for a specific purpose, then
it is likely that your organisation will need to ensure a disclosure check is
carried out. This includes Trustees of Children's Charities and individuals
who sit on the management committees of projects that work with children. A
Disclosure may only be requested for those applicants for whom you are offering
are a Voluntary organisation our volunteers are not employed, do we need to
carry out Disclosure Checks?
In the same way as non-voluntary organisations, voluntary organisations whether
large or small, carry the same responsibility for using safe selection procedures.
Whilst this may put some people off, the safety and well-being of children and
adults must come first. Hence, in all organisations which place people
in a position of trust over children or adults these checks must
be carried out.
types of Disclosures exist?
There are three
types of Disclosure:
All employers and volunteering organisations are entitled to ask prospective
employees/volunteers to obtain a Basic Disclosure. This Disclosure is available
to all members of the public. Basic Disclosure will show all convictions held
on the Police National Computer (PNC) which are not 'spent' as defined under
the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.
Disclosure: These are primarily for positions that involve working
with children or regular contact with adults, and excepted professions,
offices and employments referred to in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
(Exceptions) Order 1975. Standard Disclosures contain details of all convictions
on record (including 'spent') plus details of any cautions, reprimands or final
warnings. For positions involving 'working with children' Standard Disclosures
also give information contained on a government department lists (currently
held by the DfES and DH) of people considered unsuitable to work with children.
Disclosures: These are for posts involving greater contact with children
or adults such as a social worker or doctor. Such work might involve
regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of such
people. They will also be issued for other positions, such as those seeking
judicial appointments and certain statutory licensing purposes .In addition
to the checks carried out for a Standard Disclosure, all Enhanced Disclosures
involve an extra level of checking with local police force records. This information
can be contained on the both copies of the Disclosure. However, it is up to
the Chief Constable of the police force to decide what, if any, information
is disclosed. The DBS gives as an example; information contained on details
of a child protection case conference. Chief Constables can decide that some
information is relevant to the position but do not wish the prospective employee
to see this information. The DBS also gives as an example; details of suspected
criminal activity where an arrest has not taken place but is anticipated. In
such instances, it will be indicated on the top of the Disclosure that further
information is being sent by the police, which will be sent separately to the
employer / volunteering organisation.
long does it take to get a disclosure?
The length of time it takes for a disclosure to reach the applicant greatly
depends on the accuracy and completeness of the applicant's application form
i.e. all personal information correctly presented and the sufficient number
of identity documents provided. From the time that the DBS receives such an
application form, the DBS states that they issue 90% of standard and enhanced
disclosure results within two and four weeks repectively.
will the disclosure be sent to?
Only one copy is issued with for a Basic Disclosure. For Standard and Enhanced
Disclosure checks, two copies will be issued, one for the applicant and the
a registered body copy.
how long is a disclosure valid?
Disclosure certificates have no validity period. This is to say the information
provided on the certificate is correct up until the date it was printed but
obviously it can not make apparent any new information that may arise on the
individual after this date. Hence a disclosure certificate is more useful the
sooner it is used by the applicant for the potential job/voluntary position.
Part V of the Police Act 1997 does not make checks compulsory. However, other
legislation, such as the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the
Child Protection Act 1999, does make some checks compulsory and strongly recommends
checks for other positions. Under these acts, it is a criminal offence for people
with certain convictions to apply for and work with children and adults. It is also an offence to knowingly offer work to such an individual.
In defining "Working with Children" the legislation makes no distinction
between paid or unpaid work. There are also other types of occupations and employment
for which a check can be carried out and are contained within the Exceptions
Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975 but are not compulsory. In
these professions, as Disclosures are not compulsory, any employee is within
their rights to refuse to provide one. When the law does not require a Disclosure
but an employer would like all applicants to undergo one, the employer must,
make it clear from the outset that a satisfactory Disclosure is a condition
of employment. The employer must include a statement to that effect within the
application form, which the prospective employee must sign, indicating their
willingness to provide a Disclosure. If the prospective employee then refuses
to provide one, the employer should be within their rights not to proceed with
an application. Furthermore, when the law requires a Disclosure and a prospective
employee refuses to apply for one, then the employer would be within their rights
not to take the job application any further. Existing employees cannot be forced
to apply for a Disclosure. Retrospective checks may only be carried out on existing
members of staff if the employee's contract or conditions of employment state
that a police check can or may be carried out, or the employee has given written
accessing the Disclosure and Barring Service's...
How can I/my organisation gain access to the service?
The individual seeking work applies for all applications. However, if a Standard
or Enhanced Disclosure is being requested, then they will have to go through
a Registered Body or Registered Umbrella Body. Atlantic Data Ltd. is a Registered
Umbrella Body (see about Atlantic Data Ltd.). All organisations who wish to
access the service, whether by registering their own organisation or by using
a umbrella organisation like Atlantic Data Ltd., must sign up to the Disclosure and Barring Service's Code of Practice and Explanatory Guide for Registered Persons
and other recipients of Disclosure Information (Code of Practice). This places
stringent rules on the storage and handling of the information and the treatment
of applicants. Registration costs £300, plus an extra £5 for each
additional Counter signatory. Further information on the registration process
can be obtained from the DBS. Disclosure and Barring Service, PO Box 110, Liverpool.
L69 3EF Information line: 0870 90 90 811 Registration application line: 0870
90 90 822
my organisation register with the DBS?
There are many factors that you will need to consider when determining whether
it is in your best interests to register, or to use an Umbrella Body like Atlantic
Data Ltd. The DBS must also decide on the fitness and appropriateness for your
organisation as not all organisations cannot be registered. The size and structure
of your organisation will be a factor. Some organisations will have personnel
departments or senior managers who can handle the extra work, others may feel
that it is not appropriate to handle such sensitive information and that they
would prefer to access the information indirectly.
We recommend that
you consider the following points:
Does your staff
turnover justify registration, or would it be more economical to use an Umbrella
Body? The cost of registration may be prohibitive since some organisations feel
that the cost of registration does not justify the number of disclosures they
wish to apply for.
Does your organisation have the administrative capacity to process Disclosures?
Consider the responsibilities involved in being a signatory: Do you have anyone
suitable and willing of to act as a signatory?
Can you comply
fully with the Code of Practice? In particular, can you meet the storage and
security requirements and ensure that confidentiality is maintained?
Do you have the
knowledge to assess the information contained within the Disclosure?
Do you need to know the detail? You need to know that the law does not prohibit
your staff's employment and that their criminal history (if they have one) does
not contravene your policy on recruiting ex-offenders. However, there are issues
surrounding confidentiality, discrimination and staff working relations, which
can be avoided by not seeing the detail.
Whether you decide to register or to use an Umbrella Body, Atlantic Data Ltd.
offers a range of Disclosure Services to prepare your organisation for Disclosures.
making use of disclosure information...
ensure the safety of my clients?
Disclosures bring to your attention individuals who, at the time when the Disclosure
was produced have, either a criminal record, or in the case of Standard and
Enhanced checks have been placed on the DfES or DH lists. They should be used
along with an employer's other recruitment aids and be viewed in a similar light
to references, in that they evidence past behaviour. Strong, effective policies
/ procedures and vigilance remain the key to ensuring the safety of your clients.
No. Firstly, remember Disclosure can only tell you about spent or current convictions,
or information that has formerly come to the notice of the police. Secondly,
remember that the accuracy of the check depends on the personal details, which
you provide - you must make sure that applicants are who they claim to be.
If a disclosure
reveals an individual to a have a previous conviction, then surely they are
not suitable for work?
This is not true. You need to use the Disclosure result information in conjunction
with the information you have collected through your selection process. Depending
on the position or role you are seeking to fill, a previous conviction may not
necessarily bar a person from working with children or adults. And
equally it may be illegal to deny someone employment purely on the grounds that
they have a criminal record.
the impact of Disclosures...
impact on my working practices, policies and procedures?
Disclosures will have an impact on many policies and your whole recruitment
process. New policies and procedures will need to be drafted, existing ones
amended. Contracts of Employment may need to be amended, which may require consultation/negotiation
with existing staff. Recruitment Application Packs will need reviewing and updating.
Compliance with the Code of Practice, in particular the storage and handling
requirements, may require an office reorganisation.
do they cost, and who pays for them?
The DBS’s charges are reviewed annual contact us for current prices. Disclosures
are free for volunteers provided they conform to the DBS definition of Volunteer
The fee is payable
by the applicant, although the employer may wish to reimburse the applicant
in certain circumstances. The administration cost of processing the Disclosure
application is met by the employer, either in their own staff time if they are
a Registered Body, or through the fees charged, if they use a Registered Umbrella