Challenging Mistakes on a DBS Certificate

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate plays a crucial role in many aspects of our lives, from employment opportunities to volunteering positions. It provides valuable information about an individual’s criminal record history, safeguarding vulnerable groups and promoting safety in various settings. However, like any human process, errors can occur, and it’s important to know how to challenge mistakes on a DBS certificate. In this article, we will guide you through the steps you can take to rectify inaccuracies and ensure a fair representation of your background.

Understand the Certificate Content

First and foremost, familiarise yourself with the content of the DBS certificate. It includes details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands. Pay close attention to the accuracy of the information provided, ensuring it aligns with your criminal record history.

Gather Supporting Documentation

If you believe there is an error on your DBS certificate, gather any relevant supporting documentation that can help substantiate your claim. This can include court documents, police reports, or any other evidence that contradicts the information presented on the certificate.

Contact the DSB

Reach out to the DBS directly to express your concerns and initiate the process of challenging the mistakes. Provide a clear and concise explanation of the inaccuracies and attach any supporting documentation you have gathered. The DBS has a dedicated customer services team that can guide you through the process and provide further assistance.

Apply for a DBS Certificate Review

In certain situations, you may be eligible to apply for a DBS Certificate Review. This is applicable if you believe the information on the certificate is inaccurate, or you have received an ineligible disclosure. The Review process allows for an independent assessment of the accuracy and relevance of the disclosed information.

Request a Local Police Check

If you suspect that the mistake lies in the police records used for your DBS certificate, you can request a local police check. Contact your local police force and inquire about their procedures for obtaining a copy of your criminal record history directly from them. This can help provide a clearer picture and assist in identifying any discrepancies.

Seek Legal Advice

If your attempts to resolve the issue directly with the DBS prove unsuccessful, or if you require further guidance, consider seeking legal advice. A qualified legal professional specialising in criminal law or employment law can assess your case, provide expert advice, and represent your interests throughout the process.

Keep Records of Communication

Throughout the entire process of challenging mistakes on a DBS certificate, it’s crucial to maintain meticulous records of all your communication. Keep copies of emails, letters, or any other forms of correspondence exchanged with the DBS, the police, or legal representatives. This documentation can be invaluable if your case escalates or requires further review.


Remember, rectifying mistakes on a DBS certificate can take time and patience. It’s essential to approach the process with a calm and diligent mindset. By following these steps and seeking the appropriate assistance, you can strive for accuracy and fairness in your DBS certificate, ensuring a reliable representation of your criminal record history.