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DBS checks and your mental health

Explains what a DBS check is, and what you can do if you are unhappy with the information the police hold about you. This includes information about your mental health.

What if the information in my DBS check is wrong or irrelevant?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will send you a certificate with the results of your check. This gives you a chance to review and challenge any of the information in the certificate. You can ask the DBS to review your certificate if:

  • The information in the certificate is wrong, for example if it includes information which is inaccurate or about another person
  • You feel that information in the certificate is not relevant to the job you have applied for

If you want to challenge something in your DBS certificate, you need to complete a DBS certificate dispute form and send it the DBS. You can do this via email or in the post. Visit the UK government website to download the certificate dispute form and find guidance to help you complete the form. 

You must complete and send your dispute form to the DBS within 3 months of the date on your DBS certificate. The DBS will then pass the dispute to the relevant police force to reconsider.

See our useful contacts page for details of how to contact the DBS, if you have any questions about this process.

What happens after asking for a DBS review?

A few different things can happen if you ask the DBS to review your certificate:

  • If the police decide to remove or change the information which they disclosed, the DBS will send you a replacement certificate.
  • If the police decide not to remove or change the information which they disclosed, the DBS will refer your dispute to the Independent Monitor to investigate.
  • If the Independent Monitor agrees with you, they will ask the DBS to issue a revised DBS certificate with the irrelevant information removed.
  • If the Independent Monitor does not agree with you, you may be able to take the police to court. But you would need to seek advice from a public law solicitor about this. The Law Society has a directory of solicitors that you can search to find legal support. 

This information was published in December 2022. We will revise it in 2025.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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