My right to work with children and vulnerable adults

Explains what a DBS check is and what you can do if you are unhappy with the information held about you by the police. Applies to England and Wales.


If you want to get a job which involves working with children or vulnerable adults, you may be asked to get a DBS check.

Quick facts

  • A DBS check is a check of your criminal record which is used by an employer to decide whether you are a suitable person to work with children or vulnerable adults.
  • A standard DBS check won’t include information about your mental health problem, but an enhanced DBS check could include details of any non-conviction information held about you on local police records which the police consider relevant.
  • If you are not happy about the information disclosed on your DBS certificate, you can ask the Disclosure and Barring Service to carry out a review.

Please note

  • This guide only covers DBS checks from the point of view of a person with a mental health problem.
  • This is not a guide to the jobs that require a DBS check.
  • This guide applies to England and Wales.
  • This guide contains general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your individual situation and needs. See Useful contacts for more information.
  • The legal information in this guide does not apply to children unless specifically stated.

This information was published in February 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

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