Suppose someone was arrested last year following harassment allegations made by their former partner, but was not charged.
Would this be revealed on a DBS check if they were to apply for a teaching assistant role working with children?
Law Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for legal professionals, students, and others with experience or interest in law. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Those seeking to work with children should1 have an Enhanced with Barred Lists DBS check which will show (in addition to any unspent convictions, conditional cautions, reprimands, final warnings, and whether they are barred from working with children) any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role.
Whether the police consider an arrest that did not progress to a charge being made to be relevant or not is fact-dependant based on (for example) the nature of the allegation, any evidence or information supporting or negating it, what a suspect said in interview and any other information available to them.
1One can check the actual level of check required here
This information might be included in an "Enhanced DBS" check, which is almost always required for roles working with children. Such roles also require checking the "barred list" of people who are forbidden from doing that kind of work. It would not be included at lower levels of DBS checking, Basic and Standard, which only report on cautions and convictions.
The difference with Enhanced is that it may include other information held by police which they believe to be relevant to the request. That covers past arrests, even if they did not lead to a charge, and even if the investigation is closed. Whether the arrest in question would be included is up to the police force who hold the information.
The DBS results would go to the individual concerned and they have the chance to object if they don't think the extra information is relevant. (Or on various other grounds.) For your convenience, the relevant form is available online. Disputes of this kind are referred to the "Independent Monitor", an official in the Home Office who will seek a view from the police force who provided the information, and ultimately decide whether or not to issue a new DBS certificate without the information. (The statute governing this process is section 117A of the Police Act 1997.)