Two women in light office at laptop discussing DBS checks

Changes to rules for DBS checks

Published : 27/11/20 | Categories: Information & support |

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have announced changes to the ‘filtering rules’ for DBS checks.

From Saturday 28 November 2020, the DBS will change the filtering rules that determine which past offences appear on a DBS certificate. For jobs and voluntary roles that involve a standard or enhanced criminal record check issued by the DBS, childhood cautions will no longer be disclosed.

A rule meaning someone with more than one conviction had all their convictions disclosed, regardless of offence or length of time, has also been abolished.


Changes to the filtering rules mean that any warnings, cautions or reprimands received before a person turned 18 years old, will not appear (once the person is over 18).

The list of serious offences (‘specified offences’) which will never be filtered, is unchanged.

This means that:

  • all cautions received after the age of 18 years will be filtered after six years
  • all convictions determined for persons under 18 years of age will be filtered after five and a half years
  • all convictions determined for persons over 18 years of age will be filtered after 11 years
  • convictions resulting in prison or a suspended sentence will never be filtered

It is recommended that information provided to applicants for DBS checks should be amended accordingly.


The information above was taken from the following sources.


Changes to filtering rules November 2020: What you need to know – Unlock charity


New filtering rules – GOV.UK (

New filtering rules for DBS certificates (from 28 November 2020 onwards) – GOV.UK (

List of offences that will never be filtered from a DBS certificate – GOV.UK (


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