DBS - key moments and milestones of 2023

The Disclosure and Barring Service reflects upon some significant achievements in 2023

As the year draws to a close, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is reflecting upon some of its key moments and milestones from 2023.  

This year, DBS launched its refreshed 2025 strategy, recognising that the organisation had developed and was in a different position than in 2020 (when its original 5-year strategy was launched). 

With over 90% of the deliverables on track, the refreshed strategy is focused upon supporting teams across DBS to keep ahead of the latest technological advances and ensure the organisation continues to meet targets. The renewed DBS business plan outlines a strategic approach to maintaining and enhancing the quality of service provided to all customers and partners.  

Meanwhile, in 2023, DBS’ Customer Services team made headlines for its commitment to excellence. Head of Customer Services, Brian McGuinness, was awarded the bronze medal for ‘Leader of the Year’ and was also nominated for ‘Changemaker Award’ at the Institute of Customer Services Awards. 

The DBS Customer Services team’s commitment to providing the best possible experience for customers has been evidenced by 99.98% of complaints received being resolved within 6 days – exceeding DBS delivery targets and ensuring customer service remains a priority across the organisation. 

Further award wins for DBS in 2023 included the DBS Sensitive Application team taking home the ‘Inclusivity Award’ at the Operational Delivery Profession (ODP) national awards (over 650 award entries were received before a shortlist was whittled down to just 10). The Sensitive Application team deliver a service for transgender applicants, ensuring a sensitive approach to the customer journey. 

By late November 2023, DBS’ Regional Outreach team, who provide localised support to organisations and networks to offer safeguarding support and guidance, had delivered 539 workshops to over 10,743 attendees.   

The national ‘DBS: Making Recruitment and Employment Safer’ conference was also a highlight in the team’s event calendar. Held virtually in March, the event garnered 1,479 registrations with 815 delegates tuning in to at least one session during the day. With a range of high-profile guest speakers in attendance, the conference supported members of the safeguarding community with the latest thinking and best practice in supporting vulnerable groups, including children.  

Helping employers make safer recruitment decisions remains at the core of DBS strategic plans. This year, in the region of 15,000 barring cases were received, with 14,845 barring cases closed. 5,456 barring cases were added to one or both Barred Lists. As of 30th November, the barring list figures total at 66,542 individuals on the Adults’ Barred List, and 85,629 individuals on the Children’s Barred List. This takes the volume of individuals on one or both Barred Lists to 97,244. The volume of cases covered this year demonstrates the breadth of work undertaken by the Barring service to ensure employers can be confident in their recruitment. 

DBS looks forward to continuing to make recruitment and employment safer in 2024.

Disclosure and Barring Service