Complaints procedure

As part of our commitment at DBS to provide a high standard of customer service, we welcome comments and suggestions as to how we can continuously improve.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) aims to provide a high quality and consistent service, however we recognise there will be occasions when customers are not satisfied with the service provided.

How to make a complaint

Making a complaint to DBS

If you are unhappy with a DBS service, please contact Customer Services either by email, telephone, or letter. To help us investigate your complaint please complete the DBS Complaint Form (ODT, 11.4 KB) ensuring section A and B are completed and include:

  • full details of what has caused you to make a complaint
  • how you would like us to resolve your complaint
  • your full name, address, and postcode
  • your customer reference number, if available
  • your phone and email contact details

To submit your complaint via email please attach the DBS Complaint Form and send to:

To submit your complaint by post please print the DBS Complaint Form and send to:

DBS Customer Services
PO Box 165
L69 3JD

If you email, we cannot guarantee the security of information until it is in our possession, and we will not take responsibility for such information until we receive it.

Complaints about the DBS Welsh language service

If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh service you have received, you should make a complaint to DBS following the above stages in the first instance.

If you remain dissatisfied following the final stage 2 senior officer review response, you can then take your complaint to the Welsh Language Commissioner and they will investigate on your behalf.

Disputes and appeals

There is a different process for raising a dispute, or making an appeal. More information can be found in our appeals and disputes guidance.

Complaints charter

DBS aims to apply the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) principles of good administration. These outline the PHSO’s approach to good customer service and how to help customers when things go wrong.

If you have an enquiry or would like to discuss a complaint, we may be able to resolve the matter swiftly and informally. Please call us on 03000 200 190.*

*Please note that all calls to this number are recorded for training and security purposes.

Complaint Policy

More information about the DBS complaint procedure can be found in our Complaint Policy (PDF, 185 KB, 12 pages). The policy outlines:

  • when you can expect a response to your complaint
  • what to do if you’re not satisfied with the response
  • our internal escalation review process
  • how to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you remain dissatisfied

DBS aims to provide a complaint procedure that is simple, clear, and involves as few steps as possible. We have therefore decided to withdraw the Independent Complaint Reviewer Stage with effect from 21 August 2019.

Unreasonable Behaviour Policy

DBS also has an Unreasonable Behaviour Policy (PDF, 93.7 KB, 5 pages) which details what DBS deems as unreasonable, and what this means in practice.