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Important Changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service (Formally CRB process)



This notice sets out important information that is relevant to all existing and new drivers and operators.
Transport for London (TfL) has been informed that with effect from 17 June 2013 the Disclosure and Barring Service (formed by the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority) is introducing some important changes to the service it provides.
These changes will have a significant impact on all new and renewal applicants for taxi and private hire driver’s licences.
Applicant-only certificates
We have been advised that with effect from 17 June 2013 the DBS will only issue disclosure certificates to applicants and will no longer send a copy of this certificate to TfL. This differs from the current system where both the applicant and TfL receive a copy of the disclosure around the same time.
The only information that will be provided to TfL directly will be to advise whether or not the disclosure sent to the applicant contained any information or was clear. In the event that we are advised that the disclosure contained information, we will not be provided with details of what this information is.
Therefore, if information has been disclosed to the applicant, we will not be able to make a licensing decision on a new or renewal application until such time as the disclosure has been provided to TfL directly by the applicant. If we are advised that information has been disclosed to the applicant we will write to them directly and ask him or her to send us their original certificate. We will take a copy of this certificate and return it to the driver. As is usual practice and in accordance with DBS requirements, we will destroy our copy once a licensing decision has been made.
As we will not be able to make a licensing decision until we have received the certificate and been able to consider the information disclosed, drivers must respond to our request as a matter of urgency.
If no information is disclosed on the certificate, drivers will not have to take any further action

Update Service

The applicant-only certificate system will be launched at the same time as the new DBS Update Service. From 17 June 2013, anyone who applies for their next criminal record check can choose to subscribe to the new Update Service. This will cost £13 per year in addition to the original disclosure application fee. The Update Service will allow them to keep their criminal record certificate up-to-date so that they can take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce.
The Update Service will allow us to carry out free, instant online checks of an individual’s certificate, to check that it is up-to-date. When someone is subscribing to this service, we will only have to seek a new criminal record check if the DBS tells us something has changed.
Any driver who subscribes to the Update Service will need to provide us with details on their licence application form and confirm that they consent to us carrying out the online check.
We are in the process of developing a system to accommodate drivers who choose to use the Update Service and we will announce further details in due course.
Please note these changes are being made by the DBS and not by TfL. It is one of the government’s priorities to overhaul the criminal records regime to give individuals greater control of their own information, allow DBS Certificates to be reused when applying for similar jobs and reduce the burden of red tape on employers. Please see April’s edition of DBS news for further information or contact the DBS at, 0870 9090811.


Helen Chapman

Interim General Manager, Taxi and Private Hire

6 June 2013

For previous TPH Notices visit


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