DBS and Gender Identity

This section provides some guidance for trans people who have been required to have a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

What Is A DBS Check?

If you apply for certain jobs such as teaching, care work and other positions (including voluntary work) where you may work with children or vulnerable adults, your prospective employer is required to check your police record through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Two types of check are available, a Standard Disclosure and an Enhanced Disclosure. A Standard Disclosure will reveal spent convictions, unspent convictions, cautions and warnings and an Enhanced Disclosure will reveal any other relevant information held locally by the police, such as a police warning.

DBS checks and gender identity

You may be asked to complete a DBS form and not want to disclose the name or gender identity you were assigned with at birth, if it is different from your current name or gender identity.

How Can I Prevent Unwanted Disclosures Related to My Gender Identity?

If you are required to complete a DBS Check you can choose to use the DBS’s Confidential Checking Process. If you choose not to use the process and are happy for the name or gender you were assigned with at birth to be disclosed on a completed Disclosure, then you can complete the Disclosure Application Form (DAF) as instructed.

If you decide you do not wish for the name or gender identity you were assigned with at birth to be disclosed to your employer (or similar) on the completed Disclosure, you should contact the DBS and speak to their specialist adviser, The Sensitive Applications Team who can advise you on what to do.  You can also contact the DBS via email if you prefer, using the email address: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk. and requesting that your details are forwarded to the Sensitive Applications Team, as you wish to use the Confidential Checking Process.

If you do not feel comfortable talking directly to the DBS about your application, Galop can liaise with them on your behalf. You will firstly need to advise the DBS (by phone or email) that you have given your permission for the DBS to speak with Galop about you. You can also give permission for another named person (such as a friend or partner), who can then liaise with the DBS on your behalf. Galop can liaise with the DBS on the subject of the Confidential Checking process, but we are not able to help you actually fill in the DBS form itself, as this is something that your employer is responsible for assisting with.

How The Process Works

When you contact the Sensitive Applications Team you’ll be advised about the DBS’s confidential checking process in place for applicants who do not wish for the name or gender identity they were assigned with at birth to be disclosed on the completed Disclosure.

Applicants are then advised not to enter previous name(s) on Section C of the application form and then to complete the rest of the application form as they normally would.

Just before or at the same time the application form is submitted, you must send the DBS a document that can confirm the previous name(s) you used such as a Change of Name Deed, or your original Birth Certificate. A Gender Recognition Certificate is not required for this process. You should include a short covering letter that confirms your current name, full address with postcode and a contact telephone number. In some cases you may not have any documents to confirm your previous name. If this is the case, you should contact the Sensitive Applications Manager to discuss this.

Once the DBS receives your covering letter and any name documentation you have supplied, the Sensitive Applications Team will monitor your application everyday until the Disclosure is completed. If any queries are raised it will be this person who deals with them and contacts you if the DBS require further information.

Previous Convictions

If you have a conviction in your previous name or the gender identity you were assigned with at birth, this may show on the completed Disclosure. You may be able to prevent this from happening. Therefore if you do have such a conviction, you should discuss this with the Sensitive Applications Team when you make initial contact.


DBS customer services
PO Box 3961
Royal Wootton Bassett
Telephone: 0300 0200 190
Welsh: 0300 0200 191
Minicom: 0300 0200 192

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (9am to 5pm for appeals and disputes)
Saturday, 10am to 5pm

Email customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk

Sensitive applications team 
Customer services
PO Box 165
L69 3JD

Email contact: sensitive@dbs.gsi.gov.uk

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