Were you given a compensation order in court? Remember to tell the DBS once it’s paid

Our helpline regularly receives contact from individuals concerned to find that a conviction they’d believed was spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is still showing on their basic DBS certificate.

There are many reasons why this might be the case, but one of the things that our helpline advisors will ask is whether the person received a compensation order as part of their sentence.

Compensation orders only become spent once they’re paid in full. So, if you’ve not paid it, your conviction will still show on your basic check.

But, even when you have paid it, your conviction may still show on your basic DBS certificate. This is because there is currently no system in place which allows a court to update the DBS that an order has been settled in full. In practice, the onus is on you to provide proof of payment to the DBS when you apply for your basic check. (you don’t have to do this every time, just once).

The only time the DBS will consider a compensation order spent under the ROA without having any proof of payment from you is when it:

  1. was for an amount of less than £100 or
  2. is over 6 years old.

Let the DBS know you’ve paid the compensation order?

You’ll need to get proof that your order has been paid in full from the court where you were sentenced. Depending on the court, this may be in the form of a receipt or a letter. There isn’t usually a charge for this.

You should send a copy of this receipt/letter to the DBS either with your application or separately, in confidence, if your application is being submitted via a third party. Remember to quote your application barcode or reference number together with your name, address and date of birth in any correspondence.

Once they’ve received this, the DBS will be able to update their records and your conviction will no longer appear on your basic DBS certificate.

For more information

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Debbie Sadler