DBS application process – recruiting manager guide
Why do I need to request a DBS check?
The Church in Wales is committed to the safer recruitment of all who work for the Church, including clergy, employees and volunteers. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps the Church in Wales make safer recruitment decisions by processing and issuing DBS checks.
As the recruiting manager for an employee or volunteer role in the Church in Wales, you are expected to comply with safer recruitment practice, which might include a criminal record check of the applicant.
As a recruiting manager, you might need to request a DBS check for any paid or volunteer role in the Church that includes significant contact with children and/or adults at risk or a role that includes regulated activity as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and amended under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
If the position concerned includes regulated activity the DBS check will include a check of the children’s and/or adults’ barred lists, which identify people who are prevented by law from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.
As part of the DBS check request procedure, you will undertake a risk assessment to confirm that the DBS check you are requesting is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.
How do I assess eligibility for a DBS check?
Good safer recruitment practice means that those who work closely with children and or adults who may be vulnerable or at risk of abuse or neglect have a DBS criminal record check before they commence any activities. Although anyone is eligible for a basic DBS check, only a few are eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Some examples of roles that require an enhanced DBS Check include:
- teaching, training, instructing, caring and supervising
- assisting with money and bills due to illness, age or disability
- transport due to illness, age or disability
Some Church in Wales roles will be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. An enhanced DBS certificate will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which are not subject to filtering (the identification and removal of protected convictions and cautions so that they are not disclosed on a DBS certificate). The certificate also may contain non-conviction information supplied by police forces if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate. An employer can request an enhanced DBS check only if the role is eligible.
An enhanced DBS check can come with or without barring information dependent on whether the role is in regulated activity. Anyone carrying out an activity that is covered by the definition of regulated activity with children and/or adults can be asked to apply for an enhanced disclosure check that includes a children’s and/or adults’ barred list check. An employer can request a check of one or both of the DBS barred lists only if the role is eligible.
The Church in Wales requires all clergy (stipendiary and non-stipendiary, licensed and PTO) to undertake an enhanced level DBS check with checks of the barred lists for both children and adults.
In addition, the Church in Wales requires that each PCC undertakes enhanced DBS checks (without barred lists) on a minimum of three PCC members, which usually should include two churchwardens and the Parish Safeguarding Officer.
To find out whether other roles require a DBS check and identify whether the eligibility criteria for an enhanced check are met, please refer to the DBS website.
The Church in Wales has provided two flowcharts to assist in identifying what type of DBS check might be required for a particular role with adults and/or children:
- DBS check for roles working with children - English (PDF)
- DBS check for roles working with children - Welsh (PDF)
- DBS check for roles working with adults at risk - English (PDF)
- DBS check for roles working with adults at risk - Welsh (PDF)
The DBS website contains a tool to find out what type of DBS check is available for a specific role with adults and/or children. As the recruiting manager, you should use this tool to see what type of check you can request for the position concerned:
What do I need to do next?
The first stage of the process is to submit a request to initiate a DBS check. This is done by you as the Recruiting Manager – the person responsible for appointing to the applicable role. You will complete the DBS Check Request Form on the Church in Wales website, which includes some information provided by the applicant for the position concerned.
Guide to Completing the DBS Check Request Form
The next stage of the process is for the applicant to complete an online DBS application.
The applicant will be given a link to an online application screen where they will create their application using a user ID provided by the DBS Administrator. They will be asked to create a password of their choice and be told to keep this password confidential. This ensures privacy and forms part of the legally binding declaration at the end of the process which confirms the information provided is complete and true. The password must be at least eight characters in length and must contain a number.
Before starting the online application process, the applicant should have the following ID information available, if they have it:
- Full Name History (including names used concurrently for professional reasons)
- National Insurance Number
- UK Driving Licence Details
- Passport Details
- Mother’s maiden name
The applicant also will need a full five-year address history, including postcodes and dates from and to for each address.
What identity evidence do I need to check?
When the online application has been submitted, the applicant will be presented with a screen that explains that they must have the information they have provided in their application checked against their ID documents. There is a link on the screen to a summary of the type and number of documents that must be provided but details of ID evidence which the DBS accepts can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-identity-checking-guidelines
The DBS Administrator will ask the applicant to present the required ID documents for a face to face check and an ID checker will contact them to arrange the ID checking session.
Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and ID documents will be viewed over video link.
How long will the DBS application take?
The DBS Administrator will submit the application to the DBS as soon as the applicant has completed the online application and had their ID documents examined face to face.
Most basic checks will be processed by the DBS within fourteen days and most enhanced checks within eight weeks but it can take longer if the applicant has moved around the UK in the five years prior to the application because several police forces will need to be involved in the checking process.
The applicant can use online services provided by the Disclosure and Barry Service to check the progress of basic or enhanced checks using their application reference number.
The applicant can track the progress of a basic check by using the DBS online account tracking service. They do not need to create an account but will need their application reference number, surname and date of birth.
The applicant can track the progress of their enhanced application using the DBS tracking service. They will need their application reference number and date of birth to track the application.
What happens next?
When the DBS has completed its checks, disclosure information is sent to the applicant by post as a DBS certificate.
If the certificate has no disclosure information recorded, you as recruiting manager will be informed that the recruitment process can proceed but you will need to see the original certificate as evidence that the check has been completed.
If the certificate records convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings or other relevant information the applicant will be asked to submit the original certificate to the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team for further scrutiny. You as recruiting manager will be advised to suspend the safer recruitment process pending further enquiries. The certificate will be considered by a safeguarding panel to decide whether or not the information presents a barrier to appointment. The DBS only issues conviction details to the applicant so they can choose whether or not to reveal the content of their certificate. However, the safer recruitment process cannot proceed until the certificate has been seen.
Please note that the applicant must not work with children and/or adults at risk in a paid or volunteer role until the information on their DBS certificate has been considered and you receive confirmation from the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team that you may proceed with the safer recruitment process. At that point, you as recruiting manager will need to see the original certificate as evidence that the check has been completed.
When does a DBS check expire?
A DBS check has no official expiry date. However, any information included in a check is accurate only at the time the check was carried out.
The Church in Wales expects everyone who works for the church, both lay and ordained and whether volunteer or paid, to undertake a new DBS check every three years, or sooner if there is evidence that the individual’s criminal record has changed since their last check, so employees and volunteers might be asked to apply for further checks during their time with the Church in Wales. A new DBS check is also needed if an existing employee or volunteer is being considered for a different role that requires a DBS check at a different level.
What about DBS certificates from previous roles?
The Church in Wales does not accept DBS certificates obtained for roles outside the Church in Wales in lieu of a new check unless the applicant is registered with the DBS Update Service.
If an applicant is registered with the DBS Update Service then they will be able to transfer their DBS certificate from a previous role unless:
- they need a certificate for a different type of ‘workforce’ (for example, they have an ‘adult workforce’ certificate and need a ‘child workforce’ certificate)
- they need a different level certificate (for example, they have a basic DBS certificate and need an enhanced one)
Please ask the applicant if they are registered with the Update Service and complete the relevant section of the DBS Check Request Form. The DBS Administrator will contact the applicant to assess whether or not they need a new check. The DBS Administrator will:
- check that their identity matches the details on the certificate
- check the certificate is the right level and type for the position concerned
- check to see if anything has changed since the applicant registered for the update service
Where can I find more information about DBS checks?
A series of DBS guidance leaflets that provide information about regulated activity, eligibility and DBS checks for people working with adults and children in the charity sector can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-guidance-leaflets.
If you have any other questions about the Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS checks please contact the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team.