DBS Update Service Guide
What is the DBS update service?
The DBS update service is an online subscription service that lets an applicant keep their enhanced DBS certificate up-to-date and, with the applicant’s consent, allows employers to carry out a free-of-charge instant online ‘status check’ to find out whether the information contained on the DBS certificate is current.
The Church in Wales supports the use of the DBS update service for the checking of criminal record disclosure information in relation to both new recruitment and existing appointments, where the role is eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Anyone requiring a new enhanced DBS check for a role within the Church in Wales will be encouraged to subscribe to the DBS update service as part of the application process.
It is the agreed policy of the Bench of Bishops that all Church in Wales clergy should register for the update service.
The Church in Wales requires DBS checks to be renewed every three years but employees and volunteers who subscribe to the update service do not need to renew their enhanced DBS check if they remain in the same role or move to new role that requires the same type and level of check.
The update service cannot currently be used for basic checks.
Benefits of subscribing to the update service are that the applicant can take their DBS certificate from role to role (if within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required) and that employers can carry out instant online status checks on DBS certificates that are linked to the applicant’s subscription. The employer can only make the status check if the role the individual will be working in is also eligible for an enhanced DBS check. There is no charge for the organisation to carry out an online status check using the update service.
The DBS update service is free of charge for volunteers but has an annual fee of £13 for employees and stipendiary clergy (including ordinands) The Church in Wales will reimburse the cost of the annual subscription whilst the individual remains in the role for which the DBS check is required and provides their consent to the Church in Wales carrying out status checks using the update service. Please contact the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team to enquire about reimbursement.
An applicant can register for the update service while in the process of applying for an enhanced DBS check. The applicant will need their application reference number and the DBS must receive the completed application within twenty-eight days.
An applicant who already has an enhanced DBS certificate must use the certificate number to register for the update service within thirty days of the original enhanced DBS certificate being issued.
An applicant cannot subscribe to the update service if they do not register within thirty days of the original enhanced DBS certificate being issued and if they let their annual subscription lapse they will need to undertake a fresh DBS application before they can register for the update service again.
Once registered for the update service, an applicant is able to manage their own subscription online and can check the certificates that they have registered with the service, add or remove certificates, view organisations that have used the service to check their certificate, update contact details and renew or cancel their subscription.
When an applicant has registered for the update service, they must inform the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team that they have completed the subscription process and give the Representative Body of the Church in Wales ongoing permission to check their disclosure online using the DBS update service.
An applicant can withdraw their permission for the Church in Wales to carry out a status check at any time by contacting the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team. For example, if the applicant leaves the role in which they were working or volunteering for the Church in Wales or if their role changes and they are no longer working with children or adults at risk in regulated activity, they should contact the Church in Wales DBS Administration Team to notify their withdrawal of consent. Please be aware that the Church in Wales will only reimburse the cost of the DBS update service subscription whilst it has the applicant’s permission to conduct status checks.
For basic checks, an applicant can register for an online services account instead of using the update service.