What is our DBS policy and who needs to do a DBS disclosure check?

New for 2020 - flowcharts and examples to help you to know who should do a DBS check click here


Read the Our Policy and Summary of Eligibility leaflet here

Please remember that the DBS check is just one part of the Safer Recruitment Process.  Look in the Handbook for more information


 Dont hesitate to get  IN TOUCH if you need help and advice 

How to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check through the Panel 

If you need to complete a DBS check for your role within the church you can get forms from the Panel office or ask your church secretary or minister. 

Scroll down for more information on the Update service.

 Click here to see information on our DBS application process 
(This information is also on page 17 in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook)

 ln line with DBS code of conduct each DBS applicant  will need to meet face to face with a Panel Verifier to have the form checked and their identity verified by cross checking with 3 documents such as a Passport, Driving licence or utilities bill. The full list of acceptable documentation can be found here.

A list of volunteer verifiers is available from the Panel.
Please note most Presbyterian Church of Wales ministers and staff  and Baptist Union of Wales ministers have also  recently been trained to carry out this role so ask in your local church first. 

Please make sure you remember the final step of the process and send your cerificate to the Panel office when you receive it directly from the DBS.
We will send it back to you and let your church know that the process is complete. 

Still unsure if you need to do a DBS check?

Look at our checklists below...

Checklist for DBS check eligibility for those working with Vulnerable Adults here

Checklist for DBS check eligibility for those working/volunteering with children here

Supervision - in order to decide if a role with children is regulated activity or not it is essential to establish if there is adequate supervision. Click here to read the statutory guidance on supervision. 

Trustees and DBS Checks

If a trustee is involved in regulated activity and works closely with vulnerable groups or manages or supervises those doing the work they will be required to do a check with a check of the barring lists because of the nature of the work, not because of the title 'trustee'

HOWEVER a trustee, involved in the running of a church that provides activites for children or vulnerable adults is also eligible to do an enhanced check (without a check of the barring lists) even if they  are not  working directly with the vulnerable groups.  This is because a church working with children and vulnerable adults is classed as a "charity for vulnerable groups" for DBS checking purposes  and the trustees are responsible for the work.


Where there is eligibility it is our policy that an enhanced DBS disclosure check should be done. This is in line with best practice principles and the Charities Commission guidelines.

 A question that is frequently asked is…

Can I use a DBS certificate I have from another role?

Question   " I am a teacher - I've done a DBS for work,  surely I dont need to do another check for my role in the church"       

Answer:  " Well it depends. Unless you have joined the DBS update servce  it is still the same rule as previously. You generally need a DBS check for each organisation you work or volunteer for."

Many people believe that one Disclosure and Barring Service certificate is enough for all the work that they do with vulnerable groups and that they will never need to do another one. Unfortunately this information is not completely correct.  A DBS certificate is not automatically portable but since 2013 it has been possible to reuse a certificate but only if the applicant has registered with the DBS Update service within 30 days of receiving their previous certificate.

Read more here

In order to re-use your existing certificate for your church work you will need to have registered on-line with the Update service. We will need to see the original certificate, receive your written permission and ensure that a Panel verifier or your church leader has verified your identity. This form will lead you through the process.

Contact us for more information or visit the DBS website.

DBS update service guide




 click here to see the DBS guidelines for applicants including information if you have an unusual address

NEW DBS privacy notice May 2018: click here to read what the DBS do with your information. 

see also: individual rights policy DBS

 Click here for more information about the rules regarding the filtering of old convictions and warnings

Click here to see ID checking Guidelines and the current list of documents you will need to make your application

 click here to see the current list of DBS publications and updates


DBS Code of Practice

 click here to see the DBS code of practice 

 DBS Update Service

 To read more about the service  which can allow you to use your DBS certificate again please click here


 Filtering guidance

Filtering guidance - link to DBS website

link to PDF booklet 



Criminal record checks for people coming from abroad.

A DBS check will only give information about an individuals timne in the UK. If you have a vulnerbale group worker / vo;unteer from abroad you should follow the procedures noted in these links to get longer term information about their criminal history. Please note: the individual often has to get this infomation before they leave their home country.

Guidance on the application process for criminal records checks overseasGuidance on the application process for criminal records checks overseas



Please also look at the relevant pages in the DBS guidelines for Applicants for identity checking rules and requirements for non EEA workers and volunteers.

Note - employers are responsible for ensuring that new employees and volunteers are allowed to work in the UK