DBS Checks

Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Checks

As part of the safer recruitment process those working in a paid or voluntary capacity with children, young people or vulnerable adults may require a DBS check.  To help you decide if a role is eligible for a DBS check you can use the Church of England Role Eligibilty Guidance  and the 31:8 elgibility tool, to log into this via the 31:8 web site please click on the following link 31:8 eligbility tool, the email address is:Guide@thirtyoneeight.org and the password is Guide318.

DBS checks are now only be valid for 3 years. All DBS checks in the Dicoese are at enhanced level, we do not process Basic DBS checks.  Also the Diocese does not keep DBS records for those who work/volunteer in parishes - it is vital that your church ensures that you have good records and initiate renewals when they are due.

All DBS applications are processed online using an eBulk system, which is managed by Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS).   You should appoint a Lead Recruiter to manage the DBS process and may also choose to appoint an additional recruiter. Newly appointed Lead Recruiters need to contact Debbie Doran, St James’ House, Tel: 0151 705 2124 or email: deborah.doran@liverpool.anglican.org to complete the documentation to register with Thirtyone:eight. The following are Model Job Descriptions for a Lead Recruiter and Additional Recruiter   

DBS checks are free for volunteers, for paid workers the current cost of a DBS check is £44, the Diocese will invoice you for any paid worker checks completed.  Please note if you use the Digital ID check facility offered by 31:8 there is a charge of £4.98 per check for this regardless of whether a person is a volunteer or a paid employee.  If your church uses this facility the Diocese will invoice your church for any digital checks completed.

To log onto the 31:8 please use the following links:

Updated Guidance for verifing DBS checks

Government information on what documents you can use to verify a persons ID: http://ID checking guidelines for standard/enhanced DBS check applications from 1 July 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Using the DBS update service

If you have a church member who is registered with the DBS update then churches can use this service to check the status of their DBS disclosure.   Use this Flow chart to help guide you through the process. The following document provided by 31:8 gives details of the update service - Update guidelines.   You can log into the DBS update service using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service

DBS checks for PCC members (trustees)

The Charity Commission recommends that trustees always obtain a DBS check when eligible to do so as it an important tool in ensuring that the person is suitable to act as such. If a governing body is registered as a charity and provided it sponsors and approves, in its own name, children’s, young people or vulnerable adult’s work then the members of the governing body will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS without barred list check. This may relate to PCCs, Cathedrals Chapters, Religious Communities, NCI Pension Board etc. In such cases all members of the governing body will be eligible. For full details of the guidance relating to PCC's see section C of the Church of England DBS eligibility guidance

DBS checks for Parish Safeguarding Officers

See the following guidance for details of what DBS checks can be obtained for Parish Safeguarding Officers - DBS checks for Parish Safeguarding Officers

DBS checks for anyone applying for a new role in the same diocese/cathedral/team or hubs

In this case, you do not require a second criminal record check ie their current will be portable, this is provided:

  • the result of the criminal record check has been seen and does not need renewing 
  • and the new role is: with the same “workforce” (i.e. either working with children or working with adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect); and eligible for the same/lower level of criminal record check as the previous role

DBS checks for overseas applicants

The DBS cannot currently access overseas criminal records or other relevant information as part of its disclosure service.  If you are recruiting people from overseas or if an applicant has either lived and/or spent a period of time abroad they will be required to obtain a criminal record check or certificate of good conduct from the relevant embassy/consulate/high commission to cover the time they lived/spent abroad.  For further information about criminal record checks for overseas applicants please use the following link

What to do if a country does not issue Criminal Record Checks or Certiciates of Good Conduct

If it is not possible to obtain criminality information from the relevant embassy, the recruiting parish/church body will need to make further appropriate checks so that any relevant events that occurred outside of the UK can be considered. These further checks should include

  • Additional references, including at least one from a previous employer, and if necessary the referee should be contacted to provide further clarification as appropriate.
  • Provide evidence as to how you established that the country no longer provides criminal records checks except in certain circumstances. A simple file note detailing that this info or take a screen print of the relevant DBS page – just in case in years to come, the country changes their rules again, that it doesn’t get queried as to why the check wasn’t able to be done at this point in time – and yourself or whoever has moved on/is no longer around to offer further explanation.
  • If a person’s role involves working with children/vulnerable adults it may be necessary to carry out a risk assessment depending upon what recruitment information you have been able to obtain so please contact the Safeguarding Team – email: safeguarding.team@liverpool.anglican.org who will assess each case on an individual basis.

Right to Work Check

A DBS does not check whether an applicant is permitted to work within the UK.  Therefore, parishes must  follow government guideines regarding right to work checks as the implications of not checking an individual's right to work in the UK can be costly.  If you carry out a right to work check then please keep a record of this as evidence that you checked their right to work.  For further guidance regarding checking an applicants right to work in the UK please visit the governments website work, you can also use the following link to access the government quick answer tool 

Refugees and Asylum Seekers who wish to volunteer

Asylum seekers & refugees can volunteer whilst their claim is being considered without being granted permission to work.  For the government guidelines regarding volunteering please refer to the following government guidance 'permission to work and volunteering for asylum seekers'.  They must complete the safer recruitment process which is applicable to their role.


For any queries around how the DBS process works in the Diocese, please contact Debbie Doran, Safeguarding Support, hours of work Tuesday and Wednesday 8.30-5.30pm, tel: 0151 705 2124 or email: deborah.doran@liverpool.anglican.org or contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team via email: safeguarding.team@liverpool.anglican.org.  For enquiries about the 31:8 eBulk system (including login and password queries) or eligibility for DBS checks for specific roles in your parish, please contact Thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111, selecting option 1.



Powered by Church Edit