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 use the Church of England Role Eligibilty Guidance
As from January 2022 any DBS check applied for will only be valid for 3 years, which will bring the church into line with many other organisations. For those who have a current DBS check this does not mean that any certificate over 3 years old is invalid. You will have from January 2022 to January 2024 to arrange renewal of any certificates to ensure that by January 2024 all those needing to have an enhanched DBS check for their role will have a DBS certificate that is 3 years old or less.
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). To log onto the 31:8 please use the following links:
Apply for a DBS check: https://thirtyoneeight.org/dbs-service/apply-for-a-check/
Manage applications (for lead and additional recruiters: https://thirtyoneeight.org/dbs-service/manage-applications/
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: firstname.lastname@example.org to complete the documentation to register with Thirtyone:eight
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)
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
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 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
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: email@example.com who will assess each case on an individual basis.
A DBS does not check whether an applicant is permitted to work within the UK. Therefore, parishes must make sure that any new workers, paid or voluntary are allowed to work in the UK before they are appointed. The implications of not checking an individual's right to work in the UK can be costly, and therefore parishes are encouraged to ask all their new appointees to provide evidence of their right to work in the UK before they start their role. 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team via email: email@example.com. 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.