All clergy and Licenced Lay Ministers who need to renew their DBS checks should contact their Area office:
All other parish workers, paid or unpaid should contact their parish office.
We process all Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications online using the eBulk system, which is managed by Thirtyone:eight.
The Charity Commission recommends that trustees always obtain a criminal record check when eligible to do so as it is an important tool in ensuring that the person is suitable to act. Therefore PCC members, as charity trustees, are required to undertake a DBS check because they are trustees of a charity where there are children and vulnerable adults. The guidance states that a PCC member is Eligible for an enhanced DBS if they are trustees of a charity that works with children or adults at risk – whether or not a Church checks all its PCC members is a matter for local determination and should be confirmed with the appropriate diocese. In London this is required.
All those working in a paid or voluntary capacity with children, young people or adults at risk require a DBS check as part of the safer recruitment process. A new DBS disclosure should to be requested every three years, or when there is a change in role.
Unless registered for the update service, an existing DBS certificate is not transferable so a fresh DBS is required for all qualifying roles as DBS checks are role specific and a faith setting is different to other roles.
DBS disclosures are required to be carried out every three years.
Lead recruiters and evidence checkers
Each parish should appoint a Lead Recruiter to manage the DBS process and may also choose to appoint additional Evidence Checkers. To set up a new Lead Recruiter or additional Evidence Checkers, please complete this New Recruiter Form and email it back to the Safeguarding team. The Lead Recruiter is responsible for carrying out all enhanced DBS checks in the parish, except for clergy and Licensed Lay Minister DBS checks which are carried out by their area office. There is a DBS and Safeguarding tracker available to help track when DBS and safeguarding training needs to be renewed.
Thrityoneeight provides a useful interactive eligibility guide based on the tasks carried out o help determine what level of checks are required. This is free to use but you will need to create a user profile.
For any queries around how the DBS process works in the Diocese, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For enquiries about the 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.
Lived outside the UK for more than 6 months in the last ten years?
There may be difficulties (and risks) in obtaining a DBS check for workers with no, or a short UK residence history. If a church is considering an applicant with substantial or sole overseas residency, a Disclosure application may have little value because the Police National Computer contains only a limited number of overseas convictions. If someone has lived outside the UK for more than six months in the last ten years while aged 18 years or older, you will need to request a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ from the relevant country or embassy in the UK.
The application process for criminal records checks or ‘Certificates of Good Character’ for someone from overseas varies from country to country and you can see what applies to each county on the DBS criminal records overseas applicants guidance.
Asylum seekers and refugees
We recognise that not everyone has sufficient identification to carry out a DBS check, yet being involved in the church can be a lifeline for many and we don’t want to turn away people who wish to volunteer.
If this is the case with someone in your parish, please contact your area DSA and have a conversation about the options for a reasonable and proportionate way forward based on their individual case. It may be that following a risk assessment an agreement can be put in place that your PCC agrees, which outlines how someone can safely volunteer in your church.