Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications and guides

Since June 2013 the DBS have ceased sending copies of applicant's DBS certificates to the Registered Bodies. If the applicant has completed a paper DBS application form they MUST show their DBS certificate to their PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative) to be checked and recorded before they can begin their role.

For more information about the changes to the DBS please visit their website:

We are currently in the process of updating our proceedures for processing ONLINE DBS applications. As soon as this has been finalised we will email the new guidance to all the parishes. If you need to complete a DBS check urgently because:

  • You are applying to work (paid or unpaid) with children and/or vulnerable adults within the Diocese of Chelmsford and you have completed the previous stages of the Safer Recruitment process (including the Confidential Declaration), OR
  • You need to renew your DBS check because your previous DBS certificate is due to expire (within the Diocese of Chelmsford DBS checks should be renewed every 5 years), OR
  • As a PCC member you are a Trustee of a Charity that works with children and/or vulnerable adults

You will need to obtain a paper DBS application form and guidance from your PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative). The contact details for your PSR should be listed on the A3 safeguarding poster on your Church notice board.

If your parish still has any remaining stocks of the old-style CRB paper applications with form reference numbers commencing F00 please shred them as they will no longer be accepted. Only DBS paper applications with form reference numbers commencing F01 will be processed.

If you are a PSR and need to order some more paper DBS application forms for your parish please email your request to or call 01245 294438.

Download our Applicant’s Guide to completing paper DBS forms

Download our Evidence Checker’s Guide to checking and completing paper DBS forms

Download our List of Acceptable Identification Evidence

Download our Guide to DBS Application process and Eligibility

Frequently asked DBS application questions and some useful links to the DBS website: 


Q: Do I need a DBS check?

A: Please read the DBS Guide to Eligibility and the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy Practice Guidance and Resources.


Q: Do I need to renew my DBS Certificate?

A: It is the Diocese of Chelmsford's policy to renew DBS certificates every 5 years.It is yours and your PSR's responsability to request a new DBS application prior your current DBS certificate expiring.


Q: What do I do if I run out of space for previous names and addresses on my paper DBS application form?

A: Just print out a Continuation Sheet then complete and enclose this with your paper DBS application form.


Q: How can I track the progress of my DBS application?

A: Just enter your application reference number and date of birth into the DBS Online Tracker


Q: I am the PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative) for my parish but I'm not sure how I should check the applicant's evidence for paper DBS applications?

A: The DBS have created Identification Checking Guidelines for you to use when completing paper DBS application forms.


For all enquires relating to DBS applications please call the Safeguarding Administrator, Laura Tyler, on 01245 294438 or email

The DBS Update Service

What is the benefit of using the DBS Update Service?

You can have your DBS Certificate kept up-to-date electronically and take it with you from role to role, within the same workforce*, where the same type and level of check is required. This means that you will not need a new DBS check every time your job title changes – but you will need a new DBS if the workforce changes. This allows you to reuse your DBS certificate when applying for similar jobs.

*On the DBS application form you will have selected ‘Child Workforce’, ‘Adult Workforce’ or ‘Child and Adult Workforce’ in section X61, Line 1.

How does the DBS Update Service work?

If an individual subscribes to the DBS Update Service their employer can go online, with their consent, and carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up-to-date.

Is there an additional cost?

Joining the service is an individual decision but we are highly recommending it for volunteers as it is free. Paid workers would need to pay a yearly subscription fee of £13.00 at their own cost.

When does the DBS Update Service begin?

The DBS Update Service came into being from 17th June 2013.

How do I subscribe to the DBS Update Service?

Subscription to the DBS Update Service is NOT automatic – but you can join at the same time you apply for a DBS check or within 30 days of the date of issue printed on your Certificate.

I am a PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative). What do I do if someone shows me a DBS certificate processed by a different organisation but they have subscribed to the DBS Update Service?

  • You will still need to check the original DBS certificate to make sure that it is legitimate and that the level of check processed is adequate for their role in your parish.
  • You also need to check if there are any offences/convictions listed because when we perform an Online Status Check it will only tell us if there is any NEW information.
  • You then need to email us with the applicant's name, date of birth and 12 digit disclosure number so that we can perform an online status check. We will then email the results to you for your parish records.

Here are some useful links to the DBS website about the Update Service:

DBS Update Service

DBS Update Service - Applicant Guide

Overseas applicants and UK applicants who lived abroad

If you are a foreign national or UK national who has lived abroad your PCC will ask you for an Overseas Criminal Record Check and/or Letter of Good Conduct for your time spent abroad. You should contact the embassy or High Commission of the country in question.

We can process online Overseas Criminal Record Checks for most countries but there is an additional cost that either the PCC or yourself would need to cover. The cost differs depending on the country so please send us an enquiry.

If your Overseas Criminal Record Check or Letter of Good Conduct needs translating you will need to obtain a certified translation. The embassy of the country concerned should be able to recomend an approved translator.

The DBS website has some more information about this that might help you:

For more information please contact Laura Tyler
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The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are asking for your prayers as the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has recently finished its hearing into matters in the Diocese of Chichester. Please pray for all those involved, and for all affected by safeguarding issues.

Read More.

Independent Audit of Safeguarding

An independent audit of safeguarding in the Diocese of Chelmsford was conducted by SCIE in April 2017. This was part of a national programme of audits.

Read the diocesan response to the report.

And the report in full.

Statement given to Heybridge St Andrew and St George and Langford St Giles by the Venerable Elizabeth Snowden, Archdeacon of Chelmsford, on 7 May 2017.

This statement is available to download here.