‘The start date or appointment must not be confirmed until the relevant criminal record check is received and examined…It must not be forgotten that only a tiny percentage of adults who abuse are caught and still fewer are convicted, so organisations must never rely solely on a criminal record check. Criminal record checks, although crucial, remain only one element of safeguarding and the safer recruitment process.’ - The Church of England: Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment
Click on a link below to take you to the relevant section:
- Processing DBS Applications with the Diocese of Chelmsford
- Register with our Ebulk provider thirtyone:eight
- thirtyone:eight's E-Bulk Guides for Recruiters and Applicants
- Initiating and processing online DBS Applications via thirtyone:eight
- ID checking for DBS Applications - COVID-19 Temporary Guidance
- Contact the Ebulk provider thirtyone:eight
- DBS Eligibility Guidance
- Frequently Asked Questions about DBS
- DBS certificate is ‘positive’, ‘blemished’, ‘not clear’ or ‘has trace’
- Expired DBS Certificates
- The DBS Update Service
- Overseas Criminal Record Checks
"A DBS check is the end of the process when the appointer/appointing body is minded to appoint. A DBS check is not the start of the process and should not be the only check of suitability." (The Church of England: Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment)
Please Note that The Diocese of Chelmsford ceased processing paper DBS application forms after the 30th November 2018. Any paper DBS application forms now received into the Safeguarding office will be destroyed. If your parish still has any remaining stocks of the paper DBS application forms please destroy them.
From 27th April 2018 our provider of online DBS applications changed to thirtyone:eight previously known as the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS). thirtyone:eight has been working with churches since 1977 and is the only independent Christian charity providing professional advice, training, support and resources in all areas of safeguarding children and adults at risk of harm. You can find out more about thirtyone:eight via their website - www.thirtyoneeight.org
To be able to process online DBS applications your parish/benefice must be registered with our Ebulk provider, thirtyone:eight.
Each parish/benefice will need to ensure that they have someone ready to take on the role of ‘Lead Recruiter’. This role can be supported by an 'Additional Recruiter'.
To register your Parish and your Recruiter(s) with our Ebulk provider, thirtyone:eight, the Electronic DBS Recruiter Registration Form will need to be completed and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org (scanned copies) or Safeguarding Team, Diocesan Office, 53 New Street, Chelmsford, ESSEX CM1 1AT.
- It is a requirement of thirtyone:eight to appoint a person within the parish to organise and manage online DBS applications. thirtyone:eight call these people 'Recruiters'. The role of the Recruiter is one of trust and requires a high degree of honesty and integrity. The Recruiter will be privy to highly confidential and potentially sensitive information and we do therefore require that the role is filled by someone with the highest principles.
- The 'Lead Recruiter' will be the main point of contact between thirtyone:eight and the parish. Currently these people are often called ‘DBS Administrators’ or ‘DBS Clerk’. In many parishes this is part of their PSO's (Parish Safeguarding Officer's) role.
- In addition to the Lead Recruiter, it is advisable that there is at least one other Recruiter appointed within the parish to handle online DBS applications. This is so that thirtyone:eight always have a point of contact if the Lead Recruiter is unavailable; or if they, or a relative of theirs, needs an online DBS check. This person would be the 'Additional Recruiter'.
Each Recruiter will need to have a secure email address and be able to send and receive emails.
- As the email address forms part of the Recruiter's secure login details, it can only be used once. This means that, for security reasons, the Lead Recruiter and the Additional Recruiter are not able to use the same email address.
- This email address could be a church email address e.g. email@example.com but, for security reasons, it should NOT be a shared email address OR an email address which is associated with employment/voluntary work outside of their church role e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are going to be a Lead Recruiter covering this role for several parishes please contact the Safeguarding Team (email@example.com) prior to submitting your completed Electronic DBS Recruiter Registration Form as we may need to agree a joint ‘title’ to facilitate access via a single login in these circumstances.
- Follow the instructions contained within thirtyone:eight guidance
- Not proceed with any online DBS check until the applicants have completed and returned a confidential declaration to the Recruiter.
- Ensure that all User Accounts and other details are kept safe and secure.
- Not share User Account Details with any party not explicitly authorised by thirtyone:eight.
- Ensure that any DBS checks requested or carried out are justified and allowable as per the DBS Code of Practice and other relevant legislation
- Ensure identity verification is done with due diligence and in full compliance with the DBS Code of Practice, DBS guidance or any other applicable guidance or legislation.
Once your parish is registered login details, instructions and full guidance will be sent to your registered email address by thirtyone:eight to each Lead Recruiter and Additional Recruiter.
If you are no longer a Lead Recruiter or Additional Recruiter, please email the safeguarding team at: firstname.lastname@example.org. to make us aware of this change.
Once your parish is registered login details, instructions and full guidance will be sent by thirtyone:eight to the registered email address of each Lead Recruiter and Additional Recruiter.
Please click on the links below to see thirtyone:eight's short, easy to follow video tutorials. These give instructions on how to complete different parts of the online DBS process:
- Procedure for an Applicant to Login
- Procedure for Recruiter Login
- Completing Section Y (Lead Recruiters Only)
- Reports (Lead Recruiters Only)
- Editing an Online Application Form (Lead Recruiters Only)
- Queried Online Applications (Lead Recruiters Only)
- The registered Recruiter sends an invite email to the DBS applicant (the template for the invite is Appendix 3 in the Recruiter's Guide). The email should include:
- Using the information in the email sent to them the applicant will now be able to login to thirtyone:eight and create their online DBS application.
- Once the applicant has completed their part of their online DBS application form they will need to arrange for the Recruiter to check their identity documents.
- The Recruiter will check the applicant's evidence of identity and add this information to the online DBS application.
- Only the Lead Recruiter can now amend any incorrect information on the online DBS Application form (with the applicant’s consent), complete section Y and click Approve to electronicaly send the application to thirtyone:eight .
- thirtyone:eight check the online DBS application before it is countersigned by them and forwarded to the DBS for processing.
Due to current measures that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we are aware that this will affect the DBS ID checking guidance. Currently, when validating ID documents, it is a requirement to carry the examination out face-to-face or via a live video link as an alternative method. Under the current guidance, the ID checker must be in physical possession of the original documents so they can be checked for indicators of fraud. As the public are being advised to work from home where possible, this is causing difficulties in receiving the physical documents, thereby delaying applications, and preventing applications from being submitted. To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS Enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period as from 19th March 2020. The change will enable:
- ID documents to be viewed over a video link or;
- scanned images being sent to the Lead Recruiter in advance of the DBS check being submitted.
The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents to be checked, when it is safe to do so and prior to commencing in their role. Please ensure that you still follow the advice on GOV.UK around checking identity documents for indicators of fraud. Please click on the following link for more information: DBS ID Checking Guidelines
We will advise you when this temporary measure has been removed by the DBS to allow face-to-face identification checks to be conducted.
The guidance booklet contains all the information needed to start processing DBS checks electronically, however, should you need advice about any aspect of the electronic DBS application process the disclosures team at thirtyone:eight are available to help you. They can be contacted by calling 0303 003 11 11 (option 1) or emailing email@example.com
- Regulated Activity with Adults decision making flowchart is on page 30 of thirtyone:eight's E-Bulk Guide for Recruiters
- Regulated Activity with Children decision making flowchart is on page 31 of thirtyone:eight's E-Bulk Guide for Recruiters
- Enhanced DBS Eligibility for Church Workers Guide is on pages 34-39 of thirtyone:eight's E-Bulk Guide for Recruiters
- Church of England DBS Eligibility and related matters – Frequently Asked Questions – February 2017
- Church of England Eligibility for an enhanced criminal records check (Appendix 7) - Safer Recruitment
- Church of England roles where the activity is seen to be eligible for a criminal record check (Appendix 8)
- The DBS Checks Working with children in places of worship leaflet explains eligibility for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks within various faith groups.
- The DBS Community Volunteers Covid-19 - DBS Checks guidance provides information on organising volunteers to assist during the Covid-19 pandemic and whether or not they require a DBS check.
- DBS Eligibility guidance for enhanced DBS checks
On the 1st December 2012, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged together to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The main aim of the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) is to aid us in making safer recruitment decisions and ensuring that unsuitable people do not work with vulnerable groups.
A DBS check (known as a CRB check until 2012) will reveal information about your criminal record.
An enhanced level DBS certificate contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC) which have not been filtered in line with legislation and a check of information held by police forces.
An enhanced level certificate with barred list check(s) contains the same PNC information and check of information held by police forces as an enhanced level check but in addition will check against the children’s and/or adult’s barred lists.
You may have been asked to complete a DBS check with the Diocese of Chelmsford because:
You have applied 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, OR
You need to renew your DBS check because your previous DBS certificate is due to expire (within the Church of England DBS checks should be renewed every 5 years), OR
As a PCC member you are a Trustee of a Charity
If you have applied to work (paid or unpaid) with children and/or vulnerable adults within the Diocese of Chelmsford you should have been given clear job description which sets out what tasks are expected of you and what skills are required. The job description will include whether the role is eligible for a criminal records check, and if so, the level of check that is required.
Please read our Safeguarding Privacy Statement before you submit your personal details for a DBS check (UK Criminal Record Check) and/or Overseas Criminal Record Check or online Status Check. It explains what information we record and how we use it. As a Registered Body The Diocese of Chelmsford adheres to the DBS Code of Practice.
receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
be on a work placement
be on a course that requires them to do this job role
be in a trainee position that will lead to a full-time role/qualification
A DBS certificate is NOT automatically portable/transferable. Please see more information about the DBS Update Service below.
Just enter your application reference number and date of birth into the DBS Tracking Service.
If you have used the DBS Tracking Service and can see that the DBS have had receipt of your DBS application for more than 60 working days you can 'escalate' your application by calling DBS Customer Services on 0300 0200 190. After 70 working days you can call DBS Customer Services on 0300 0200 190 for the address of the police force and you can write to the police informing them of the length of time that you have been waiting.
If you have used the DBS Tracking Service and can see that your DBS certificate was dispatched over 14 days ago and you have not changed your postal address since the applicantion was made you can request a reprint. A reprint request must be made within 3 months (93 days) of the date of issue of your certificate. You need to make this request to the DBS by completing the relevant reprint form and emailing it to DBSReprints@dbs.gsi.gov.uk. The DST can't do this on your behalf.
The DBS can’t process a reprint request if the DBS certificate has been accidentally lost or destroyed after you received it. You will need to apply for a new DBS check and pay an admin fee for this to be processed. The DST (Diocesan Safeguarding Team) do not have copies of DBS certificates.
DBS certificates remain valid for a maximum of five years within the Church of England. Please keep your DBS certificate safe and accessible as the issue date is printed on it. The DST (Diocesan Safeguarding Team) do NOT have copies of DBS certificates. You will NOT receive notification from the DST prior to your DBS certificate expiring.
- “Certificate contains no information” – This means the certificate contains no criminal convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands or other police information.
- “Please wait to view applicant’s certificate” – This means the certificate contains information and you will have to view the applicant’s certificate to see this information before they can begin work with children or adults at risk
- In this instance the applicant will need to present their DBS certificate to their Recruiter. Any delay in doing this will delay their appointment/return to the role.
- The Recruiter will then cross-reference this to the confidential declaration form, that the applicant submitted before they began the DBS process, to see if there are any discrepancies.
- The DBS certificate must always be referred to a DSA (Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser) by the Recruiter. A DSA is qualified to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences and the risk and will make a recommendation concerning the suitability of the applicant to the person responsible for the appointment in line with the diocese’s local arrangements. A DSA may need to conduct a face to face risk assessment with the applicant depending on the nature of the information provided.
- Should the applicant not wish their DBS certificate to be seen, which is entirely his / her choice, the application must not proceed further and must be terminated.
DBS certificates remain valid for a maximum of five years within the Church of England. If the applicant is still in a role that requires an Enhanced DBS check they must complete a new Enhanced DBS check BEFORE the expiry of the five year period. This applies to the issue date of the Enhanced DBS Certificate and not the commencement date of any particular role that an individual might undertake or move to within this period.
Please note in your diary!
Enhanced DBS checks for members of Ordained Clergy and those with PTO (Permission to Officiate) should NOT be processed at parish level by the Lead Recruiter. They will need to contact their Archdeacon's Office or their Area Bishop's Office to initiate a new Enhanced DBS Check.
Should there be a delay in obtaining a new Enhanced DBS check, the individual is no longer approved by the Church to act (page 10 section 3.3 in the Church of England, Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment document). We would recommend that the individual contacts their appropriate Recruiter about starting their new Enhanced DBS application 3 months before their current Enhanced DBS certificate is due to expire to ensure that this doesn't happen.
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.
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 PSO (Parish Safeguarding Officer). 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 their 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 will need to check their photo ID (valid passport or driving licence) and cross reference the details against the DBS certificate.
- You then, with the applicant’s permission, 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:
Certificates of good conduct
- The recruiter/employer should also try to obtain a certificate of good conduct from these candidates/applicants.
- The relevant embassy/high commission (or police force) should be contacted for this.
- Either the recruiter/employer (or the candidate/applicant) should obtain a certified translation of the certificate of good conduct.
- If such information is not available from the embassy/high commission etc. or if there are concerns about the reliability of the information provided, the recruiter/employer should take extra care when taking up references and checking any previous employment record. In such cases, additional references should be sought and at least one reference from a previous employer should be contacted by telephone as well as by letter.