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(see also Section 2 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook  and our elibility flow charts here .
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check helps organisations make safer recruitment decisions by enabling them to check information about individuals that is held on national and local police records and confidential barring lists held by the Disclosure and Barring Service. The DBS check is just one part of the Safer Recruitment Process.  
In line with General Data Protection Regulations UK  (GDPR) we have produced a Privacy statement which you can read here.   Panel Privacy Statement (DBS Checks). This explains how we collect and use your information to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service Check. We pass your forms on to the DBS to be processed and you can access their Privacy Statements at
Each applicant must confirm that they have read and understood the DBS privacy policy and Panel Privacy Statement (DBS Checks). by ticking the box on the jotform 1 for online or verifiers form for paper applications.


Click here to see our paper DBS application process See B below. 

Since May 2023 we can offer online DBS checks in partnership with Gwynedd Council. See A below and Welsh language note here

Part 1:

A  > Online:  complete  JOTFORM FORM 1  to start the process.
This form gives us the information to ensure that your role is eligible for a DBS and to ascertain what level of check you will need. 
You will then receive a link and password from Gwynedd Council in order to complete their online DBS application form. Please complete this step promptly. You will receive an email reminder every 5 days until the process is complete.
You will still need to meet with a Panel verifier to check your identity documents.
B > PAPER DBS  FORMcontact the office  or send us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  requesting forms and a DBS paper application form(s) will be sent to your postal address or to your church safeguarding contact or secretary 

Part 2: 


In line with DBS code of conduct, every DBS applicant will still need to meet face to face with a Panel verifier to have their identity verified by cross-checking with 3 documents such as a passport, driving licence or utility bill. For details visit the DBS website  HERE or to see a list of the acceptable documents click HERE    ID checking guidelines for standard/enhanced DBS check applications from 1 July 2021 - GOV.UK (

If you have already filled in JotForm 1 and have completed your DBS application online, the verifier should complete  FORM 2( word) or FORM 2 pdf  to note details of the ID verification process.

If you have completed a paper DBS application form (and have NOT already completed jotform 1) the verifier will need to also ask some questions about your role in addition to the Identity verification process and they should complete the Panel verifier form and send it to the Panel office along with the pink DBS form.

A list of volunteer verifiers is available from the Panel. 

Please note many ministers and staff can also carry out this role- so ask in your local church first.  


YOUR DBS CERTIFICATE: You will receive a paper certificate from the DBS at the end of both routes. 

Those choosing route A - electronic will not need to send their paper certificate to the office unless we request this but you should show your certificate to your local safeguarding coordinator.

Applicants choosing the paper/ postal route B must send their certificate to the Panel office. Unless you complete this final step we are unable to verify that you have a DBS check for your role.  We will return it to you and let your church know that the process is complete. 

The Panel office will inform the local church when a DBS check has been completed. The church should keep a confidential record of the DBS status of their volunteers so they can ensure 4 yearly renewals are completed promptly and all new volunteers complete the process. The church should not retain any DBS certificates or make copies
The information we collect on Form 1 and Verifier's From enables us to assess if the role is eligible for a DBS check and at what level.  Please see our privacy notice here.


A check should be repeated every 4 years.

If you have been doing the role for a while, your church safeguarding coordinator or secretary will be able to tell you when your next check is due. 

If you have registered with the DBS update service and it is 4 years since your last check with the Panel, you can complete your renewal quickly without needing a new DBS form. We can usually check your DBS online in a matter of minutes.

Read our information sheet for more details or complete this form and send it to our office along with your original certificate or get  IN TOUCH 

Please note:  If your update service subscription has lapsed, if you have lost your original certificate, or if your church role is not at the same level or group as the original certificate we may need to ask you to complete a new form.


Where a role is eligible for a DBS check it is our policy that one should be done.  This is in line with best practice principles and Charity Commission guidelines. We can't do a check just in case someone decides to work with vulnerable groups in the future.  We must be able to verify that each role is eligible before submitting an application to the DBS.

Look at the flowcharts and examples to see who is eligible and needs to do a DBS check click here or Read Our Policy and Summary of Eligibility leaflet here   If you are eligible you should do a DBS check before you start working and then every four years. 

This information is also in section 2 of the 2022  Handbook 

Please complete FORM 1 to begin a new DBS application or ask your local church safeguarding coordinator or secretary for advice.

still unsure - look at our checklists below or contact the office...

Checklist for DBS check eligibility for those working with Vulnerable Adults here

Checklist for DBS check eligibility for those working/volunteering with children here

Supervision - in order to decide if a role with children is classed as regulated activity or not it is essential to establish if there is adequate supervision. Click here to read the statutory guidance on supervision. 

Trustees: If a trustee is involved in regulated activity and works closely with vulnerable groups or manages or supervises those doing the work they will be required to do a check with a check of the barred lists because of the nature of the work, not because of the title 'trustee'. HOWEVER, a trustee, involved in the running of a church that provides activities for children or vulnerable adults is also eligible to do an enhanced check (without a check of the barred lists) even if they are not working directly with the vulnerable groups.  This is because a church working with children and vulnerable adults is classed as a "charity for vulnerable groups" for DBS checking purposes and the trustees are responsible for the work.


Many minor and old convictions and cautions have been filtered and will not appear on a DBS certificate after 11 years (5.5 years for convictions that occurred under 18 years old) and do not need to be disclosed. These filtering rules were updated in November 2020. Generally minor convictions are filtered after 11 years, but serious and violent offences (specified offences) and those leading to a prison sentence will never be filtered. See the New filtering rules for DBS certificates (from 28 November 2020 onwards)

See the Unlock disclosure calculator to work out if your conviction needs to be disclosed. (Unlock is an independent national charity that provides a voice and support for people with convictions)

See also  2.7 in the handbook 


 We are frequently asked…

Can I use a DBS certificate I have from another role?

Q " I am a teacher - I've done a DBS for work,  surely I don't need to do another check for my role in the church"       

A  " Well it depends. Unless you have joined the DBS update service it is still the same rule as previously. You need a DBS check for each organisation you work or volunteer for."

Many people believe that one Disclosure and Barring Service certificate is enough for all the work that they do with vulnerable groups and that they will never need to do another one. Unfortunately, this information is not completely correct. A DBS certificate is not automatically portable but since 2013 it has been possible to reuse a certificate if the applicant has registered with the DBS Update service within 30 days of receiving their previous certificate.

Read the Panel information sheet here

In order to re-use your existing certificate for your church work you will need to have registered online with the Update Service. We will need to see the original certificate, receive your written permission, and ensure that a Panel verifier or your church leader has verified your identity. This form will lead you through the process.

Contact us for more information or visit the DBS website. DBS update service guide



A DBS check will only give information about an individual's time in the UK. If you have a vulnerable group worker / volunteer who has lived overseas you should follow the procedures noted in these links to get longer-term information about their criminal history.

Please note: the individual often has to get this information before they leave their previous country.

Guidance on the application process for criminal records checks overseas



Please also look at the relevant pages in the DBS guidelines for Applicants for identity-checking rules and requirements for non-EEA workers and volunteers.

Note - employers are responsible for ensuring that new employees and volunteers are allowed to work in the UK 


All standard and enhanced DBS check applicants are required to read the relevant DBS privacy policy  here  

DBS Eligibility Guidance - General
DBS Eligibility Tool
DBS Eligibility Guidance - Standard Checks
DBS Eligibility Guidance - Enhanced Checks
Regulated Activity with Children
Regulated Activity with Adults
DBS Eligibility Guidance Leaflets
DBS Home-based positions Guidance

 click here to see the DBS guidelines for applicants including information if you have an unusual address

 Click here for more information about the rules regarding the filtering of old convictions and warnings

 Click here to see ID checking Guidelines and the current list of documents you will need to make your application

 click here to see the current list of DBS publications and updates

DBS Code of Practice  click here 

 DBS Update Service  To read more about the service that can allow you to use your DBS certificate again please click here