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(see also Section 2 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook)
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.   SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS OF WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO DO A DBS CHECK.
Important Privacy Statement
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
Please  note on the DBS verifiers form or Jotform 1 that you have read  and understood how the Panel and DBS will process your information.


Click here to see our paper DBS application process.  Alongside this paper route  We have begun a new pilot to offer online DBS checks in partnership with Gwynedd Council. (May 2023) . See note here

All applicants now need to complete the initial information form 1 and choose how to proceed: Option A or B 

Please  ensure you have read the Panel Privacy Statement (DBS Checks).  and tick the box on the jotform or verifiers form.

Option A  > Online  (You must provide your email address - a link and password will be sent directly to you to enable you to complete your DBS application online.  You will still need to meet with a Panel verifier to check your identity documents.
once you have requested the online process you wil  receive a link and password to complete your form with Gwynedd council. Please complete your form promptly. You will recive a reminder every 5 days until the process is complete.
Option B > Using the paper form  (a DBS paper application form will be sent to your postal address or to your church secretary or  safeguarding contact)

You can compete Form 1 using one of the 3 formats below:

You can complete either the form online JOTFORM FORM 1     or download and complete and email this word doc FORM 1  or download and post or scan this PDF FORM 1 



ln 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 utilities bill. For details visit the DBS website HERE or to see a list of the acceptable documents click HERE

The verifier will need to download, complete and return FORM 2 ( word) or FORM 2 pdf  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 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 your 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
The information we collect on Form 1 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 incase someone decides to work with vulnerable groups in the future.  We must be able to verify that each role is eligibile 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 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 barring 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 activites for children or vulnerable adults is also eligible to do an enhanced check (without a check of the barring 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 occured 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 ot 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 dont 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 on-line 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 individuals time in the UK. If you have a vulnerbale 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 infomation before they leave their previous country.

Guidance on the application process for criminal records checks overseasGuidance 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 


 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  which can allow you to use your DBS certificate again please click here