DBS England & Wales

If your Group is based in England or Wales, your safeguarding checks are handled by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). Please use the resources to the right for all your DBS needs.

Changes to the Identity Validation Form

DBS has recently released new Identity Validation information which now makes it easier for some volunteers to use other documentation as valid proof of identity. With this in mind, we have recently updated our own Identity Validation form which has started to go out to groups. If you have recently requested a batch of DBS forms then you will have recieved the new forms however, if you have not, you can easily download it from our website on the right hand side of this page. 

Changes to the Issuing of Certificates

From 17 June DBS introduced changes which mean that certificates will now only be supplied to the applicant and not to RDA National Office as the Registered Body.  This means that RDA National Office will no longer be able to perform any checks of the certificates on behalf of Groups.
It is of the utmost importance that, with immediate effect, the group CVPO or nominated Trustee, as a matter of course, has sight of every applicant’s original certificate to ensure there are no disclosures which may make them unsuitable to be involved with an RDA Group.

When the original certificate has been received the CVPO should ensure there are no “convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings”. If the certificate is clear, the applicant is suitable to volunteer with RDA. If the certificate has anything recorded, the CVPO should refer this to the Group Trustees who ultimately must decide if the individual is suitable or not to volunteer with RDA.

Update Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has released a new update service, which allows applicants to register to create a “portable” criminal record certificate. The update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows organisations to check a certificate online with the permission of the applicant.  Subscribing to this service reduces the need to apply for multiple Certificates when an individual moves from one job or organisation to another doing a similar role or when a recheck is required.

The benefits to applicants:

• Applicants will be able to take certificates from one job or voluntary position to the next – meaning they will spend less time filling in forms.

• Applicants will be able to give employers and other organisations permission to check their certificate online and see who has checked it.

Meaning the checking process will be much faster as a result can be obtained straight away. If an individual at your Group wishes to subscribe to this service they will need to register online when applying for a DBS certificate or within 14 days of receiving one.  Applicants will need to use either the DBS application form reference number or certificate reference number found on their DBS certificate.  For more information on how to apply please go to: https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/crsc/apply

Registration to the update service lasts for 1 year and is free of charge for volunteers and £13 for paid staff. If an individual at your Group requires a DBS check and is a subscriber to the service they will need to complete the form below and return it to RDA National Office where we will perform the required checks through the update service.

DBS Update Service Form

Question E55

Due to changes in legislation there have also been some changes to how the DBS form itself is required to be completed. To support the correct application of the new legislation, question E55 on the application form will in time, require amendment. In the meantime, we ask that you follow the guidance, provided by DBS, as below:

Currently, question E55 asks the applicant: ‘have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or received a caution, reprimand or warning?’

Applicants should now ignore this question and instead treat this question as if they were being asked: ‘do you have any unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings?’

Top 3 Mistakes on Application Forms

There are common mistakes made on DBS application forms which cause delays in getting the application processed and incur extra postage charges in returning applications.  Please ensure that all forms are carefully checked before sending on to National Office for processing.

• Missing forenames, including middle names: Names must be included IN FULL and this also applies to the full name history. Please do not use nicknames or abbreviations.

• Partially-completed dates: Other than the date of birth, all dates should be listed in MM/YYYY format. Dates between name and address changes should be consecutive, with no gaps. (Overlapping dates are fine, such as in the case of students with domestic and term-time addresses, or for those temporarily living overseas).

• Partially-completed or omitted National Insurance, Driving Licence or Passport Numbers As applicable, where the candidate has marked ‘yes’ in response to being in possession of the above.

Page Last Updated: December 15, 2023