Disclosure Checks

A key safeguard is ensuring the people who work and volunteer at the Group have received a satisfactory disclosure check (or equivalent). All volunteers and staff working with our groups, who are eligible, must have a disclosure check. It is a mandatory requirement that DBS (England & Wales) and Access NI checks are renewed every 3 years, regardless of how long the applicant has been with the group.

To find out who is eligible to be checked, please click here.

You cannot accept an existing disclosure check from alternative organisations, unless that applicant is currently registered with the Updates Service (England & Wales).
As a group, you will need to find a registered body to process your disclosure checks.

Issuing and Checking of Certificates

Once a disclosure check is complete, a certificate will be issued directly to the applicant. The group must check this certificate to ensure there are no disclosures they should be aware of. Once checked, the applicant should keep their certificate safely – the group are not permitted to keep a copy. You may, however, make a note of the date of issue and certificate number, if needed. 

What to do if there is a Disclosure?

If the certificate has anything recorded, the Safeguarding Officer should refer this to the Group Trustees who ultimately must decide if the individual is suitable to volunteer with RDA.
It is important to note that if an applicant for a role with an RDA Group is shown to have a criminal record, this does not necessarily bar them from working with the RDA Group. The fact that a person has a criminal record may be irrelevant to the role for which they are applying and it is vital to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against unfairly.
Please read the RDA Disclosures Policy on the engagement of a volunteer or employee shown to have a Criminal Record.

DBS (England & Wales)

The Disclosure and Barring Service is a government service which helps employers and voluntary organisations make safe recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. The DBS searches police records and, in relevant cases, barred list information and then issues a DBS certificate to the applicant.
There are three levels of checks offered by DBS, however only Enhanced and Enhanced with additional Child Barring List is acceptable for RDA groups.

Before a DBS check is undertaken, you must see 3 forms of ID from the prescribed list given by DBS. You can find details of what ID is acceptable here:

DBS Official Forms of ID

DBS Update Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service allows applicants to make their DBS certificates portable across varying organisations. To apply for this, go to:https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service 

If you have a volunteer who is already registered with the Updates Service, you can check their certificate online by seeing their 3 forms of ID, and filling in the Updates Service Form from the menu on the right. This then gives you the information you need to be able to perform a status check of their certificate. It must still be an enhanced DBS certificate, and valid for the correct workforce (participants) at you group, as well as having the child barred list where appropriate. 

PVG Information (Scotland)

If your Group is based in Scotland, your safeguarding checks are handled by Disclosure Scotland through the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Membership Scheme.
Disclosure Scotland supplies criminal history information, upon request, to organisations and individuals, primarily to help them make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
Disclosure Scotland searches the Police National Computer and where appropriate the children’s and adults list of those barred from working with children and vulnerable adults and then issues a certificate to the applicant.

The PVG Membership Scheme

The PVG membership Scheme is designed to provide an efficient and portable disclosure. This service lets applicants keep their disclosure certificates up to date online and allows organizations to check a certificate with the permission of the applicant. Once an individual is a member of the PVG scheme all records will automatically be updated if any new convictions or vetting information considered relevant by the police arises.
Registering for the PVG Membership Scheme
In order to access the PVG Membership Scheme Groups need to register either through Horse Scotland or The Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS)
For more information click here

Access NI Information

If your Group is based in Northern Ireland, your safeguarding checks are handled by Access Northern Ireland. Any queries or application forms are now being accepted by a Registered Body in Northern Ireland called Riding for the Disabled NI. Please contact Belinda Millar at eastantrimrda@gmail.com for more information.
When Access NI searches and checks your criminal history, they provide a disclosure certificate with any criminal records. Unspent convictions appear on a basic disclosure certificate. Cautions, spent and unspent convictions appear on a standard or enhanced certificate.

Page Last Updated: April 21, 2023