What is the Disclosure and Barring Service?
In December 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) were merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We will revise these diocesan web pages over time but in the interim, please read all references to the CRB and ISA as referring to the DBS.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the government agency through which checks can be made to ensure the suitability of people to hold posts, particularly where they will have sole responsibility for children and young people or where certain specified services will be provided to adults (what is called ‘regulated activity’). In addition, it has the power to take decisions on whether to bar a person from undertaking 'regulated activity'.
The aim of the DBS therefore is to offer a “one stop shop” for ascertaining whether an individual has a criminal record or has been under police investigation, or has been barred from undertaking regulated activity.
There are two levels of DBS check currently available; they are known as Standard and Enhanced Disclosures. The Diocese only carries out Enhanced checks. Disclsoures show current and spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer. In addition, in respect of Enhanced Disclosures, any relevant and proportionate information held by local police forces may be included, although the ‘relevancy test’ for the release of this sort of information was tightened in September 2012.
An Enhanced Disclosure is the highest level of check available to anyone regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children. Enhanced disclosures are suitable for a person having regular unsupervised contact with children or young people and the recommended level for Clergy, children’s workers and youth leaders.
Since September 2012, Enhanced Disclosures are available with or without a ‘barred list’ check for work with children and/or adults where the activity involved meets the new criteria (ie meets the new definition of regulated activity). Stand-alone Enhanced Disclosures (without a barred list check) remain available for positions that do not meet the new criteria but DO meet the old definition.
For more detailed information about the new definition of ‘regulated activity’, and for information about other changes also introduced in September 2012, please click here.
New Diocesan guidance has been produced and can be dowloaded here.
Also available are some national church information sheets:
Update March 2013
While some of the changes have been introduced as planned (such as the merger of the CRB and ISA) other developments have not happened on the timescale anticipated. As a result, the national church office has produced an update, confirming the state of play until the final Protection of Freedoms Act changes are in force, available for download here.
More information regarding the DBS can be found online
www.churchsafe.org.uk - the home page of the Churches Agency for Safeguarding
Overview of the Diocesan System
Since the national agency (then the CRB) became operational in 2002 the Diocese has operated a dual service: in line with national C of E policy it carries out its own DBS checks on all Clergy as part of the routine appointment process as well as Readers, PtOs and, where appropriate, diocesan employees. In addition, it acts as an “umbrella body” for parishes whereby they can obtain DBS disclosures under the “umbrella” of the diocesan registration. The Diocese makes no charge to parishes for processing disclosure applications on their behalf and therefore the only fee payable is that required by the DBS itself.
The Diocese subscribes to the DBS’s Code of Practice which can be found as a link at the bottom of this page. It is a condition of using the diocesan service that PCCs make a formally minuted decision and agree in writing to observe this code of practice.
The diocese also has its own DBS Disclosure Policies which can also be accessed via the links below.