Safer Recruitment and the Disclosure and Barring Service

What is ‘Safer Recruitment’?

Safer Recruitment is one of the core safeguarding principles to which the Church of England and the Diocese of Exeter are committed:

“We will carefully select, support and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and barring schemes.” (Diocesan Safeguarding Policy)

‘Safer Recruitment’ refers to the whole process of appointing people to act as volunteers, office holders or paid employees to work with or support vulnerable members of the community, be they children, young people or adults. Safer Recruitment practices should progress seamlessly into safer working practices that relate to how people in such positions operate once they are in post.

The use of criminal records checks via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is one important and often legally required element of Safer Recruitment, but it is just one tool in the toolbox. Good practice revolves around effectively taking up references, developing job descriptions, interviewing candidates and combining these with other safe practices to create a context in which the safeguarding of vulnerable people and the care of those who work with them are appropriately prioritized.  Safer Recruitment practice is laid out by the Church of England in this guidance document:

Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2016

The Diocese of Exeter has produced this flowchart to provide an overview of the Safer Recruitment process that should be followed:

Safer Recruitment Diocese of Exeter Flowchart July 2017

If you have questions relating to Safer Recruitment, please contact:

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team: on 01392 294969 or EmailIf you are unable to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or it is out of hours you can contact the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service helpline. Please ensure that you clearly state that you are calling from the Diocese of Exeter when using this facility: 0303 003 11 11


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).

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the government agency through which checks can be made to enquire as to the suitability of people to act in certain roles, particularly where they will have responsibility for children and young people or where certain specified services will be provided (what is called ‘Regulated Activity’ or ‘RA’) to children or adults. Enhanced disclosures are available with or without a ‘Barred List’ check for work with children and/or adults where the activity involved meets the relevant criteria.  Disclosures can also provide intelligence held by police forces or other statutory agencies.

More information regarding the DBS can be found on their website:

If you are a parish, mission community or other body within the Diocese of Exeter that appoints volunteers or workers and want to know more about how you carry out DBS checks for your appointments, please visit the page:

How Do We Carry Out DBS Checks Within Our Parish/Mission Community?

If you have a role within the Diocese of Exeter and want to know how you get DBS checked, please visit the page:

How Do I Apply For a DBS Check in the Diocese of Exeter?

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