Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the government agency that provides information about an individual’s criminal record history, in the form of a DBS certificate, helping organisations to make informed recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. For those requiring them, DBS checks in Diocese of Exeter are renewed every three years.

DBS checks for licence holders:

DBS Checks for anyone holding the Bishop’s licence, commission, authorisation, or permission (Clergy, PTO, Readers, Licenced Lay Ministers) and ordinands are always carried out by Diocese of Exeter staff. If you are a member of clergy or hold the Bishops licence and believe you need a DBS application, please speak to your Archdeaconry in the first instance.

DBS checks for parish staff and volunteers:

DBS checks for parish staff and volunteers are undertaken by Parish DBS Evidence Checkers. Each parish/church/mission community should have at least one Parish DBS Evidence Checker who will be able to process the DBS application.

Becoming a Parish DBS Evidence Checker: 

If you wish to register as a Parish Evidence Checker you will first need to speak to someone in your church to ensure they are happy for you to undertake the role. Please read the Parish DBS Evidence Checker Role Description for information about what is required within the role. Once clearance has been provided by your church/parish you will need to email the Safeguarding and DBS Administrator with a completed Parish DBS Evidence Checker Registration Form (see below). The administrator will then arrange for you to be registered with Thirtyone:eight so you can start processing DBS applications for your parish. At that time you will be provided with a range of information and resources to help you undertake the role, most of which is also available below.

Whilst you are being registered please familiarise yourself with the ‘Parish DBS Evidence Checker Flowchart’, with ‘Processing DBS Checks in our Parish and FAQs’ (both are available below) and please also complete the ‘Safer Recruitment’ e-learning module, available via the Safer Recruitment and People Management webpage.

Essential Guides:

Essential Forms:

Additional Notes:

  • DBS Code of Practice: Disclosure and Barring Service code on information exchanged between DBS and registered bodies.

For further information about Safer Recruitment please go to our Safer Recruitment and People Management page.