Many community groups run activities in which it is important to safeguard participants against abuse and neglect.

People shaking hands at a meeting

One way to do this is to check whether prospective volunteers or employees have a criminal record which makes them unsuitable for particular roles within your group. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provides these checks.

DBS is one way you can safeguard children and vulnerable adults, but you should also think about other ways to keep people safe. For example, what you will do if you have concerns about a child or vulnerable adult’s wellbeing, and how you will make sure your staff and volunteers have the skills and knowledge they need to safeguard children and adults.

DBS Check needed?

Find out which DBS check is needed (or not) for your employee or volunteer using the Gov.UK DBC tool checker.

Getting Started with DBS Checks

 NCVO's  'Getting Stared with DBS checks' guides you through this including:

  • Planning for specific roles
  • Asking about someone's criminal  record
  • Types of DBS checks
  • Deciding which checks to carry out
  • Help and support with requesting DBC checks
  • Checks for Trustees
  • Keeping information safe 
  • When someone has a criminal record


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