According to public statistics, there are around 15 million people in the UK who volunteer at least once a month. Volunteers undertake a whole host of roles in the community, from working in shops belonging to one of the large national chains, to organising fundraising events for smaller, local charities. Not all volunteers need to undergo DBS checking, but the recent revelations about historic sex abuse in sporting clubs means that there in more emphasis than ever on making sure that volunteers are properly checked out to ensure they are fit people to hold the position.
Nobody can argue that DBS checking for people planning to work with children or other vulnerable groups. It can however be very frustrating for people who have accepted a new position but have to wait for weeks or even longer for their checks to be completed and to start work. New figures released by an independent company which helps people submit their DBS check paperwork have thrown up continuing huge discrepancies between the fastest and slowest Police forces.
One of the key requirements of the DBS scheme is for employers and people who organise volunteers to make sure that the people who are presenting themselves and asking for a DBS check to be done are who they say they are. Often this process is confused with the checks which employers do to satisfy themselves that their new worker has the right to work in the UK. It’s not the same thing at all, and although the documents may be similar, workers may have to go through two separate processes.
Several high profile cases where women were murdered by partners who had not disclosed their violent past led to the Police implementing a trial of new legislation which has been dubbed “Clare’s Law”, after Clare Wood, murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009. The scheme – which is officially called the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – has now been rolled out across the country. Similar legislation known as “Sarah’s Law” allows parents to ask for Police to disclose whether someone who has access to a child has certain convictions. So, what exactly can you find out?
Most of us know what DBS checking, and often DBS – or the older term of CRB – is used to describe the process across the UK. In fact, DBS checking through the Disclosure and Barring Service is only used in England and Wales, and there are separate processes for those living in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the body which administers police checking is called Access NI, so here’s a guide to getting police checks done if you’re living or applying for a job in Northern Ireland.
Over the years, the process for being checked out as a suitable person to work with children od vulnerable adults has changed considerably. Many of the changes recognise the fact that checking was not dynamic; the check was done at one given point in time and any information which came to light after that point would not be disclosed until the person concerned came to renew their DBS check or moved to another job elsewhere. The DBS Update service sets out to address some of these issues with DBS checks in an attempt to streamline the procedure.
Sometimes, dealing with the government appears to be a never-ending list of abbreviations and acronyms. If you’re confused about all these letters and what they might mean, read on for a simple guide.
Most of us are used to the idea of going through a process of checking when applying for a certain type of job or when volunteering to go into our child’s school and help out with reading or crafts. But what is less known is that some people enrolling on a University course might have to go through the process too, and that offers won’t be confirmed until a satisfactory check has been carried out. In the worst case scenario, this could mean someone passing all of their exams with top grades, flying through an interview, yet still being turned down because of something on their Police record.
Press and TV news stories recently have been full of stories about people convicted or charged with child abuse when working in a position of responsibility, or committing similar offences against vulnerable adults. Processes for checking and vetting workers and volunteers have changed over the years, and in 2017 we’re now mostly aware that people require to be DBS checked before starting work. There is a lot of confusion though about who can get checks done and in what circumstances an individual can ask for checks to be done on someone close to them.
If you’re applying for a job or voluntary position, you may have seen the terms PVG or Disclosure Scotland bandied around. The police checking process for applicants to work with children or vulnerable groups in Scotland is different from other parts of the UK, and the organisation which administers the checks and sends out the certificates is called Disclosure Scotland.