DBS checks (formerly 'CRB checks'), protection and safeguardingFrom the Good Practice Bank
Many volunteer-involving organisations work hard to support and empower the most vulnerable members of our communities. Working with children, people with disabilities and older people means ensuring that safeguards are in place to make sure everyone is treated in a safe and respectful way that does not expose them to unnecessary risk.
Effective safeguarding goes far wider than Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly 'CRB checks') and involves how you recruit, induct, train and support volunteers. Effective safeguarding is also about striking the right balance, so that vulnerable people are protected, but that equally, organisations do not become overly risk averse.
Please note, as part of recent government reforms to the disclosure and barring system, the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have been transferred to a single organisation, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). To keep up-to-date with other developments surrounding the reforms visit our Policy and Campaigns safeguarding page.
DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)
- Free Information Sheet Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly 'CRB checks') (386.7Kb)
- Free Information Sheet The online ‘Update Service’ enabling ‘portable’ DBS checks planned for Summer 2013
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) More information on the 'Update Service' planned for Summer 2013
- Gov.UK Information on criminal records disclosures for individuals and organisations
- Home Office Positions eligible for a DBS check
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Identity checking guidlines
- Volunteering England 'Good Practice Bank' Beyond DBS checks: other important safeguarding measures
- Home Office Search for organisations that process DBS checks
- Home Office A guide to recent reforms to the disclosure and barring system
All members only information sheets are now found on the Members Area of the NCVO website.
- Free Safeguarding student volunteering in the Further Education sector: information for volunteer-involving organisations and brokerage organisations - VE Information Sheet (56.8Kb)
- Free Volunteers and the Law. Please note, legal issues are subject to change. Up to date information should be sought from the relevant sources, or NCVO.
- Free Involving ex-offenders in volunteering (94.8Kb)
- Example child protection policy
- Example vulnerable adult protection policy
- Example extracts from child protection policy and guidelines (18.6Kb)
- Contact the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- Ex-offenders, offenders and prisoners as volunteers
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- NACRO is a crime reduction charity which works to support ex-offenders and deprived communities. They can advise on issues related to taking on ex-offenders as volunteers.
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Child Protection in Sport Unit is a partnership between the NSPCC and national sports bodies which works to support sports organisations working with children.
- The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) safeguarding resources
- The Safe Network provides information and resources to help keep children safe
Volunteering England and the organisations that contribute example documents to the Good Practice Bank accept no responsibility for how they are used. They are presented as examples of good practice, but it is every volunteer-involving organisation's responsibility to ensure that their volunteers are safe, and that policies and procedures meet legal requirements.