DBS checks (formerly 'CRB checks'), protection and safeguarding

From 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)

Information sheets

All members only information sheets are now found on the Members Area of the NCVO website.

Example documents

Further information

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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.

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