Guidelines on the Disclosure and Barring Service as provided by Scout HQ (05/08/13)
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formally known as the CRB) now offer an ‘Update Service’, which allows a status check of criminal records disclosures between organisations.
The Scout Association has worked with the DBS to understand if their Update Service can work for volunteers wishing to join Scouting, based on the level of disclosure required by us. Currently we have no plans to take part in the Update Service and any members joining The Scout Association will need to do a separate DBS check to comply with the level of check required.
This decision has been taken for the following reasons:
Getting the right level of DBS check for Scouting
• There are now five types of enhanced DBS checks and there is a legal obligation on Scouting to ensure only people with the appropriate check are permitted to engage in certain duties. Many individuals with a DBS check from another organisation will be of the wrong level for Scouting and therefore not portable.
• An applicant wishing to use the Update Service would need to present their original disclosure certificate to ensure it is of the correct level of check and have their ID verified. This is in addition to completing the Association’s own membership forms. Currently we conduct a DBS check from the one membership form and can immediately ensure is appropriate to the role and meets the legal requirements
• In the event that an individual using the Update Service had information held on their DBS certificate it would need to be sent to The Scout Association HQ, which does not help speed up our appointment process.
• In the event that an individual using the Update Service did not have the correct check for Scouting it would open local Scouting up to more bureaucracy and delay than the current system.
Costs for the individual
• Individuals who register for the Update Service using a DBS check conducted as a volunteer will be free. If they then wish to use this check for an employed role (where a DBS check is normally charged for, but covered by the employee) they may find themselves having to pay a fee.
We are disappointed that this service falls short of being the genuinely portable system we believe would help reduce bureaucracy and maintain our established safeguarding arrangements.
We will be monitoring how the Update Service works for those organisations that do use it and welcome feedback from members who make use of the scheme in other sectors and will be raising the need for a more effective system with the government at every opportunity.