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Volunteering and Skills Toolkit

Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

Making DBS Checks quick and easy to keep you and others safe.

 

Some volunteering opportunities require you to submit to a Disclosure and Barring Service check before you can begin volunteering; this is a legal requirement designed to protect you and the organisation. Only opportunities that involve you working with vulnerable people will require you to undergo a DBS check. For more information on what roles might require a DBS check please read the DBS Guide to Eligibility.

 

What roles are eligible for a volunteer DBS check?

The DBS definition of a volunteer is defined in the Police Act 1997 (criminal records) Regulations 2002 as:

“Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative.”

To qualify for a free-of-charge disclosure and barring service check, the applicant must not:

  • benefit directly from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted

  • receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)

  • be on a work placement

  • be on a course that requires them to do this job role

  • be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification

Examples of ineligible/eligible volunteer roles

I’m a parent helper at my child’s school

Eligible. This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party.

I’m a Scout or a Guide

Eligible. This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party.

I’m an adoptive parent

Eligible. This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party.

I’m a foster carer

Ineligible. This activity is entirely voluntary but foster carers usually receive payments for these activities therefore it is deemed that neither foster carers nor other members of the household are entitled to free checks.

I’m going to volunteer abroad

Ineligible. This activity is entirely voluntary and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party, but these persons usually receive payment of a local salary, and lump sum payments, above and beyond what could be described as “travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses”.

I’m a medical/teaching/other student on a work placement

Ineligible. This activity is a mandatory course requirement, is usually paid and is primarily undertaken to benefit the student

 

Can the Students’ Union support me?

To be eligible to claim a DBS Check through Staffordshire University Students’ Union you must:

Be a current Staffordshire University Student or Students' Union Staff Member

AND

Have a confirmed volunteering roles in Students' Union managed activity

AND

Meet the definition of a volunteer detailed above

We are not able to provide DBS Checks until confirmation of a volunteering placement is received, as this may constitute an illegal request for this information.

The Students’ Union does not fund the provision of DBS Checks for roles not managed by the Students' Union. We are broker service to access free checks for voluntary personnel and as such we are not able to provide checks for non-voluntary roles or organisations.

 

How do I apply?

There are three stages to every Staffordshire University Students' Union DBS application:

 

Useful Contacts

The Government department responsible for Disclosure and Barring Services

Phone: 0870 909 0811

Email: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk

Mail:

Sensitive Applications Team
Customer Services
PO Box 165
Liverpool
L69 3JD

Our support organisation providing our online systems.

Phone: 0843 1780818

Email: info@ucheck.org.uk

Mail:

uCheck Individuals
Unit 11
Gidleys Meadow
Christow
Exeter
Devon
EX6 7QB