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The DBS and DBS Check

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government service that replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). It helps prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. By processing requests for criminal records checks, it helps organisations like sports clubs make safer volunteer recruitment decisions.

How do I arrange a DBS check?

As part of their commitment to safeguarding in sport and physical activity, the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) DBS Checking service provides an online criminal records check. This service is available to any organisation which is eligible to conduct such checks, for both volunteers and paid staff.

More information can be found on the WSA website or Telephone 02920 334 974

Do all volunteers require a DBS check?

  • Criminal record checks are only undertaken on people aged 16 or over.
  • Some volunteers will require a standard DBS check. Others will require an enhanced (or their standard check will be enhanced with) a barred list check. The WSA will be able to help you work out what you need.

Some volunteers already have a DBS check. Do they need a new one?

  • If a volunteer already has a DBS check – perhaps from a paid employer or a previous role – they may have subscribed to the DBS’ Update Service.
  • If this is the case you may be able to check their criminal records status online immediately.
  • If the volunteer has not subscribed to the update service you will need to apply for a new check as offences may have been committed since the previous check. Always check with your National Governing Body of Sport as not all organisations accept checks from the update service.

When do DBS checks expire and need updating?

  • If the applicant registers for the updated service annually they do not expire
  • It is the decision of the club or organisation when to update the checks
  • However, the NSPCC (and most National Governing Bodies of Sport) recommend renewing the checks every three years
  • Renewal checks are currently completed the same way as the first check, through an umbrella body such as the WCVA.