Latest News

DBS Focus Week  is 29 September – 3 October 2014

Safe Network is joining forces with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to raise awareness of safer recruitment issues and how to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable groups.
For more info click here


New Forms

The DBS have changed their application forms to reflect the legislation change which resulted in the filtering of old and minor convictions. They are in the process of replenishing Umbrella Bodies with the new forms.

Question e55 now asks:

‘Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance?’

If you have a stock of old forms please continue to use these until further notice, any further forms requested from Safety net will be the new ones issued by the DBS.


Volunteers: who is eligible?

When applying for a standard or enhanced DBS check, you need to consider if the position applied for is eligible. This is the case for both paid and voluntary positions.

Before submitting an application for a voluntary position, follow these steps:

Step 1: Establish whether the role the applicant is applying for is eligible for a criminal record check. A good starting point is to view the updated eligibility guidance or contact Liz at the Safety Net office on

Step 2: Once you’re satisfied the role is eligible, consider whether it meets our definition of a volunteer. The DBS define a ‘volunteer’ as:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.’

Step three: When you’re satisfied it meets the DBS definition, cross the volunteer box as ‘Yes’ at question x68 on the application form.


***Update Service reminders***

  • Applicants now have longer to join the Update Service with their certificate – 19 calendar days from the date of issue printed on the certificate.


  • When subscribing to the Update Service, please make a note of your unique ID number and keep it safe. You should not share this ID number with anyone because you will use it to access your Update Service account online.


  • If you’ve lost your certificate and are subscribed to the Update Service, you will need to apply for a new certificate, add that to your account and then remove your old certificate from your Update Service account. The DBS cannot issue a replacement certificate.


***Tips for filling the form in***

As you may know the DBS have replaced the equipment used for scanning paper application forms.

They are only able to accept forms where signatures are inside the box provided and  have been completed in black ink.

It’s more important than ever to stick to the lists of  ‘YOU MUST and ‘YOU MUST NOT’ on the front of the application form.

These include:

  • Use black ink throughout
  • Keep signatures within the box provided
  • Insert only one character in each box
  • Put a line through a mistake, and correct it to the right.
  • Do not use correction fluid

A reminder
To help us process your application forms as quickly and accurately as possible, please note for all applications, section x61 of the application form must be completed with the appropriate workforce (at line 1) and position applied for (at line 2). 


Safe Network – Our Decision (Safer Recruitment)

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 from 09:30 to 12:30 (BST)

Brighton, United Kingdom

Safety Net is pleased to be delivering Safe Network – Our Decision (Safer Recruitment) training on Tuesday 29th April 2014.

Location: Brighthelm Church and Community Centre

Aim of course: To support VCS organisations with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application process and effective decision-making related to the level of supervision and DBS checking required for different roles.


  • To raise awareness of the cultural change needed within the VCS following the launch of the DBS
  • To discuss the implications of this change for risk management
  • To work through case examples on supervision and consider the implications for your organisation and the wider sector
  • To explore the DBS application process and common errors
  • To identify resources and support to help your organisation meet this challenge
  • To identify next steps for your organisation

The Safe Network is jointly managed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Children England, funded by the Department for Education. NSPCC registered charity numbers 216401 and SC037717. Children England charity registration number 1044239, company registration number 3011053.

*free to East Sussex

To book visit Eventbrite


April 2014

Lost Certificates

If an applicant loses their certificate and their employer needs a criminal records check, they’ll need to make a new application. Alternatively, if an applicant wants to receive a reminder of the information that was on their previous certificate, they can apply for a DBS subject access request, which costs £10 and gives details of the information we hold about them. This includes a print-out of the certificate number and the certificate’s contents.

It’s important to note that when a subject access request is processed, the DBS does not re-verify data contained on a previously issued certificate with any data sources, so out-of-date information may appear on our response. This could include convictions which would now be filtered (in line with current guidance), convictions which have been overturned on appeal, or out-of-date passport numbers and marital status.

If an applicant has lost a certificate that is attached to their Update Service subscription, they’ll need to apply for a new criminal records check, and attach the new certificate to their subscription. This is so any new employer can carry out a status check correctly by viewing the certificate, ensuring that it is for the right workforce, and of the right type and level that they need, and that they’re legally entitled to receive.

December 2013


The DBS have launched a new e-guide for completing the DBS application form. This is a really valuable tool in ensuring the application form is not rejected due to errors or incomplete information.

Requesting inappropriate list checks

It is an offence to request a check of the barred lists for a role that’s not eligible for one.  Requesting inappropriate barred list checks may have an adverse impact on the applicant and any associated recruitment processes.

Please ensure when filling in the application and ticking to indicate a search of the adult or children’s barred lists (questions 64 and 65) you are entitled to know this information.

You may legally request barred list information where you’re assessing the applicant’s suitability to engage in regulated activity with children and/or adults but you must only do so for the list(s) relevant to that role.  You’re also declaring that the applicant will be, or is currently, undertaking regulated activity with children and/or adults.

A full list of the positions for which you can request an adults or children’s barred list check can be found here

October 2013

Since the merger of the ISA & CRB to form the DBS  last December there have been a number of changes to the way individuals are checked and the information that is provided to the employer or registered body.

Some of the key changes are listed below, this is in response to a number of questions and queries received to the Safety Net DBS Service.

  • The DBS now issue certificates to the applicant only, putting the individual in control of their own data.
  • The DBS now use a new relevancy test when releasing non-conviction information about an individual. This is based on the type of workforce; children or adults, both or other. This change means that DBS Certificates can be taken from role to role within the same workforce if the applicant signs up directly to the DBS’s Update Service at a cost of £13 per year (free to volunteers).

For more information regarding the Update Service and for Applicant & Employer guides please see the following link:

What is a volunteer?

DBS defines a ‘volunteer’ as:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.’

Make sure that applications meet the DBS’ definition of a volunteer before selecting the volunteer box  as ‘Yes’ at question x68 on the application form.

To qualify for a free-of-charge volunteer 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.

‘Spent’ Convictions

The new DBS service no longer provides details of ‘spent’ convictions following the recent Court of Appeal ruling, unless there is a pattern of regular/frequent offending or the offence was in relation to the Sexual Offences Act.

Watch this Space…..

The DBS are developing an online eligibility tool to provide the extra guidance for employers and organisations to decide which level of check is needed for specific job roles.   They advise this is still at design stage, but they hope to have a working prototype ready soon.

In the meantime please still refer to the the ‘DBS guide to eligibility’ that has been updated on their website. This guidance helps you establish whether the law allows a criminal record check through DBS for a role you are recruiting for (or already have) in your organisation.  The guide is available here:

Single Certificates

Please note that since the DBS introduced single certificate issue Safety Net does not receive a copy of the certificate. We are able to track the status of the application online.

It is the responsibility of the employer or organisation to request sight of the certificate to ensure it is satisfactory for the purpose of recruitment. If there are any disclosures then Safety Net can advise the relevant procedure to take to make a recruitment decision.