DBS checks for activity clubs: an essential part of safeguarding

Whether it’s dance classes or cricket coaching, if you’re teaching or instructing children then it’s essential to ensure you’re meeting DBS checking requirements. So what do you need to consider when requesting DBS checks for activity clubs, and who should you request them for?

Who should you request DBS checks for?

DBS legislation can be tricky to understand – there’s often confusion over who requires DBS checks. For your activity club, the key point to remember is that anyone engaging in regulated activity in relation to children requires a DBS check.

This is a broad term, but essentially it means anyone teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children.

Consequently, anyone carrying out these roles would be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. These roles could include sports coaches, art teachers or supervisors at after-school clubs.

Regulated activity in relation to children is also determined by a person’s place of work. If they’re working for a limited range of establishments (specified places), they would be entitled to a check on this basis.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Schools
  • Nurseries
  • Children’s homes

As a result, if you’re running an activity club and employees are working in any of these establishments, then they’ll be eligible for a check on this basis. For more examples of these specified places, visit page eight of the DBS guidance.

However, if employees are working in one of these establishments but are not teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children then their eligibility for a DBS check would be dependent on the frequency of their work there.

Examples of these roles include employees working in finance or administration. In these cases, the employees would need to work there on more than three days in a 30-day period to be eligible for an enhanced DBS check.

It’s also important to note that this legislation applies to anyone carrying out these roles, even if they’re a volunteer.

Consequently, when requesting DBS checks for activity clubs, efforts should be made to determine who’s eligible for a check. This simplest way to do this is to consider the nature of their work, and where they’re working.

Who is eligible for a children’s barred list check?

The majority of applicants engaging in regulated activity will also be eligible for a children’s barred list check.

However, if the applicant will be supervised by someone also engaging in regulated activity at all times then a barred list check would not be deemed necessary.

Nonetheless, activity clubs should consider whether there’s a possibility that the applicant would ever be left unsupervised. If so, a barred list check can be requested.

For more information on whether an applicant is eligible for a children’s barred list check, visit the Department for Education’s guide to keeping children safe.

What checks can other employees have?

If your activity club has employees or volunteers who won’t be engaging in regulated activity or working in a specified establishment, you can request a basic criminal record check for them.

This isn’t a DBS check, but a criminal record check offered by a different governing body, and it will detail any unspent convictions (anything recent/serious) the applicant has.

This level of check can be requested for all staff members who are not eligible for a DBS check.

How to request DBS checks for activity clubs

Once you’ve confirmed who requires a DBS check, it’s your responsibility as the employer to request the checks – individuals cannot request checks on themselves.

Activity clubs can sign up with a registered body such as uCheck in order to request the DBS checks they need.

However, if your activity club is regulated by a larger body, such as the Football Association or Ofsted, you should check with them for advice on their criminal record checking policy.

As DBS checks have no official expiry date, regulatory bodies may have requirements in terms of how often checks need to be redone.

DBS Checks for activity clubs: a summary

DBS Checks for activity clubs are an essential part of safeguarding.

The key points to remember as an activity club working with children include:

  • Make sure you determine who is eligible for a DBS check, and which level of check they’ll require
  • Remember that legislation applies to all those carrying out eligible roles, even if they’re volunteers
  • Consult with any regulatory body your club is governed by to confirm their policies before requesting any checks
  • Ensure you have DBS checks completed, if needed, before allowing any employee or volunteer to start work

Looking to get started requesting DBS checks? Register with us here or get in touch to find out more.