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The Protocol Group

DBS Checks for Religious Organisations

If you work for an organisation in religion and faith, safeguarding is of utmost importance and DBS Checks (formerly known as CRB checks) play a key role. 


Certain roles within religion organisations may require a DBS check depending on the type of work done by the individual. This would apply to both paid and volunteer positions. 

DBS for Religious Members Working with Children

Any unsupervised role that provides any of the following to children will require an Enhanced Level DBS check: 

Supervising, teaching, training, instructing, caring for, providing advice/guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children

Individuals who carry out this work infrequently (but more than once) will require an Enhanced Level DBS check

Individuals who carry out this work more than three times a month or overnight (between 2am and 6am where there may be face-to-face contact with children) will require an Enhanced DBS check with the Child Barred List check.

DBS for Religious Members Working with Adults

Religious members working with adults will be less likely to need an Enhanced Level DBS check. However, as part of your work for a religious organisation or faith centre you may support members of the community with certain regulated activity tasks, and therefore would require an Enhanced Level DBS check with an Adult Barred List check. Examples of this would be: 

Individuals who convey adults to or from anywhere they would be receiving health care, personal care or social work, who because of their age, illness or disability require this help.

Individuals who provide day-to-day help to adults with running their homes because their age, illness or disability means they need this help, and where it includes at least one of the following:

  1. Managing their cash
  2. Paying their bills
  3. Doing their shopping

Illustrative example:  A volunteer who collects shopping lists and the cash to pay for the shopping from older adults’ homes, who then does the shopping on their behalf, would be engaging in regulated activity. 

If you are carrying out activities which are in the DBS’s definition of work with adults, you may require an Enhanced DBS check without an Adult Barred List check depending on the frequency with which you undertake this work. 

This is defined as: 


Providing assistance, advice or guidance to adults that fall within certain groups set out in the DBS Adult Workforce guidance

Conveying adults that fall within these same groups

Carrying out any form of work or volunteering in a care home (for the purposes of the Care Standards Act 2000) which is exclusively or mainly for adults, that gives the person carrying out the work the opportunity to have contact with the adults resident at that care home

The person carrying out the activity must be doing it: 

At any time on more than three days in any period of 30 days

At any time between 2 am and 6 am, where the activity gives the person the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the adult

At least once a week on an ongoing basis

An example of the groups that fall within the DBS Adult Workforce guidance are: 

Adults living in residential accommodation because of their care or nursing needs

Adults living in sheltered housing

Adults living in accommodation provided because they are or have been a pupil in a residential special school

Adults in receipt of care or assistance at home because of their age, health or disability

A full list of these adults can be found in Annex 1 of The DBS ADULT WORKFORCE GUIDE found here (see paragraphs 9 & 10). 

Why Choose eSafeguarding?

eSafeguarding has been an umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) since its establishment as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), and has been ensuring children, young people and vulnerable adults are provided with a safe and secure environment since 2012. 

The eSafeguarding system is an easy and effective way to handle DBS checks for religious organisations. 

Our approach is quicker than paper applications, with checks being completed in as little as 24 hours as we instantaneously authenticate data. 

Whether you need DBS checks for PCC members, want to enquire about a DBS check for church volunteers or are just wondering who needs a DBS check in church, our expert team of counter-signatories is on hand to support you in every way they can. 

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Enquire About DBS Checks for Religious Organisations

For more information, check out our FAQS or get in touch with our team by emailing, calling or filling out our contact form. 

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. If you need help with making sure you are complying with the law, you should speak to a legal advisor. 

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