Safer Recruitment and the Disclosure & Barring Service

Safer Recruitment is one of the core safeguarding principles to which the Church of England and the Diocese of Truro are committed to.

‘Safer Recruitment’ refers to the whole process of appointing people to act as volunteers, office holders or paid employees to work with or support vulnerable members of the community, be they children, young people or adults. Safer Recruitment practices should progress seamlessly into safer working practices that relate to how people in such positions operate once they are in post.

The use of criminal records checks via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is one important and often legally required element of Safer Recruitment, but it is just one tool in the toolbox. Good practice revolves around effectively taking up references, developing job descriptions, interviewing candidates and combining these with other safe practices to create a context in which the safeguarding of vulnerable people and the care of those who work with them are appropriately prioritised.

Policy, templates and documents

The diocese adopts the national Church of England Safeguarding policies and templates for safer recruitment.

Follow the link below for practice guidance (including which roles/activities are eligible for Disclosure & Barring Service checks), frequently asked questions, templates and forms.  In addition Section 5 of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook (see below) provides safer recruitment guidance for PCCs.

Disclosure & Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the government agency through which checks can be made to enquire as to the suitability of people to act in certain roles, particularly where they will have responsibility for children and young people or where certain specified services will be provided (what is called ‘Regulated Activity’ or ‘RA’) to children or adults.

More information regarding the DBS can be found on their website.

Detail about the diocesan safer recruitment policies and how to apply for a DBS check can be found in our Parish Safeguarding Handbook – Diocesan Guidelines document.

Interim DBS Guidance (March 2020)

Although the current Safer Recruitment guidance remains in effect, the Disclosure and Barring Service have recognised the difficulties in physically reviewing ID documents, with the introduction of social distancing and home working.

Under the current guidance, the ID checker must be in physical possession of the original documents so they can be checked for indicators of fraud. To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS ID checking guidance has been changed for a temporary period.

The changes mean that you can now post or email scanned images for use when submitting the DBS for processing. For Clergy, PTO and Readers, as there are no staff in Church House, please email scanned images to For parish recruitment, please get in touch with your local parish DBS Recruiter.

All applicants will still be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their role.

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