Diocese of Chichester Safeguarding

DBS checks are valid for 3 years and must be re-done at that point. For clergy, the Diocese sends out reminders to ensure that re-checks are completed at the 3-year point. For parish staff and volunteers, it is the responsibility of the parish to have a system in place to ensure that re-checks are completed every 3 years.

Full Church of England guidance on DBS checks can be found by clicking on this link. We have produced a simple summary below, and a separate page for the more complicated issue of DBS checks for PCC members.

Summary of DBS requirements for different roles:

  • Clergy holding the Bishop's licence: all clergy need to be DBS checked, with an Enhanced check including a check of the barred list. This includes PTO clergy.
  • Lay people working or volunteering with children or young people: Most will require an Enhanced DBS with barred list check unless they are supervised or do not fulfil the frequency criteria (e.g. they are on a rota).
    • “Supervised” activity is defined by the Church of England as activity where the supervisor (themselves safely recruited) is always able to see the supervised worker’s actions during their work – if this level of monitoring cannot be maintained continuously then the role is not a supervised position.
    • “Frequency Criteria” is defined as once a week or more; 4 days or more in any 30-day period or overnight between the hours of 2am and 6am.
    • If an individual is working with children but does not satisfy the frequency test or period condition and/or are supervised, so he/she is not in regulated activity in relation to children, then he/she may still be eligible for an enhanced DBS check (without barring information) but this will depend on careful analysis of the work involved.
  • Lay people working or volunteering with vulnerable adults:
    • Most will require an Enhanced DBS without barred list check, provided they satisfy the Frequency Criteria. Some may require an Enhanced DBS with barred list check if, for example, they provide, personal care, assistance with cash, bills or shopping, conveying someone to or from healthcare, personal care or social care (but not to Church activities).

Please note that Lay Ministers of Communion will not normally be eligible for a DBS check if that is their only role. 

Examples of roles that these criteria will apply to:

    • Readers; Worship Leaders; Authorised Lay Ministers; Licensed Evangelist
    • Lay people authorised to provide pastoral care, e.g. Parish Pastoral Assistant, Pastoral Home Visitor, Street Pastor, Authorised Listener, Pastoral Outreach Worker and equivalents in Cathedrals e.g. Cathedral Verger who has pastoral care in job role
    • Youth worker or Leader; Children’s worker or Leader
    • Sunday school teacher or Leader; Family workers who work with children or their Leader
    • Bell ringers who teach or train children plus the Tower Captains who manage those adults who teach or train
    • Music leader where the choir or musical group includes children
    • Head Server when the role includes supervision or training of children
    • Parish volunteer driver for vulnerable groups (children or adults) for children’s/adults’ activities organised by the body (NB: private/personal arrangements among parents/friends etc. are exempt)
    • Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, Cathedral Safeguarding Advisers and Parish Safeguarding Officers who manage people engaged in activities with children, young people or vulnerable adults (nb. “manage” here includes planning, organising, advising or directing)
    • Members of National Safeguarding Team and other roles within Diocesan Safeguarding Teams where working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults (or managing on a day to day basis individuals who are working with children/young people/vulnerable adults)
    • Diocesan Education staff who either have substantial contact with children or manage those who do
    • Leader of Parent & Toddler Groups (but not parent helpers who supervise their own children or if a self–help group)
    • Managers of individuals working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
    • Those in religious communities (e.g. monks, nuns, brothers and sisters) who are in active ministry and work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.