If someone’s role involves more than one of the activities below and the activities allow for different levels of check they can be asked to obtain the higher level of check that is available to them, the Charity Commission’s safeguarding guidance advises charity trustees to get the highest level of DBS check that a role is eligible for.
Remember: anyone can access a basic DBS check, even if they are not eligible for a higher level of check
The guidelines below are specifically for roles which undertake activities with children. While less common, some activities with adults would make a role at a faith centre eligible for Enhanced DBS check with or without adults’ Barred List check. Please see our separate guidance on eligibility when working with adults.
- Charity trustees are eligible for an enhanced DBS check without a children’s Barred List check if the staff and volunteers within their charity include those who carry out the regulated activity with children. Instances of regulated activity in this guidance have the words “regulated activity” after them. For more information on a regulated activity,please see the DBS page.
- A charity trustee could also be eligible for the children’s Barred List check if they undertake regulated activity themselves or manage someone who does.
Committee Members/ Managers:
(President/ vice president, General secretary/ treasurer, Stage secretary, Education secretary)
- whose role is limited to leadership, strategy, policy or caretaking – can get a basic DBS check
- with responsibility for day-to-day management of staff and volunteers in regulated activity with children – can get an enhanced DBS check with a children’s Barred List check.
- whose role involves teaching, check the section for teachers
- only leading prayer sessions (and does not have any further roles) – can get a basic DBS check
- teaching children – check the information for teachers below
- providing pastoral care, including giving advice and guidance on emotional physical or educational wellbeing to children:
(Including teachers of: Punjabi, Kirtan, Tabla, martial arts, Gurmat)
A member of the kitchen staff:
- whose role is only to cook and serve food – can get a basic DBS check
- who is also responsible for supervising children during break or meal times
- The kitchen secretary/lead overseeing the Langar and the provisions secretary would also only be able to get a basic DBS check unless they undertake supervision of children as mentioned above.
- Whether a volunteer would be eligible for a DBS check would depend on the activities they undertake in their role. Please look at the role which relates to the duties they are responsible for
Overnight and residential stays:
Where children stay overnight, at a youth camp or religious festival for example, without their parents or legal guardians present, there are activities which would allow for a DBS check:
If any individual, whether staff or volunteer, is responsible for:
- the care or supervision of children other than their own overnight between 2am and 6am, with the opportunity for face to face contact – even if this is done only once – that person can get an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s Barred List (regulated activity)
- teaching, training or instructing children other than their own during this time or providing them with advice and guidance on their physical, emotional or educational wellbeing between 2am and 6am – that person can also get an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s Barred List (regulated activity)
If you are recruiting staff or volunteers from overseas, the Charity Commission expects trustees to carry out checks where possible. Whilst some foreign offences can occasionally appear on DBS checks, this is unlikely and DBS does not have access to criminal records in other countries. It is strongly recommended that separate overseas criminal record checks such as Certificates of Good Character or the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) are carried out where relevant. This is to ensure the recruiter has as much information as possible to make that safer recruitment decision.
More information can be found here: