When I was at our national safeguarding conference in January there was a fine for any time anyone said CRB instead of DBS, the Disclosure and Barring Service. Since December 2012 the DBS has combined the functions of the former CRB and the former Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Now we have a new round of changes. They were signalled a long time ago but the actual detail only came out three weeks ago - and over a Bank Holiday - which has made us scramble to come to terms with them and issue new guidance. I need to mention four of these:
This affects how the job or role is described.
Following a court decision the DBS will be removing details of convictions which count as 'spent' from their certificates. Some convictions, such as those for offences against children or for violence, will never count as spent for this purpose, but the rules are complicated.
The DBS will cease issuing two copies of each certificate and now issue only one, to the applicant. Parishes who subscribe to the ebulk service from Churches Agency for Safeguarding will receive notifications of clear certificates. Those who use the paper service will need ask the applicant to bring in their certificate so it can be logged.
When the government consulted on this, the biggest complaint came not about the need to get a DBS certificate in the first place, but the need to repeat it for other employers. This Diocese has always operated a policy of portability for volunteers but many employers did not. It was always legal but the CRB, as was, used to discourage it. The new Update service is designed to meet this need, so that those applying for new certificates can also for a fee (unless they are volunteers) register for the Update service. Subsequent employers can then check whether their certificate is clear.
Detailed guidance on all this has been sent to countersignatories, recruiters and verifiers and will shortly also be posted on the Diocesan website.