Criminal Record Checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

A DBS check may be needed for certain paid jobs or voluntary work. Full details are on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

Umbrella Body Search

The Disclosure and Barring Service website provides an umbrella body search facility where you can search for organisations who can process DBS checks on your behalf.

A number of Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) members act as umbrella bodies for processing DBS disclosure checks on behalf of other voluntary organisations, including:

Learning Partnerships
Leeds Alternative Travel
The Youth Association

(NB: If you are a VAL member providing DBS checks, please get in touch to be added to this list).

DBS checks for volunteers

DBS checks are free for volunteers.

The DBS defines a "volunteer" as a person who is “engaged in an activity which involves spending time unpaid (except for travel and other approved out of pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative". Further details about the definition of "Volunteers" can be found on our Volunteers page.

An organisation should think carefully before carrying out a DBS check on a volunteer as only roles that involve regulated activity are required to be checked. "Regulated Activity" is a type of volunteering that a person who appears on the DBS barred lists is prohibited from doing.

This includes volunteering that involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups, including children. There are two types of regulated activity: Regulated Activity relating to Children and Regulated Activity relating to Adults. If a volunteer falls within either of these categories an organisation may request an Enhanced Check against the respective DBS barred list.

Further information on this can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.