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Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

DBS Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers

It is important that clubs and counties make sure that those working with children are suitable to do so. The Guidelines for Safeguarding Children in Golf contain guidance on the safe recruitment and golf clubs and counties are strongly recommended to follow the advice, which is available www.childreningolf.org

Sian Simmons, Wales Golf Safeguarding Co-ordinator may also offer advice, call 01633 436040 or email sian.simmons@walesgolf.org

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority in December 2012, to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  The DBS provides access to criminal and Police Records for employers so that they may make decisions about the suitability of individual members of staff and volunteers to work with children and vulnerable adults in specific roles.

The DBS also makes decisions regarding whether a person should be barred from working with children.  In the case of some criminal convitions, that will lead to the guilty person being automatically barred from working with children, in other cases the DBS has to make a risk assessment decision.  They also make decisions where there has been no criminal convition, but there is sufficient information and grounds to warrant their decision.

The DBS produces “disclosures” for applicants working in “regulated activities” (see DBS Q&As section), which contain information about criminal convictions, cautions and in some individual’s risk to children to be made.  It also states whether the individual has been barred from working with children.

What checks should golf clubs make on staff and volunteers now?

Checking someone’s criminal record is only one aspect of good recruitment practice – it doesn’t necessarily tell you whether there have been concerns about the person before that have not resulted in a Police caution or a conviction. For example, Vanessa George had a clear DBS check. Clubs should therefore not solely rely on DBS checks, but also take up references and make other background checks on staff and volunteers.

Clubs should continue to obtain DBS disclosures for staff and volunteers who work with children and/or vulnerable adults as a regular part of their duties.

Advice on good practice in checking the suitability of individuals to work with children can be found atwww.childreningolf.org and within the Guidelines for Safeguarding Children in Golf.

Wales Golf DBS Process

  1. If an individual requires a DBS check the club Secretary/Manager can verifier the individuals 3 forms of identification by completing a Documentary Evidence Verification form and sending into Wales Golf offices with copies of documents.
  2. Alternatively, face to face checks can be obtained at the Wales Golf Offices in Newport.
  3. The club MUST request sight of the disclosure from the individual concerned PRIOR to the individual being recruited.
  4. If there is a positive disclosure the Golf Safeguarding Action Group* (GSAG) Case Management Group** (CMG) will risk assess the disclosure and inform the club and individual of the recommended recruitment decision.

Alternative option

  1. The individual could send the disclosure directly to the Golf Union of Wales to be risk assessed by the GSAG Case Management Group (CMG) and the recommendation regarding recruitment from the RISK ASSESSMENT will be sent to the individual and to the club.

The process:

  • Helps organisation provide a sound recruitment process, thus improving safeguards.
  • Ensures that information goes to the person(s) who need to ensure effective risk management.
  • Arguably, could deter suitable volunteers who would not wish their peers to be aware of potentially sensitive information that may be disclosed but does not impact on child protection.

Alternative option:

  • Ensures an objective review of disclosure to assist with risk management.
  • Ensures there is no compromise regarding irrelevant personal information.

Any queries please contact Sian Simmons, Safeguarding Co-ordinator sian.simmons@walesgolf.org

*Wales Golf is a member of the Golf Safeguarding Action Group (GSAG), which consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain and has been set up to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport.  Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf.  This will be achieved through the unique partnership which has the ability to influence and act as an advocate for safeguarding across the golfing landscape.    Members of the GSAG include; Wales Golf, The Professional Golfers’ Association, England Golf, Scottish Golf , Ladies European Tour and The Golf Foundation.

**Wales Golf is also a member of GSAG Case Management Group.  The CMG is made up of independent members who are volunteers with relevant safeguarding management experience and expertise, as well as the relevant lead officer from each member organisation.  The primary role of the CMG is to offer advice and guidance in relation to safeguarding concerns and cases and to support the relevant member Golf organisations’ Safeguarding Leads in carrying out their role and responsibilities.  When clubs refer any concerns or cases into Golf Union of Wales a uniformed decision can be made at the CMG and the club will be supported through the process.

1. What is the DBS and what does it do?

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority in December 2012, to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS provides access to criminal and Police Records for employers so that they may make decisions about the suitability of individual members of staff and volunteers to work with children and vulnerable adults in specific roles.

The DBS also makes decisions regarding whether a person should be barred from working with children. In the case of some criminal convitions, that will lead to the guilty person being automatically barred from working with children, in other cases the DBS has to make a risk assessment decision. They also make decisions where there has been no criminal convition, but there is sufficient information and grounds to warrant their decision.

The DBS produces “disclosures” for applicants working in “regulated activities” (see DBS Q&As section), which contain information about criminal convictions, cautions and in some individual’s risk to children to be made. It also states whether the individual has been barred from working with children.

2. What is “Regulated Activity”?

Regulated activity includes teaching, training, instruction, caring for or supervising children or driving a vehicle only for children where that activity is done unsupervised and on a regular basis .

“Regular” means once a week or more, or on a 4 or more days in a 30 period or overnight.

A person is deemed to be acting under supervision if that supervision is done by a person who is acting in a regulated activity themselves, and to the extent that the supervision is reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the protection of children.  It must therefore be regular and day to day and should not be remote.

3. Who should obtain DBS disclosures?

People working in a regulated activity, whether for payment or as a volunteer, and those managing people working in a regulated activity. In golf, this may include: Coaches, Junior Organisers, volunteers transporting children to matches, families offering hospitality to players, Club Secretary/Managers, Club Welfare Officers, volunteers supervising children on the course.

If the activity the person is undertaking falls within the definition of “regulated activity” but they are acting under supervision, then you may still request a limited version of the DBS check.  It will not contain information about whether they are barred from working with children but will provide information about any convictions, cautions and Police intelligence.

4. Who is unlikely to need a DBS disclosure?

Adults simply playing golf with children, volunteers involved with children for a “one off” event, catering staff, someone whose regulated activity is carried out in the course of family or personal relationships.

5. We are a club/county that employs staff and engages volunteers- what do we need to do?

Ensure that your volunteers and staff working with children regularly have obtained a DBS disclosure.

For details of how to get a DBS check please see section above or contact Sian Simmons, on 01633 436040 or sian.simmons@walesgolf.org .

The DBS disclosure should form only part of a good vetting process. Other measures are recommended, such as: Verifying the person’s identity, checking the person’s qualifications, taking up references, obtaining a self-declaration of criminal record.

You have a legal duty to refer any concerns you have about an individual’s suitability to work with children or vulnerable adults to the Independent Safeguarding Authority. If you fail to make referrals in the relevant circumstances, then you could commit an offence. (see Q8 below)

6. I am an employee/volunteer- what do I need to do?

The disclosure is free to volunteers, but there is a £48.50 charge for paid staff.

Under the new changes only the individual will receive a copy of the disclosure.  The club MUST request sight of the disclosure from the individual concerned PRIOR to the individual being recruited.  A copy MUST be sent to the Wales Golf (even if clear) by the club within 2 weeks of receiving the application.  If there is a positive disclosure the Golf Safeguarding Action Group (GSAG) Case Management Group (CMG) will risk assess the disclosure and inform the club and individual of the recommended recruitment decision.  Alternatively the individual could send the disclosure directly to Wa;es Golf to be risk assessed and the recommendation regarding recruitment from the RISK ASSESSMENT will be sent to the individual and the club.

7. What happens if I have a criminal record?

This depends on the nature of the information on your record. The Golf Safeguarding Action Group (GSAG) Case Mangement Group will make a risk assessment about your suitability to work in the role you have applied for, based on the nature of the nature of the offence(s), so that they may make a recommendation to your employer.

Having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that you can’t work with children, or that the golf club/county will be made aware of the information. You should contact Wales Golf you are at all concerned about this.

8. I have a minor conviction from a long time ago, I don’t want my golf club to know about it.

The Golf Safeguarding Action Group (GSAG) Case Management Group completes the risk assessment, and only advises them that the disclosure contains any information if we consider the risk to children in enhanced by this, so it is unlikely that we would inform your club under these circumstances.  We would not normally show your certificate to the golf club and if we did, we would seek your permission.

9. When and how do I report concerns to the DBS ?

If you withdraw permission for someone to work in a regulated activity, you must provide information to the Independent Safeguarding Authority if you also consider that: You think the person has committed an offence that would lead to them being barred by the ISA, or You think the person’s conduct endangers, or could endanger a child/vulnerable adult, or involves sexually explicit material relating to children or violence, or You think the individual may harm a child/vulnerable adult, cause a child/vulnerable adult to be harmed, or put a child/vulnerable adult at risk of harm.

If you have concerns about the conduct of an individual working with children/vulnerable adults, however small, you should refer the matter to the Lead Child Protection Officer of Wales Golf, Diane Davies, telephone 07923 065317. She will guide you through the process of dealing with the concerns and, in serious cases, whether it is appropriate for a referral to be made to the police, child social care and eventually the ISA. It is important that clubs involve Wales Golf in such matters so that we can respond as a sport to the risk presented to children. (see the Guidelines for Safeguarding Children in Golf for the correct reporting procedures)

It is important that the club/county has appropriate and formal disciplinary procedures in place that relate to all members, volunteers and staff, particularly now that the legal duty to refer exists. Referrals must be made following an objective and fair assessment of the situation and facts, and a disciplinary process allows this assessment to take place.

10. I work for various organisations and I have registered for the online status check service.  Can I just give you my DBS disclosure and my Online Status Check Service number ?

Yes Wales Golf use the upate service.