Welsh Government made an announcement recently saying that emergency legislation will ‘ease’ rules on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
This will not remove checks altogether, but allow a check from one organization to be used at another. This is intended to allow a greater number of people to volunteer more easily and to allow them to be more simply utilized in areas of greatest need.
WCVA has written a briefing paper, highlighting what the voluntary sector needs to know about DBS checks as the COVID-19 crisis progresses.
The paper covers:
- The procedure behind basic checks
- Suggesting wording for a disclosure form
- Guidance when your new volunteers already has a DBS certificate
- How to view DBS certificates via videoconferencing software
- Formal and informal portable DBS checks
- Reminders for when first applying for a new check
- Guidance on adult first checks
- Some useful links
Suzanne Mollison, WCVA Safeguarding Officer, said: ‘The community response to meeting the needs of those who are most at risk during the coronavirus epidemic has been impressive, and even overwhelming. It is so important that everyone keeps up to date with the latest guidance, from all reputable sources, about keeping themselves, and those around them, safe. Things are changing rapidly around us, but our response should be measured, and where possible, calm. We may feel under demand to deliver at speed but should plan as if building for the long term.
‘DBS checks are a vitally important tool to prevent all manner of harm and abuse as new volunteers and services come online. Like all tools we should use them wisely, and within the broader context of good safeguarding practice. The circumstances may place those at risk under greater threat than previously known and this should never be overlooked.’
Read the full briefing paper here.
WCVA publishes a daily briefing on the voluntary sector’s response to the coronavirus crisis. You can sign up for it here.