Swim England

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DBS FAQs for swim schools

Below are some frequently asked questions on DBS, which relate to swim schools. If the answer to your question is not provided, please call the Membership Services Department on 01509 640727 or alternatively email the team at dbs@swimming.org.

DBS FAQs for swim schools

What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Home Office which was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and started operating on 1 December 2012.

It helps organisations and employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

The DBS carries out the functions previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) for England and Wales and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What is the DBS’s definition of a volunteer?

A volunteer is defined as a person 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. That it is not part of a course that will lead to paid employment.

What is an Enhanced Disclosure?

This is the highest level of check available to anyone involved in regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. Enhanced Disclosures contain the same information as the Standard Disclosure but with the addition of any relevant and proportionate information held by the local police forces.

An Enhanced DBS disclosure is a record of all warnings, reprimands, cautions and convictions from local and national police records. Information may also be disclosed at the discretion of the Chief Police Officer if that information is deemed relevant to the role the individual is applying for.

Are DBS checks compulsory?

DBS do not make their checks compulsory. However, it is a condition of affiliation to Swim England (be it a swim school or other body that affiliates to Swim England) to accept our procedure that all helpers working closely with children or vulnerable adults and could find themselves in a one-one situation do complete the necessary checks.

As a member of an affiliated swim school or other body, individual members are automatically bound under Swim England Laws and Regulations to comply with the Swim England’s DBS checking process but, it is only required if an individual wants to take up a role which requires a DBS check. If an individual is unwilling to do so, they must not be used by the club in any position that places them in a position of trust with children.

What is the process and how long does it take?

With the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act Swim England has introduced a new DBS online service provided by our partners First Advantage (Formerly GBGroup).

All DBS applications should now be made through the online service. All club Welfare Officers and Swim Schools have been sent information on activating their online service along with an activation PIN.

Swim England is no longer accepting DBS paper applications unless prior agreement has been sort from the Swim England DBS Coordinator.

An average DBS check made through the online service takes 2 weeks. Until such time as clearance is confirmed by Swim England that individual will not be able to undertake the role applied for but may remain in a supervised role for a maximum of 3 months.

How much does it cost?

DBS checks are free to Swim England volunteer club members. If an individual is in a paid position at the club the cost of the DBS check is £54.00.

If an individual is not part of a club, but wishes to be checked through Swim England (i.e. a teacher working in an affiliated swim school), then there is a charge of £54.00 for paid staff and £14.00 for volunteers to cover the cost of the disclosure and administration fees.

How long are DBS checks valid for?

DBS checks have no period of validity as the information on the Disclosure is a snap shot in time at the date that the checks were completed and must be seen as just one part of a safe recruitment process.

However, Swim England require swim schools to get their paid staff and volunteers re-checked every three years. It is advised to renew in the third year, rather than let it run out.

What happens if I already have a current DBS check with another organisation?

With the introduction by the DBS of the Update Service any applications receiving their Disclosure Certificates after the 17th June 2013 can now register with the Update Service. This will allow DBS Certificates to be reused when applying for similar jobs within the same workforce, child workforce, adult workforce or child and adult workforce and reduce the burden of red tape on employers.

This new subscription service lets individuals keep their DBS Certificates up-to-date so they can take it with them when they move jobs or roles.

Those applicants that are not registered with the Update Service, their application isn’t of the required level or workforce, will be required to complete a new DBS application.

What is the DBS Update Service?

Individuals have 30 days from the date the DBS Disclosure certificate is issued to register with the Update Service.

One of the government’s priorities is to overhaul the criminal records regime to give individuals greater control of their own information, allow DBS Certificates to be reused when applying for similar jobs within the same workforce, child workforce, adult workforce or child and adult workforce and reduce the burden of red tape on employers.

This new subscription service lets individuals keep their DBS Certificate up-to-date so they can take it with them when they move jobs or roles.

For a small annual subscription of just £13 (free for volunteers) applicants can have their DBS Certificate kept up-to-date and take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required.

Benefits to applicants:

  1. Saves applicants time and money.
  2. One DBS Certificate is all applicants may ever need.
  3. Take their DBS Certificate from role to role within the same workforce.
  4. Applicants are in control of their DBS Certificate.
  5. Get ahead of the rest and apply for jobs DBS pre-checked.
Can I challenge the information revealed on my DBS check?

Yes. If you think there is an error with your DBS check or you do not agree with any of the information then please call DBS directly on 03000 200 190. Disputes must be raised with the DBS within three months of the date of issue of the Disclosure.

Do I need to complete a DBS form for each swim school I am employed by?

Yes, if you completed the DBS yourself and not through Swim England you must do a separate DBS check for each swim school you are employed by.

No, if you hold a Swim England DBS, your DBS will be valid against employment at any swim school in England.

Who should check my documents of identification?

The Welfare Officer of the swim school or DBS lead of the facility/operator.

Original identification documents must be produced along with a photocopy of each.

Who will see my information?

Your personal information will only be seen by those whose jobs require them to do so. Put simply, only the necessary DBS staff at Swim England head office making the checks in order for you to receive clearance.

Do I need to send in any documents?

Do not send your ID into Swim England; we do not check your documents.

They need to be taken to the Welfare Officer or DBS lead of the facility/operator requesting the DBS in order that their sections of the online application can be completed.

Who can swim schools contact for further help and advice?

If you require further information please contact dbs@swimming.org. Alternatively you may wish to contact the DBS helpline on 03000 200 190 or visit their website at www.gov.uk/dbs. Please also refer to the DBS’s Code of Practice, which can also be found on their website.

As a swimming teacher, can I go through the Swim England DBS checking service?

Yes – the Swim England DBS checking system is available to swimming teachers and swimming lesson provider staff members of affiliated clubs and swim schools . If you have any questions on whether you are eligible, please email dbs@swimmming.org

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