DBS Checks

Recent changes in Government legislation meant the familiar purple forms for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Checks are now void and cannot be used, with the new Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Forms coming into effect.

Our Welfare Officer Helen Hever is advising people to no longer use the purple forms as they won’t be accepted by The Media Group, the FA-appointed body who administer DBS applications. The process of completing the new form is virtually the same, although it is much cheaper and quicker to apply online.

DBS Checks have become a part of the game at youth level to ensure the Country's youngsters can enjoy football in a secure environment, providing parents and carers with piece of mind that their child is in the safest possible hands. The FA are keen to ensure that the DBS process runs as smoothly as possible and has provided the facility for checks to be undertaken online. Further details on how to achieve this can be found below, as well as a brief background on why DBS Checks are necessary.

Why Does Football Need DBS Checks?

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) (SVGA), was drafted following the death of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002 and aims to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

This Act had an impact on football for Under 18s and The FA has worked hard to ensure the voice of football has been heard and understood by Government. There is an increasing level of awareness about this Act and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) were created by it.

There is also natural anxiety. The FA takes its responsibilities as a national governing body seriously and are providing counties, leagues and clubs with a systematic approach to the requirements of the Act. Government guidance for sport is expected shortly and The FA will provide support, frequently asked questions and training after this date.

The FA is aware that people are anxious about the cost of the new scheme. The Government will not be charging volunteers though, at present, The FA needs to levy an administration charge (currently £20 for the CRB, or £10 online). The aim is to keep this low as possible. It has also been noted there is a lot of information in the public domain which is being misinterpreted at times. However, by following the guidance below, those involved in football will not fall foul of the Act whilst waiting for further information.

In addition, grassroots football clubs with youth sections must do the following in order to affiliate:

* ensure they have a Club Welfare Officer in place who has an FA DBS Check and has completed Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshops
* ensure their Club Welfare Officer is familiar with The FA’s Online Safeguarding Children Service - this is The FA’s tool for ensuring Club Welfare Officers can see who has been DBS checked. The system also allows Club Welfare Officers to see who has completed their Safeguarding Children training.
How Do I Get Started?

In order to access this facility, clubs should contact The Media Group (TMG) on (0845) 210 80 80 (or E-Mail fachecks@thefa.com) to gain the relevant information. Please ensure you provide your FAN Number in the Personal Reference Number field provided (if known). Once completed and submitted you are required to provide proof of identity to your County FA Verifier/Club Welfare Officer in support of your application. All Identity Documents (ID) must be original. The list of acceptable ID and an ID selection tool form part of the online application.

What Happens Next?

The Verifier will look through your original ID documents and submit the application to TMG (The FA's DBS department) where the application will be validated before progressing. Upon completion, TMG will issue you with a copy of the DBS Disclosure, update their records and forward the Disclosure result to The FA.

How Much Does it Cost? How Do I Pay?

Volunteer fee: £10*
Non-Volunteer: £54

*A volunteer is defined as a person engaged in 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.

How Will The FA Use My DBS Enhanced Disclosure Information?

By completing an online DBS Enhanced Disclosure application the applicant is allowing The FA to have sight of any criminal record or non-conviction information that is held and released by the Police via the DBS process. This information may include outstanding prosecutions and relevant allegations of criminal behaviour. In line with the DBS Code of Practice, The FA may disclose this information to those involved in making a suitability decision. The FA may use any or all of this information to help decide on your suitability to be involved with children or vulnerable adults in football.

Is It Secure?

Yes. The online service is tested, approved, audited and used by several government departments. Information security management: UKAS accredited, ISO27, 001:2005. Should you require any further information regarding The FA DBS online service please E-Mail fachecks@thefa.com or ring (0845) 210 80 80.

Disclosure & Barring Service Update: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to form a new body - the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - though the processes which existed under the previous system will remain and continue to be delivered as normal.

Football clubs will now be required to complete Criminal Records Checks rather than CRB checks and these can be arranged online. 65 percent of people requiring criminal records checks in football are now using the online application process through The Media Group CRB. This service provides quicker, cheaper checks which are simple for clubs and organisations to administer. E-Mail helen.hever@essexfa.com for details.

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