DBS Eligibility Guidance
Since the introduction of the Disclosure systems in 2002, the RFU has processed on average 15,000 Enhanced checks each season. These have been for a wide scope of positions ranging from coaches and first aiders through to committee members and catering staff.
Following the Government’s review of vetting requirements for individuals working with vulnerable groups, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have produced this guide to help clubs/organisations decide who should and who shouldn’t apply for a DBS clearance.
The DBS now require strict adherence of their eligibility criteria and, as a result, a number of roles that were previously processed are now being rejected.
To qualify for an Enhanced DBS check, the employment or position must be classed as a Regulated Activity. Within a rugby setting, the position must meet the following criteria in order to be deemed Regulated Activity –
“Any activity which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults and is of a specified nature (e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment or transport) frequently, intensively and/or overnight.”
To meet the threshold for “frequent” or “intensive” the individual must carry out the role at least once a week or more, or four times in a month or more.
Activities covered under this definition relate to those who are working with children or vulnerable adults. If the activity puts an individual in contact (whether that is supervision, training or instruction) with these groups on a basis that is merely incidental to their role, then DBS clearance is not required.
For example, bar and/or catering staff - the role itself does not meet the definition of Regulated Activity as any contact with children or vulnerable adults is incidental and not of a frequent, intensive and/or overnight nature. As such this position becomes ineligible for DBS clearance. An individual though may apply for DBS clearance if they hold an alternative role in addition to bar/catering staff that does meet the Regulated Activity criteria e.g. coach, in this case, only the eligible role should be declared on the application.
A further example of an ineligible role is those with access to Rugby First who log U18 data e.g. Youth Registrars; the DBS Policy Team has confirmed this role as being ineligible for DBS clearance.
Additionally, we have encountered queries relating to parents/helpers on overnight tours. Please note that both of these roles meet the definition of Regulated Activity and as such are eligible for an enhanced DBS disclosure.
Clubs must not “blanket” check all club members/volunteers. Only those in roles which are eligible for DBS clearance submit applications. If the RFU receive applications for ineligible roles they will be returned unprocessed. However, it is important that Clubs are also mindful of the fact that carrying out a DBS check on an individual is only part of the risk assessment; Clubs should, if they have any reason for concern over an individual’s suitability for a role, carry out further checks in the form of references for other types of enquiries.
The RFU have produced the following flowchart that provides you with key questions to ask when deciding whether to request a DBS disclosure.
DBS Eligibility Guidance and Flowchart.
Please note that this is only a guide and that some roles within your organisation may require further consideration amongst those responsible for risk assessment within your organisation or with the RFU.
Further guidance is available on the Home Office website and also contained within the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/47/schedule/4