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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Policy

Withington Child Contact Centre requires all new volunteers to have a criminal records check through the DBS.  All volunteers will have a DBS check undertaken every three years, and the DBS checks will be processed through the Churches Agency for Safeguarding.


  1. All advertisements for positions within the contact centre will contain the statement
    “A DBS disclosure will be requested in the event of a successful application”

  2. In accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, all application forms will contain the statement
    “A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position”

  3. All application forms will contain a section requiring the signature of the applicant stating that they are willing for a DBS disclosure to be undertaken.


  1. The Contact Centre recognises that an offence listed in a disclosure is not necessarily a bar to volunteering

  2. The Contact Centre will review any information listed in a disclosure and will consider the following when reviewing an applicant's suitability:

    1. Whether the conviction or other matter revealed is relevant to the position in question

    2. The seriousness of any offence or other matters revealed

    3. The length of time since the offence or other matter occurred

    4. Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour or other relevant matters

    5. The circumstances surrounding the offence and the explanation(s) offered by the convicted person

  3. If an application is subject to disclosure information, the final decision as to the suitability of the applicant rests with the Methodist Connexional Safeguarding Advisory Panel.  This decision will be taken in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and will be after discussion with the applicant.

Security and Retention of Disclosure Information

  1. The Contact Centre takes confidentiality seriously and ensures that all information regarding disclosures is kept in a secure place, under lock and key.

  2. Only relevant personnel have access to disclosure information

  3. DBS sends out 2 copies of each disclosure per applicant:

    1. One copy of the disclosure is sent to the applicant named in the disclosure

    2. The other copy of the disclosure is sent to a named member of the accrediting body, in this case Withington Methodist Church

  4. Disclosure information is destroyed in a confidential manner (shredding)

Levels of Disclosure Checks
  1. The Contact Centre processes all checks at the level of “Enhanced" as defined by the DBS

  2. In the interests of the safety of the children using the centre, it is required that all new volunteers undertake a DBS disclosure, regardless of any already held

  3. There is no charge for undertaking a DBS disclosure

  4. This policy is reviewed annually and updated as necessary.  It was last reviewed in ​March 2024.

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