Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)


Please note: DBS checks are NOT administered by the Safeguarding Team. Queries relating to parish DBS checks, should in the first instance be directed to your parish DBS administrator / recruiter, your Incumbent, or Rural Dean.

Changes and improvements have been made to the DBS process. In order to be in line with national best practice, DBS checks are now required to be renewed every 3 years. There will be a slow roll out period in order to update all individuals who are checked centrally by the Diocese. This new 3 year rule will also apply to DBS checks carried out locally. Further details will be sent out to Lead DBS Checkers, clergy, PSOs, PCC Secretaries, and Churchwardens.

Clergy, Parish DBS administrators, and those seeking DBS checks for Diocesan appointments can contact the diocesan DBS Administrator at the details below.

DBS checks are mandatory for certain roles within the Church. It is the DBS certificate holder’s responsibility to ensure their certificate is in date.

Diocesan contact for DBS Checks

If you are a member of the clergy or a licensed reader and you have a query about your own DBS check, please contact Kay Clayton, DBS administrator for the Diocese.

She can be contacted on 01522 504050 or [email protected]org

For all other church officer / volunteer positions, please speak with your Parish DBS administrator in the first instance. 

The various handbooks about our diocesan scheme are published below:

Applicants guide to an enhanced disclosure- This booklet will talk you through the DBS application process.

31:8 Disclosure Service - This is the link to register with 31:8

The roles that require a DBS check are set out in the Church of England’s Safeguarding Guidelines for Safer Recruitment which are available here

Why are DBS checks needed?

Ensuring safer recruitment practice is in place across the whole diocese is extremely important to the Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy. Whilst DBS checking is only a small part of the overall safer recruitment process, it is nevertheless essential for certain roles that are recognised as being significant positions of trust.

The roles that require a DBS check are set out in the Church of England’s Safeguarding Guidelines for Safer Recruitment which are available here

To this end the diocese has sought to provide a DBS checking system that is efficient and easy to access through its partnership with 31:8.

From time to time the safeguarding team will use the 31:8 safeguarding helpline to help us manage our workload, but instructions for this will be provided as necessary.

More information about 31:8

Established in 1977, 31:8 (formerly known as CCPAS) provides an unrivalled professional safeguarding advisory service. Many dioceses use this system, with 31:8 being one of the largest umbrella organisations to offer this service. The benefits to the parishes include: 

  • access to the online e-bulk application system
  • a much faster processing service via dedicated processing staff
  • no more need to send any forms in the post
  • greatly reduced potential for errors than completing with paper forms
  • access to online reports, including DBS status information
  • a dedicated account manager providing specialist help and advice
  • regular updates.

31:8 are the countersignatory for the diocese for all parish and diocesan DBS checks.  They will provide an efficient electronic web-based system, although if this is not an option, parishes can use the paper format.

How Does The Scheme Work?

  • Forms will be filled in online by applicants, verified online by parishes, sent online to 31:8, who countersign online and forward to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • The DBS endeavour to get replies to the parish in 4-6 weeks from the completed form being emailed to 31:8.
  • The system places control and responsibility at parish level, increasing local efficiency and enabling parishes to manage their own safer recruitment practice in line with the policy guidance.
  • Currently the Diocese of Lincoln will cover the cost of DBS certificates that are processed either by the Diocese or the Parishes.