DBS - Key Resources

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the government agency through which checks can be made to ensure the suitability of people to hold posts, particularly where they will have sole responsibility for children or vulnerable adults.

Applying for DBS Checks

All Lichfield Diocese DBS checks must be completed online using the Thirty One:Eight Disclosure Service. Please use the information on this page to help you with your DBS application.

Useful Links

Online Application Applicant's guide
Recruiter's Guide ID Checker's Form
Eligibility Guide Self Declaration Form

Information for applicants

To apply for a DBS check, each applicant must complete the online form. Please select Standard / Enhanced DBS Application, not Basic. See the table at the bottom of this page for the Organisation Reference for your deanery, which goes in the first box. The Organisation Code for all applications is LICHFIELD156, this goes in the second box. The Organisation Reference and Organisation Code are both case-sensitive and all letters should be UPPERCASE. You may wish to read our Equal Opportunities Policy and Privacy Policy.

Once you have completed the online form you will need to show your ID documents to your Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO), Parish DBS Administrator, or a member of your clergy, whoever is responsible for processing DBS applications in your parish. Please see pages 7-10 of the Applicant’s Guide for the list of suitable documents and how many documents are required. Please note no documents other than those listed can be accepted. Please also pay attention to the footnotes regarding dates as out-of-date documents cannot be accepted. 

You should also complete a self-declaration form and give it to your PSO.

Information for Parish Safeguarding Officers

DBS applications can be processed by the Parish Safeguarding officer (PSO), Parish DBS Administrator, a member of clergy, or if in vacancy and no PSO is available, a church warden. Once the applicant has applied online please take copies of the ID documents, making sure that important details such as names, addresses and dates can be read on the copy. Photographs taken on a smartphone are acceptable if a scanner is not available but please make sure the details are legible, the verifier needs to enter this information on the application. The PSO should also complete an ID Checker's Form. This is where you note how the person is eligible for a DBS check, please refer to the criteria in the Eligibility Guide and page 30 onwards of the Recruiter's Guide. Pay particular attention to Regulated Activity requiring a barred list check, which needs to be considered carefully as it is a criminal offense to apply for a barred list check if the applicant is not eligible. Pages 35-39 give many examples of church roles, their eligibility and a preferred title to entered on the application, please refer to these when you can. If unsure please contact your deanery verifier or the diocese DBS Administrator for advice. The ID and form then need to be sent by email for verification, the diocese DBS Administrator can provide contact details for your deanery verifier. Note if your deanery does not currently have a verifier the DBS Administrator will be able to verify applications. There are many parishes in the diocese, some with very similar names, so please be sure to include the full parish name on each application as this informs where results are sent. Each applicant should also provide a completed Self Declaration Form, this does not need to be sent with the application but must be stored in line with GDPR and Safeguarding document rules.

Information for Deanery Verifiers

Once you are registered with Thirty One:Eight you should receive an email with details of how to login to the system and access to a number of training guides. If you are unsure of anything please contact the DBS Administrator for advice.

What Happens next?

Thirty One:Eight will then be responsible for checking and authorising the application and forwarding it to the Disclosure and Barring Service. Once processed a paper certificate will be issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service to the applicant by post and an electronic result will be sent to the Diocese stating if an application is blemished or clear, although we will not be aware of the information contained on a blemished disclosure. We then update our records and results are sent out to incumbents, or Safeguarding Officers for those in vacancy. In the case of a blemished disclosure the safeguarding team will liaise with the incumbent.

The DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service can be used to perform an Update check on a previous DBS check from a different organisation without completing a full new application. However, you must have subscribed to the service within 28 days of your DBS being issued, and the level of check required must match the original DBS exactly. More information can be found on the DBS Update Service website. If you have already subscribed to the Update Service and wish to use your certificate for a role in the church, please show your original certificate to your PSO and ask them to send a copy to the DBS Administrator with your consent for an Update Check to be carried out. Once an Update Check has been carried out your DBS is then valid for 3 years, if you still require a DBS at this time a further Update Check must be requested. DBS checks are not updated automatically via the Update Service.


Safeguarding and DBS requirements for those standing for Election or re-election as Church Warden


I haven’t received my certificate yet, what should I do?
There are several stages to the DBS application process and the time taken can vary from a few days to several weeks. If you think you should have received your certificate by now please speak to your PSO or whoever submitted your application. They can contact the DBS Administrator, who can check on the current stage of your application. If it is marked as ‘processing’ this means 31:8 have sent it on to the DBS government department and we can’t do anything to hurry it along until it has been on the 4th stage of the process for more than 60 days, when Thirty One:Eight will chase it automatically. Very occasionally DBS checks are processed correctly, and the parish is notified of the result, but the certificate never arrives. In this case you can request a DBS certificate reprint.

I have a DBS from another organisation, can I use that at church?
We cannot accept a DBS certificate from another organisation outside the diocese but in some circumstances we can use your existing certificate and perform an Update Check, please see DBS Update Service above.

My role at church has changed, do I need a new DBS?
If the new role and the old role require a DBS check at the same level you do not need to apply for a new certificate just to show your new job title. Speak to your PSO about the level required for your new role and compare it with your current certificate. Please note if a barred list check has been included it will say NONE RECORDED, it has not been included it will say NOT REQUESTED.

Does everyone who comes into contact with children or vulnerable adults need a DBS check?
Not always, sometimes it is considered incidental contact and a DBS is not required, other times it depends on the exact nature of the duties carried out, how frequently and if working unsupervised. Please see the Eligibility Guide for more information. If you're not sure if you need a DBS, have a chat with your PSO. 

I'm on the PCC, why do I need a DBS if I'm not working with children or vulnerable adults?

Any trustee (PCC Members over the age of 18) of a children’s and/or adult’s charity can be asked to apply for an Enhanced DBS check with the appropriate workforce - either child workforce, adult workforce, or child & adult workforce. This applies even if the trustee themselves does not work directly with children or adults. There is no eligibility for a barred list check, unless the person is working in Regulated Activity themselves or line manages/supervises someone else who is. For DBS purposes, a charity is a children’s charity if the charity workers or volunteers include those who carry out work that falls into the legal definition of regulated activity with children. A charity is an adult’s charity if there are staff or volunteers who carry out work that falls into the legal definition of work with adults. If your parish sponsors and approves, in its own name, children’s, young people or adults with care and support needs activities, then the members of the PCC are considered trustees and will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS without barred list check. The position applied for in this instance should be entered as ‘PCC Trustee’

Contact the DBS Administrator

If the information on this page has not solved your query and you can't speak to your Parish Safeguarding Officer (or don't have one) you can contact the Diocese DBS Administrator by email or by phone on 01543 221506, answerphone available. Please note this is a part-time position so please be patient if waiting for an email or call back.

Organisation Reference and Organisation Code

You will find the Organisation Reference for your deanery in the table below, which goes in the first box. The Organisation Code for all applications is LICHFIELD156 which goes in the second. The Organisation Reference and Organisation Code are both case-sensitive and all letters should be UPPERCASE. Please ensure you use the correct deanery Organisation Reference or your deanery verifier will not be able to access your application. Note clergy are given a different Organisation Reference from their Bishop's office, which should not be used for lay members of the parish.

Deanery Organisation Reference
Alstonfield 156B12083
Cheadle 156B11465
Eccleshall 156B11409
Edgmond and Shifnal 156B11818
Ellesmere 156B11862
Hodnet 156B11788
Leek 156B11716
Lichfield 156B11563
Newcastle 156B12077
Oswestry 156B12999
Penkridge 156B11393
Rugeley 156B11498
Shrewsbury 156B11745
Stafford 156B11431
Stoke 156B11401
Stone 156B11600
Tamworth 156B11493
Telford 156B11597
Trysull 156B11561
Tutbury 156B11484
Uttoxeter 156B11389
Walsall 156B11399
Wednesbury 156B12164
Wem and Whitchurch 156B11696
West Bromwich 156B11400
Wolverhampton 156B11433
Wrockwardine 156B11803
Wulfrun 156B11717
Page last updated: Thursday 27th June 2024 10:42 AM
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