DBS Checks | Brass Bands England

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DBS Checks

DBS Checks and Certificates

What is a DBS certificate and why might I need one?

‘DBS’ refers to the Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly known as ‘CRB’, the Criminal Records Bureau. DBS certificates and checks have been put in place by the government to prevent unsuitable people from working/volunteering in situations where there are children and vulnerable adults present. For more information, see our DBS resource in the Member Resources area.

Who is eligible for a DBS check?

By law, DBS checks can only be can only be carried out on those who are in eligible roles; that is working in roles involving 'regulated activity'. Regulated activity is defined differently for working with children and for working with adults. It would be extremely unlikely in a banding situation that regulated activity with adults would be being carried out. For that reason, BBE only carries out DBS checks on those working in regulated activity with children. Please note that DBS checks can not be carried out on someone who is just a member of a band which has children in it. For more information on eligible roles for DBS checks, see our DBS resource in the Member Resources area.

How much do DBS checks cost?

We process DBS checks for volunteers within BBE member bands for free. There is a charge for processing DBS checks for professionals in BBE member bands as we are charged by the DBS for processing these checks. The charge for a professional check for a members band is £40. However, members of the Brass Band Conductors' Association (BBCA), are entitled to ONE one-off completely free professional DBS check as part of their membership. We will invoice bands for the fee when we receive the completed application form.

Volunteers and professionals in non-member bands will be charged for DBS checks. DBS checks for volunteers in non-member bands cost £45 and for professionals in non-member bands the cost is £85.

Please note that MusEd or Making Music Safe membership does not include free or discounted DBS checks. 

How do I obtain the DBS application form?

As we process fewer than a thousand forms annually, DBS only allow us to use paper DBS forms. Forms should be requested by a band's Safeguarding Officer. If you are linked to a BBE member band you will be able to access our DBS resource in the Member Resources area and order the forms you need. 

What is the application process?

DBS forms should be requested by the Safeguarding Officer here. Forms and guidance are posted out to the band's Safeguarding Officer. It is good practice to give applicants the chance to let you know if they have any convictions which will show up on a DBS check before they complete the DBS form. Please note that a previous conviction does not necessarily mean an applicant is unsuitable to work with children  - a risk assessment would need to be carried out. You can find guidance in our Bandsafe resource: Recruitment Guidelines.  DBS forms are completed by the applicant and checked by the evidence checker who also sees proof of ID. The completed forms are posted to BBE's Safeguarding Officer - this should be within 12 weeks of them being signed by the applicant. If forms arrive outside fo this time period they will not be processed. The forms are checked and signed by BBE's Safeguarding Officer and posted to the DBS. The DBS run the checks and post the certificate to the applicant. The applicant shows their certificate to their band's Safeguarding Officer. The band's Safeguarding Officer checks to see if any convictions have been listed on the certificate. They record the date of the check and the certificate number so that they know when an applicant needs to be re-checked. 

Do applicants need to provide evidence of ID?

Yes, applicants will need to provide current, valid and original ID documents. The list of approved ID documents will be included with the blank DBS forms. These documents will be checked by someone appointed by your band to be the 'evidence checker' - the documents must not be sent to BBE. Find out more by watching our Member Resource DBS Webinar

Who can be the evidence checker?

The role of the evidence checker is crucial in the DBS application process. The evidence checker needs to be a trustworthy member of your band and must be someone with good attention to detail - they do not have to be the Safeguarding Officer. The evidence checker will receive guidance from BBE with the blank DBS application forms to help them fulfil this really important role.  The evidence checker must not be related to anyone having a form checked. Find out more by watching our Member Resource DBS Webinar

There isn't enough space on the form for all my name changes / addresses

You can print off a continuation sheet here.

What age do you need to be to apply for a DBS certificate?

The minimum age at which someone can apply for a criminal record check is 16.

How long does it take for the forms to be processed?

This takes up to 12 weeks from receipt by BBE, but will depend on:

  • how many other DBS forms BBE is processing;
  • how well applicants and evidence checkers follow the guidance for filling in the forms. If information is missing or incorrect and we need to get in touch with you then it will elongate the process;
  • how busy the Government DBS checking service is;
  • how complicated your form is, for example if you have many name or address changes, this might take longer.

How often does a DBS certificate need to be renewed?

This is for your band to decide, but we recommend every 3 years. In order to use BBE's BOPA supervising adults must have been DBS checked in the last 3 years. Please allow plenty of time for the renewal process which will involve filling in another form unless the applicant joined the DBS Update Service.

What is the DBS Update Service?

The Update Service is an online subscription service that lets people keep their DBS certificates up-to-date. It also allows organisations to check a certificate online, with the applicant's consent. The Update Service is free to join for those in volunteer roles.

Why should an applicant join the DBS Update Service?

By joining, applicants will be able to track the progress of their application. In most cases, joining the Update Service will remove the need to fill in another paper form saving a lot of time for both the applicant and evidence checker. With the applicant's permission, organisations will be able to use the Update Service to see whether the information on the DBS certificate remains the same as the day it was issued. Where it does there will be no need to complete another form. Where it doesn't (for example if an applicant has moved house, changed names, committed an offence) a new form will need to be completed. NB once the Safeguarding Officer has used the Update Service to check out someone's status they also need to make sure they see the original certificate to see if there are any convictions / other inforamtion listed on it. 

How much does it cost to join the DBS Update Service?

It is free for those in volunteer roles to join. For those in professional roles there is a £13 annual charge.

How does the applicant join the DBS Update Service?

Once the application form has been sent to the DBS, BBE will notify the evidence checker to ask them to get the applicant to join the Update Service. They can join, within 28 days of the DBS receiving their application, using their application form reference number.

They can also join the Update Service when they receive their DBS certificate, by using their certificate number. If they choose to do this, they must join the Update Service within 30 days of the ‘date of issue’ displayed on your certificate.

If a band member already has a DBS certificate, do they need a new one?

The Safeguarding Officer needs to see the certificate and official photographic proof of ID to check the certificate belongs to the person. The workforce and level of check need to be the same as the one you require. The role needs to be the same or similar. The person needs to be on the DBS Update Service so that you can check that the information on the certificate is still valid. Once the Safeguarding Officer has used the Update Service to check out someone's status they also need to make sure they see the original certificate to see if there are any convictions / other inforamtion listed on it.  If all these conditions are met then the member does not need to complete another application unless it is your band's policy to ask them to do so.

What happens if a DBS certificate comes back and there are convictions listed on it?

In such a case BBE recommend that 2 trusted band members independently assess whether the convictions mean the person is a risk to the children or adults in the band or to the band's reputation. More details can be found in the Bandsafe resource: Recruitment Guidelines.

Where can I find more information?

Watch the DBS webinar in our Member Resources area.

If you already have the DBS forms and guidance from BBE then pplease read throughthe information you have been sent carefully as you may well find what you are looking for!

Visit the Government website: www.gov.uk/dbs

Find out more about the DBS Update Service: DBS Update Service: applicant guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Contact safeguarding@bbe.org.uk