DBS Applications

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on 1 December 2012.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on 1 December 2012. All documentation, including the application form and certificate, will be rebranded as DBS. This means that CRB certificates will be referred to as DBS certificates.

If you have any remaining stocks of the old-style CRB application forms please shred them as they will no longer be accepted. Only DBS applications with form reference numbers commencing F01 will be processed.

Those with current CRB certificates need take no action as these certificates will remain valid until updated to DBS on the usual 5 year cycle.

For more information about the changes to the DBS please visit their website:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications and guides

All DBS Applications in the Diocese of Chelmsford can now be completed online. Compared to paper applications the online process provides significantly faster results, is less time consuming for the PSR's (Parish Safeguarding Representatives) and is far easier for the applicant. Just ask your PSR to email us with the relevant information and then we will email you with a link to your online DBS application.

Completing new applications and renewal applications online is strongly recommended. If, however, you cannot complete an online application then paper forms will still be available until the DBS switches to a fully online service (planned for 2016). The Diocese of Chelmsford is a registered body with the DBS and applications can be initiated by phoning DBS on 0870 90 90 822 and quoting the diocese’s Registered Body Number: 20849100005. Alternatively you should be able to obtain a paper DBS application form from your PSR.

Download our Guide to Online DBS Applications

Download our Applicant’s Guide to completing paper DBS forms

Download our Evidence Checker’s Guide to checking and completing paper DBS forms

Download our List of Acceptable Identification Evidence

Download our Guide to DBS Application process and Eligibility

Frequently asked DBS application questions and some useful links to the DBS website: 


Q: Do I need a DBS check?

A: Please read the DBS Guide to Eligibility and the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy Practice Guidance and Resources.


Q: What do I do if I run out of space for previous names and addresses on my paper DBS application form?

A: Just print out a Continuation Sheet then complete and enclose this with your paper DBS application form.


Q: How can I track the progress of my DBS application?

A: Just enter your application reference number from your application and date of birth into the DBS Online Tracker


Q: I am the PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative) for my parish but I'm not sure how I should check the applicant's evidence for paper DBS applications?

A: The DBS have created Identification Checking Guidelines for you to use when completing paper DBS application forms.


For all enquires relating to DBS applications please call the Safeguarding Administrator, Laura Tyler, on 01245 294438 or email

The DBS Update Service

What is the benefit of using the DBS Update Service?

You can have your DBS Certificate kept up-to-date electronically and take it with you from role to role, within the same workforce*, where the same type and level of check is required. This means that you will not need a new DBS check every time your job title changes – but you will need a new DBS if the workforce changes. This allows you to reuse your DBS certificate when applying for similar jobs.

*On the DBS application form you will have selected ‘Child Workforce’, ‘Adult Workforce’ or ‘Child and Adult Workforce’ in section X61, Line 1.

How does the DBS Update Service work?

If an individual subscribes to the DBS Update Service their employer can go online, with their consent, and carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up-to-date.

Is there an additional cost?

Joining the service is an individual decision but we are highly recommending it for volunteers as it is free. Paid workers would need to pay a yearly subscription fee of £13.00 at their own cost.

When does the DBS Update Service begin?

The DBS Update Service came into being from 17th June 2013.

How do I subscribe to the DBS Update Service?

Subscription to the DBS Update Service is NOT automatic – but you can join at the same time you apply for a DBS check or within 19 days of the date of issue printed on your Certificate.

I am a PSR (Parish Safeguarding Representative). What do I do if someone shows me a DBS certificate processed by a different organisation but they have subscribed to the DBS Update Service?

  • You will still need to check the original DBS certificate to make sure that it is legitimate and that the level of check processed is adequate for their role in your parish.
  • You also need to check if there are any offences/convictions listed because when we perform an Online Status Check it will only tell us if there is any NEW information.
  • You then need to email us with the applicant's name, date of birth and 12 digit disclosure number so that we can perform an online status check. We will then email the results to you for your parish records.

Here are some useful links to the DBS website about the Update Service:

DBS Update Service

DBS Update Service - Applicant Guide

For more information please contact Laura Tyler
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