Criminal records checks are one aspect of ensuring that people working (paid or volunteering) with children, young people or adults at risk are suitable to do so. The checks help identify people who may be unsuitable for this work; for roles involving certain activity a check is made to ensure someone is not legally barred from working with children or adults at risk.


DBS/PVG frequently asked questions

Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS in England and Wales) and Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG in Scotland)

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government agency for England and Wales which provides information about criminal records history to help make safer recruitment decisions. In Scotland, this work is carried out by Disclosure Scotland and the checks are known as Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme (PVG).

DBS (or the PVG scheme in Scotland) checks if an individual has any criminal convictions, if they are barred from working with children or adults at risk and if the police hold any other relevant information about that person. All applications for Enhanced DBS Disclosures have to be submitted by a Registered Body or an Umbrella Body that is recognised by the DBS. Quakers in Britain uses Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC) (offsite link).

How to apply for a DBS or PVG check

Each local meeting has access to DDC (usually administered by the local meeting clerk although many meetings nominate another person to act as verifier for this task). The clerk (or alternate) will be able to start the application process with DDC. Applications for volunteers are free to meetings. You can download flowcharts for the DBS/PVG application process. We have prepared the answers to frequently asked questions on DBS/PVG.

DDC has a 'Quick start guide' for using the system and its support team can be contacted on 0116 260 3055 or

If your meeting does not have a current account set up with DDC, please contact

The DBS Update Service - saves time and enables transfers

If the individual subscribes to the government's Update Service (offsite link):

  • this avoids the need to keep presenting and checking ID documents each time an organisation needs to check their record (eg annually or every three years).
  • it is possible to use their current DBS check for another organisation, provided it is for a role where the same type and level of check is required.

It saves time for the individual and the meeting if they subscribe, and it is free for volunteers. They need to do this either when applying for the check, or shortly after the certificate being issued.

However, if the individual is not subscribed to the Update Service, then we cannot transfer their check, and a new DBS check is required.

Contact us

020 7663 1103