Disclosures & Vetting

Disclosure and Barring Service – Criminal Records Check

Adults who are volunteering some of their time to Scouting on an ‘occasional basis’ in ‘regulated activity’, (defined by the UK Government as ‘on 4 or more days in a 30-day period, or overnight’), or may have unsupervised access to young people, or will be involved with the handling or management of money, but are not adult members of the Association are required to complete an enhanced DBS record check through The Scout Association.

The Scout Association does not accept DBS criminal record checks from other organisations. This is because the nature of the information that may be disclosed on a Scout DBS criminal record check may differ from that provided to another organisation.

Our checks are an important part of the process in order to safeguard our young people, as well as giving assurance to parents and the general public. New volunteers (members or non-members), must not attend any organised residential events until their DBS disclosure has been successful.

It is important that your DBS check is completed in a timely manner and within 14 days of commencing your role. A failure to do so will result in your temporary suspension from Scouting until it has been completed.

We seek to be open and accessible to all. A criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent an individual from volunteering. This will however, depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences.

The Vetting Policy

It is the policy of The Scout Association to check all adult volunteers to ensure that only adults appropriate for a role are permitted to undertake responsibilities in Scouting and that regular reviews are undertaken to ensure their continued suitability.

Accordingly The Scout Association is committed to:

  • following a defined process for appointing adult volunteers that establishes the applicant’s suitability, taking into account the fundamentals of Scouting discussed elsewhere on this page;
  • refusing offers from applicants that are found to be unsuitable;
  • putting in place robust vetting arrangements and ensuring that these arrangements are made clear to applicants and to the public;
  • taking into account relevant information from The Scout Association’s records, police forces, relevant statutory authorities, personal references and other credible sources.

As part of the vetting arrangements, The Scout Association will undertake a Personal Enquiry which involves a check made against records at Headquarters for all adult volunteers and, for certain roles, a Criminal Record Disclosure Check. For foreign nationals or British Overseas Territory citizens operating abroad in British Scouting Overseas and Overseas Branches, checks must be made according to arrangements authorised by the Head of Safeguarding at Headquarters.

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