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Important update 31 March 2020

We would like to reassure you that Sound Sense's DBS Check service continues to operate during the coronavirus outbreak.

However, with immediate effect all DBS applications will be completed online along with uploading identity documents at the time of completing the application form on the People Dancing DBS online platform.

We are unable to process paper DBS application forms, nor can we receive original documentation, or Post Office certified photocopies for proof of identity in the post to our offices.

Sound Sense now offers members access to online DBS applications, making the process much simpler and quicker.

The Sound Sense DBS check service is delivered in partnership with People Dancing (the Foundation for Community Dance), which is our Registered Umbrella Body for the purpose of processing DBS checks.

Enhanced DBS checks cost £63.50 each, which includes the £40 DBS fee plus £23.50 admin fee, payable to People Dancing either online or over the phone.

To request a DBS check for yourself, your staff or your volunteers, please email us on info@soundsense.org. Please note that you must be a Sound Sense member to use this service.

Typical processing time for DBS checks is currently two weeks from when your completed application and identity documents are received by People Dancing.

What is the DBS?

The DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) helps employers, hirers and commissioners make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children or vulnerable adults and other vulnerable groups.

The Service decides whether someone should be placed on or removed from a "barred list" for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It processes requests for criminal records checks by searching police records - and, in relevant cases, barred list information - and then issuing a DBS certificate disclosing any criminal record and perhaps other information. (These used to be called CRB certificates, and many people still call them that.)

However, you can't apply direct to the DBS for a check - you have to apply through a counter-signatory service which will verify your identity papers. The good news is that we can provide this service for you in partnership with our sister organisation, People Dancing. 


What jobs require a DBS check?

Because a DBS check contains highly personal information about any criminal past, there are limits to the types of job for which you can be asked for a certificate. The rules are complicated, but the work of a community music practitioner, and some managers, will usually involve regularly caring for, training, supervising or being solely in charge of children and/or vulnerable adults, or having access to their sensitive information - for which an Enhanced DBS check would be required.

To check your eligibility for a DBS check, and to find out what level of check is appropriate for your role, please use this online tool:

gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check

How long is a check valid for?

A DBS certificate has no official expiry date. But it is accurate only at the time the check was carried out - anything may be added to your record after that date. It is up to an employer to decide if they think a new check is needed - based on how old the check is; whether it covers the type of work they’re asking you to do; and so on.

You may wish to register for the DBS Update Service: this is an additional paid-for service run directly by DBS to keep your certificate up to date and should reduce the number of times you’re asked to apply for a new check.

Find out more about the DBS update service


The small print

The information in these pages relates to the law in England and Wales. For Scotland, please visit Disclosure Scotland. For Northern Ireland please visit Access Northern Ireland.

Reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the information in these pages is accurate. However, it is not intended to be legally comprehensive and should not be seen as definitive child protection advice: it is designed to provide guidance in good faith at the stated date but without accepting liability. You may need to take appropriate professional advice before taking action on any of the matters in these pages.


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