Safer recruitment & DBS

Illustrative image posed by models. Five people in a row with question marks in front of their facesThe Safer Recruitment and People Management guidance was issued in 2021 and replaces previous safer recruitment practice guidance. The updated guidance is available for review within the new Church of England Safeguarding E-Manual. 

Additionally, information on the new Safer Recruitment and People Management online learning pathway can be found on the diocesan website.

The requirements detailed in the guidance aim to help Church bodies to:

  • Attract the best possible individuals to all roles through inclusive, fair, consistent and transparent processes;
  • Identify and reject individuals who are unsuitable by following a proportionate but thorough selection process;
  • Ensure that robust induction, oversight and supervision processes are in place for those working and volunteering with children and vulnerable adults.

Reinforcing the safeguarding and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults throughout the recruitment process and beyond will help create and maintain a safe and positive environment that inspires trust, enabling them to thrive and grow and have the very best experience of Christian living through the work of the Church.

Church bodies are able to review and track how they are doing in relation to the safer recruitment and people management guidance by using the Assessment Tool or by using the streamlined version of the assessment tool within the Parish Dashboard.

PCCs who employ staff members need to refer to the Parish Toolkit on the HR page for information, guidance and resources.


The Safer Recruitment and People Management Toolkit provides the following template resources and examples, to assist with implementing the Safer Recruitment and People Management Process (2021):

  • Volunteer role description
  • Volunteer person specification
  • Volunteer application form
  • Example interview questions
  • Reference request form
  • DBS eligibility guidance
  • Risk assessment form template
  • Volunteer appointment letter template
  • Induction checklist
  • Volunteer support meeting template

Safer Recruitment and People Management FAQs

A sample policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders can be found on the DBS website.

Confidential Declaration Form and Privacy Notice on the Church of England's website

Parish Volunteer Agreement Template (June 2022)

The Diocese of Oxford have also developed the Parish Toolkit which provides information to PCCs about employment and safeguarding issues and signposts useful resources. Topics include recruitment and selection, employing staff, working with volunteers and employment legislation.

Disclosure and Barring Service


APCS is the recommended DBS Umbrella Body for the Diocese of Oxford.

To set up a parish account with APCS in order to apply for DBS checks, please return the completed declaration forms below to Linda Carpenter or call 01865 208 267.

APCS should be contacted for queries regarding DBS checks which are currently being processed. 

0845 643 1145

APCS Eligibility Tool

APCS have recently developed the online DBS Eligibility Tool below to support parishes in determining if a DBS check is required for a role and at which level.

DBS Information

The Safeguarding e-Manual details the requirements and good practice for Disclosure and Barring Service checks within our Church Bodies.

Transgender applicants who may be concerned about disclosure of sensitive personal information can apply through the Government provided DBS sensitive applications line on 0151 676 1452 or email for further advice about completing the form.  APCS is working to this guidance.

Church of England Roles Eligible for a Criminal Record Check

Activities Eligible for an Enhanced DBS

Regulated Activity Flowchart

DBS filtering guide

Disclosure and Barring Service


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Page last updated: Monday 18th March 2024 3:11 PM
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