Following a question about DBS checks and who needs them, a definitive answer has been received from the Diocese of Canterbury (and should apply to the other dioceses in the Association area too although we are unable to speak for them without their explicit consent).
Whenever young people or vulnerable adults are in the tower or ringing room, there must always be at least one person present who has an enhanced DBS clearance. Therefore, it is recommended that all Tower Captains hold an enhanced DBS clearance, whether or not there are children or vulnerable adults among the local ringers. The reason is that towers hold open days, receive visitors (ringers and non-ringers) and arrange trips to the tower roof and so on. This DBS check is required by Government regulations, which the dioceses are following, but is a sensible precaution against potential claims against Tower Captains.
Tower Captains need to have a DBS check for an “Enhanced DBS for Child and VA workforce”. The role is “Child and VA Group Leader”. These are the correct classifications to be entered on the DBS form, as the DBS system may not recognise ‘tower captain’. The forms have specific codes and categories, and these are the correct answers for Tower Captains.
This is a simple and quick task which protects leaders of groups and ensures a high standard of safeguarding to minimise the risk of harm and abuse within our churches.
To obtain a DBS check, Tower Captains need to contact their Parish Disclosure Officer (who may but not necessarily be the same person as the Parish Safeguarding Officer). The Safeguarding Department at your local diocesan offices will have a list of Parish Disclosure Officers if it is not clear locally who they are. The DBS check lasts for five years, but is not transferable from other organisations.