An update regarding Disclosure checks for new member and rechecks for existing numbers.
We have recieved confirmation from HQ that while social distancing applies and face-to-face Scouting is not happening we will not carry out DBS checks on new and rechecks on existing members.
The key points of the message are:
When face-to-face Scouting resumes and goverment guidence on movement changes we will have to ‘catch up’ with anyone who doesn’t have a current DBS at that point.
What we’re doing locally
In Norfolk we’re going to regularly run reports to see who will be impacted by this temporary stop this will help to let people now not to worry and support making sure we quickly get back up to speed one Scouting starts meeting again. We think that this will impact about 30 people a month.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact your line manager or Group Scout Leader / District Commissioner.
Here is the full message:
An update on disclosures during the Coronavirus situation
We’re writing to share some important information about changes to the way we approach disclosure applications and re-checks during the current Coronavirus situation. This information applies to all Nations of the UK.
We’ve carefully considered the respective disclosure bodies’ advice to us on disclosure checks (Disclosure and Barring Service for England and Wales; Disclosure Scotland for Scotland; and AccessNI for Northern Ireland).
Processing disclosure applications and re-checks
While all face-to-face Scout meetings and activities across the UK are suspended, we have taken the decision to stop processing disclosure applications and re-checks. This will be the case until the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted.
The disclosure bodies’ advice to us clearly states that the workarounds for effective identity checking have been primarily put in place to ensure disclosure checks can be processed for frontline key workers needed to contribute to the Coronavirus situation. While Scouts remains important, clearly, we do not meet this criteria.
Scouts volunteers are not engaging in Regulated Activity while face-to-face Scout meetings and activities are suspended. Therefore, there is no requirement for disclosure applications and re-checks to be processed during the Coronavirus situation.
What this means during the Coronavirus situation
Processing disclosure applications and re-checks when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted
Once face-to-face Scout activities and meetings resume, new disclosure applications can commence and volunteers whose disclosure has expired will be able to continue in their roles for a limited period before suspension will be necessary if a valid disclosure is not obtained. We will set a date when all volunteers who don’t have a valid disclosure must start the process to renew their disclosure.
The limited period will be 90 days from that date for those volunteers to obtain a valid disclosure. We will keep this period under review based on processing volumes both for the respective disclosure bodies, who anticipate a peak in demand immediately following the Coronavirus situation, and the Safeguarding team’s ability to process disclosures returned with information. Please note we will be increasing capacity in the Safeguarding team to meet the anticipated demand.
It goes without saying that keeping young people safe is our number one priority and volunteers whose disclosure has expired should make every effort to start the process to obtain a valid disclosure as speedily as possible to avoid suspension.
We are currently working to determine how possible it is to make reports available to volunteer line managers. These will help make sure that those volunteers who need to obtain a valid disclosure can be followed up locally as necessary. Additionally, we are looking at how we can instigate one-off communications to remind volunteers of the need to start the process.
How these arrangements have been agreed
These interim arrangements have been approved by the UK Chief Commissioner, the Chair of the Safeguarding Committee, the Chair of the Risk Committee and the Chief Operating Officer (who is the Scouts’ Lead Signatory for all of the disclosure bodies across the Nations).
Support for you
During this period you will want to communicate these interim arrangements to others which we encourage you do through your normal communications channels. A message will be included in the all member email that goes out next week letting all volunteers know of these interim arrangements.
If you have any questions relating to disclosures, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or by emailing the Scout Information Centre at email@example.com. We can then provide clarity and co-ordinate enquiries with the disclosure bodies if needed. Whilst we will aim to respond to questions as speedily as possible, please note that due to the planned furloughing of a number of staff it may take us a little longer to respond to you.
Finally, we’d like to say a huge thank you for your continued support to the movement during this challenging time. It really is appreciated.
This email has been sent to: Nations Headquarters, Team UK, Regional Commissioners for England and Wales, County/Area/Region (Scotland)/District Commissioners/Chairs/Secretaries/Appointment Secretaries, Group Scout Leaders and Group Chairs/Secretaries