WheelPower has a duty of care to safeguard all children and vulnerable people involved in disability sport from harm. All children and vulnerable people have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. WheelPower will ensure the safety and protection of all children and vulnerable people involved in disability sport and will make sure that all relevant coaches and volunteers have completed an up to date DBS Check before assisting at WheelPower events. This Policy includes details of how to apply for a Disclosure by using the online system created by Online Disclosures (Formerly TMGCRB)
Reports investigating the abuse of children (e.g. Hunt Report, Clothier Report and the Health Service Circular HSC 1998/212 Children’s Safeguards Review: Choosing with Care) have recommended the need for more rigorous selection procedures in courses involving substantial access to children and other vulnerable groups. There is also a need to ensure the selection of applicants who are capable of fulfilling the professional/statutory requirements associated with the respective events.
WheelPower actively promotes equality of opportunity for all and welcomes applications to volunteer from a wide range of applicants.
Following an offer to applicants to volunteer for WheelPower, the applicant will be informed of the need to apply for a Disclosure. WheelPower will contact the applicant and invite them to undertake a DBS check online.
The applicant will complete the application form online. Assistance can be provided by nominated members of staff listed below as signatories or counter signatories from WheelPower or via the online applicant resource found at: https://gbg.onlinedisclosures.co.uk
Applicants will be given the option to verify their documents at either the Post Office or via the organisation. WheelPower recommends that where possible, the Post Office option is a much quicker, efficient way of getting documents verified. At least one of the following documents will need to be provided as proof of identity when using either option:
- Driving License
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
Further verification of address is required by providing two of the following:
- Recent Utility Bill
- Recent Credit Card Statement
- Recent Bank Statement
- Recent Mortgage Statement
- Recent Insurance Statement
Only original documents should be provided; photocopies will not be accepted. Documents will be checked and returned to the applicant. When using the Post Office option please be sure to follow the online steps to print off the barcode provided and please make sure this is presented to the cashier. Failure to present this barcode will mean your documents cannot be verified. Please note that not all Post Offices provide this service, to find a list of those that do, please visit https://gbg.onlinedisclosures.co.uk
The DBS impose a charge of £12.60 plus an admin fee of £6.00 for an Enhanced Disclosure for volunteers when getting documents verified at the Post Office, which is reviewed on a yearly basis. WheelPower will reimburse this fee to all applicants once the attached payment form has been completed and returned to the charity.
When the DBS have completed all their checks, they will forward a copy of the Disclosure document to the applicant only. WheelPower will receive confirmation that a Disclosure form had been completed successfully.
Where a Disclosure indicates a criminal record for an applicant, WheelPower can request a copy of the Disclosure and will call the individual concerned. The individual will be required to provide information of the offence(s) that have been declared against their name.
Notes will be taken throughout the call to the applicant and logged as part of their personal records. Appropriate nominated members of staff from WheelPower that are listed in section 4 of this policy will then decide whether the applicant is able to volunteer for WheelPower. All notes and personal information will be kept confidential and stored according to WheelPower’s Data Protection Policy.
The applicant will be informed of the decision made by WheelPower on whether they are suitable to volunteer at WheelPower events.
The Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS)
The Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the CRB), an executive agency of the Home Office, has been set up to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions. By providing access to criminal record information the DBS will help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors and educational institutions identify candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving contact with children or other vulnerable members of society.
Volunteers who take part in our core events are required to have been screened by means of a ‘Disclosure’ obtained from the DBS. A Disclosure is an impartial and confidential document that details an individual’s criminal record and where appropriate, details of those who are banned from working with children. The DBS will carry out a criminal record check for an individual drawing on four primary sources of information:
- Police National Computer (PNC)
- Local Police Force Records
- Department of Health
- Department for Education and Skills
Depending on the nature of the event and its requirements information will be drawn from the PNC alone or from every source. This defines “Disclosure” and constitutes a national standard throughout England and Wales.
WheelPower – British Wheelchair Sport is a Registered Body with the DBS. Information provided on any Disclosure is both sensitive and confidential. It is obviously important that anyone within an organisation who is party to that information should handle it in an appropriately sensitive and confidential fashion. In becoming a Registered Body WheelPower must adhere to the DBS Code of Practice
WheelPower – British Wheelchair Sport has nominated members of staff who will be responsible for handling the Disclosure process:
- DBS Lead: Martin McElhatton OBE
- Authorisation / Verification of Checks: Emily Weller
- Verification of Checks: Emily Weller
The above named have also been subject to Disclosure and have been approved by the DBS.
Criteria for Assessment of Criminal Offences
Applicants with major criminal convictions including any of the following will normally be rejected irrespective of time lapse between conviction and application.
Evidence of any criminal offence involving violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual offences pornographic offences, or dealing in drugs.
Applicants with minor criminal offences (convictions and or cautions) within nine years of application including any of the following may be rejected without interview or may be interviewed before a final decision is made.
Drug related offences, offences showing evidence of lack of honesty, trust-worthiness and driving with excess alcohol.
WheelPower will consider the seriousness of the offence, the number of offences, the period between the last offence and application, the pattern of convictions, changes in circumstances since conviction and whether the offence has been disclosed by the applicant or via DBS Disclosure.
Applicants with minor criminal offences (Category B ) more than nine years since conviction/ caution. Provided the applicant has disclosed the offence, applicants with evidence covering any of the following may be accepted or invited for interview before a final decision is made.
A single minor offence showing dishonesty, untrustworthiness e.g. petty theft, fraud, drunk and disorderly or driving offences (caution/conviction more than nine years).
Data Protection Action 1998
The DBS has a Privacy Statement stating that it is fully committed to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
This and other DBS documents can be viewed on their website: http://www.crb.gov.uk/
WheelPower is also fully committed to comply with the Data Protection Action 1998. Further information can be viewed on the website.
WheelPower also has its own Child Protection Policy which will available as an attachment to this policy.
Further information regarding Disclosure can be obtained from the following:
Online Disclosures (Formerly TMGCRB)
1 Wilford Business Park
Nottingham NG11 7EP
Tel: 0845 251 5000
Stoke Mandeville Stadium
Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP
Tel: 01296 395995