Due to COVID-19 and many Hampshire FA staff members on furlough leave, We have produced a full Q&A on everything you need to know to support your DBS applications:
Q: What is a DBS?
A: A (DBS) is a Disclosure & Barring Service check. A (DBS) check with the FA allows the FA to see if an applicant has any criminal histories, noting that the process itself has to be fair to any ex-offenders. It does however prohibit barred persons from working with Children. The Football Association requires Criminal Records Checks (DBS) of people over 16 who carryout supervision of Children in Football (Regulated Activity) in an unsupervised capacity as part of Responsible recruitment in Football (Getting the Right People involved). The Law through the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 has meant changes to the process. The Law describes Regulated Activity and who requires a check.
Q: Who needs a DBS check?
A. Those persons aged 16 or over who are actively involved in regulated football activity Definition of Regulated Activity; Activity which involves Teaching, Training, Instructing, Caring for or Supervising children OR providing guidance\advice on well-being OR driving a vehicle only for Children AND it happens frequently (once a week or more often) OR happens intensively (on 4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight) AND the individual carrying out the activity of Teaching, Training OR Instructing is Unsupervised.
Q: Are DBS applications still paused due to COVID-19 restrictions?
A: The processed was paused as a consequence of the government lockdown restriction put in place but is now back up and running.
Q: How do I apply for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check with Hampshire FA if I am not linked to a Grassroots Football Club which is based in Hampshire?
A: A new applicant applying for a CRC/DBS or a person renewing their CRC/DBS must initially select REGISTER via the attached link provided https://gbg.onlinedisclosures.co.uk/Authentication/Login Once the applicant has selected Register the applicant is required to provide the Hampshire FA Org Pin (102267), their name and an email address in duplicate and then they select SUBMIT. Second page asks for the secret word which is (Winklebury) upper case (W) rest all lower case and asks the applicant to confirm the Org Pin (102267) and set up a password which is also duplicated then again SUBMIT. The applicant (new or renewal) is now into the system and is asked to agree terms;
When an applicant receives a (BDS0 certificate which clear of content it will be updated on the WGS system shown as accepted. If an applicant receives a DBS certificate with CONTENT disclosed such as criminal offences (cautions/convictions) recorded on the Disclosure the FA will write to the Individual asking them to send in the original copy of the Disclosure. If the Disclosure is not received by the FA within 21 days of the date of the Letter the individual will be suspended from working with U18’s through being non-compliant with the process. The County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer and Youth League and Club Welfare Officers will also be notified of the non- compliance suspension.
Q: What information will I be required to provide?
A: The applicant will require National Insurance Number, Valid Driving Licence, Passport and one other document (Birth Certificate, utility Bill, credit card or banks statement) The applicant (new or renewal) goes through process of submitting the required information online and then submit the application for verification whereby the applicant new or renewal then meets up with the A County FA DBS verifier/League Welfare Officer who then verifies the selected documentation accordingly.
Q: What is the payment process?
A: Payment is made online upon completion of the verification process by the applicant. Payment is made by debit or credit card or via PayPal as per the choice of the applicant. The cost of the application for volunteers is £10. Once payment is made the application will then proceed through the various stages prior to completion and certificate issue.
Q: How long does the process take to complete?
A: The process normally takes between 7-10 days. However, the number of DBS checks being at stage 4 (Police checks) for a considerable period of time has increased. Whilst the FA appreciates that this can be frustrating for clubs and volunteers the FA are unable to override or speed up this process as it is outside of FA control. Invariably with increasing numbers of DBS checks being processed by constabularies will have an impact from time to time and this is going to be more noticeable where the conurbation covered is higher as within certain areas.
Through the FA CRC Umbrella Body, GB Group, they have passed this information on to the DBS to ensure that those who are monitoring service level agreements between the constabularies and the DBS are aware of the knock-on effect to clients in terms of volunteers and voluntary organisations. After 60 days at stage 4 GB Group do escalate matters further and DBS are given another 10 days to release the information concerning the applicant. After that point in time the only way the information which the Police hold can be released is if the applicant calls the DBS direct to request the necessary information to be released.
At the 70-day point applicants should ring the DBS direct 0300 0200 190 and they will hopefully provide details of the police force concerned so the applicant can then chase the relevant police authority to hasten the process of progressing their DBS application to an issued and accepted status. Hopefully this will be resolved before the 70-day point. In the meantime and in line with Best Practice he should not volunteer with U18’s until the DBS is issued and accepted by the FA.
Q: Can I actively volunteer whilst waiting for my DBS application to become accepted by the FA?
A: The law requires that The FA does all that it can to prevent people who are barred from working with children in Regulated Activity, from becoming involved in football with U18s. A DBS Enhanced Criminal Record Check with Children’s Barred List tells The FA if a person is barred. The FA also use DBS Enhanced Criminal Records Checks for roles that are eligible. These checks help The FA to make informed recruitment decisions about the suitability of people with criminal records who are seeking a role with U18s football. In making its decisions on which roles are supervised and which are not, The FA has utilised the Government guidance, alongside the sport sector guidance on supervision, developed by the Sport and Recreation Alliance and the Child Protection in Sport Unit.
Therefore, someone must not become involved as a volunteer until such time as their criminal records check is issued to an accepted status. Volunteering alongside another person who has an accepted DBS does not constitute the person who has not met the criteria (accepted CRC) being safe or even on the barred list!
Q: Do you need a DBS check when working with adults? (adults clubs)
A: Yes if an adult team has any players registered that are aged 16 or 17 then Managers, Coaches, Assistants and all volunteers who meet DBS eligibility will need to obtain an accepted FA DBS.
Q: Is the Referee DBS process different?
A: Referees aged 16 or over should commence their DBS application online using the Hampshire FA Organisation Pin 102267 as per the guidance explained earlier in this document.
Q: My DBS was due to expire between March – October 2020 but I can’t renew it?
A: The FA had extended DBS dates’ if your DBS expires between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020 and as such you have an addition 12-month period to become DBS compliant.
Q: What is face-to-face ID verification?
A: Face to face verification is where a DBS applicant meets an authorised DBS verifier in person.
Q: Who can verify documents?
A: Club Welfare Officers are the main POC/verifiers for any applicant linked to a grass roots youth football Club. Persons requiring a DBS application that are not linked to a Club should make their application via Hampshire FA by means of the GBG online process using the Hampshire FA Org Pin 102267 as per the guidance provided earlier, when submitting their application for verification a list of County FA verifiers are provided lists (this will become public in due course) of those County FA verifiers currently able to assist with verification.
Q: Can someone at my Club become an ID Verifier?
A: To become a Club verifier a person needs to complete the Welfare Officer Workshop. To become a County FA verifier approval needs to be authorised by the County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer (currently on Furlough).
Q: I am registered as a volunteer with a grassroots football club in Hampshire. I require a DBS check with The FA as I meet eligibility and have commenced my DBS application with my club. Who verifies my DBS application?
A: If your Club has a fully qualified CWO or assistant CWO in place then the CWO/assistant CWO are your points of contact for your DBS verification. Club Welfare Officers who are fully qualified to carry out the CWO role/responsibilities in accordance with their training requirement must register as a DBS verifier by emailing FAchecks@gbgplc.com. FA Checks will then send the CWO guidance notes to register as a Club DBS verifier and provide the CWO with an Organisation Pin and Secret Word that is unique to the Club. Once the CWO has registered with FA Checks and validated their account, they will then be in a position to verify DBS documentation.
Q: My club is a new club and our CWO is not yet qualified, how do we carry out DBS checks?
A: Until the CWO becomes qualified, those personal? Requiring a DBS check should make their application using the Hampshire FA organisation pin (as explained earlier).
Q: Can face-to-face ID document verification now be carried out?
A: Yes. Post-lockdown the Government guidance allows you to travel outside of your home, irrespective of distance, providing you return the same night or stay within your ‘support bubble’, follow Government guidelines on social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene.
Q: Can I travel to complete the ID document verification?
A: Yes. In line with Government guidelines, you should avoid public transport if you can, and should cycle, walk, or drive wherever possible. The Government has made the wearing of a face covering mandatory on public transport from the 15 June 2020. If there is no alternative to using public transport, then you must wear a face covering.
Q: How else can I minimise risks whilst checking ID document verification during the Covid-19 pandemic?
A: To minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 during face-to-face ID document verification, please ensure you adhere to Government guidelines: • Check with the venue about the outdoor space at which you choose to meet, as it may have specific guidelines you are required to follow e.g. a one-way system. • If the venue at which you intend to carry out the ID document verification provides only limited space and makes maintaining social distancing difficult, you could consider: o Using screens or dividers between parties if the venue enables this; or o Communicating back-to-back or side-to-side (as opposed to face-to-face); or o Wearing face coverings1 ; or o Asking applicants to place their documents on an identified surface, with the relevant information being directly visible before stepping back. • We recommend you wear disposable gloves. In addition, ensure you follow Government guidelines on practising good hand hygiene. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand gel where handwashing facilities are unavailable, before and after handling physical documents, or touching other surfaces at the venue. • Ensure you practice good respiratory hygiene, including covering your mouth and nose with, your bent elbow or tissue if you cough or sneeze, ensuring you immediately dispose of any used tissues in plastic bags you have taken for disposable items and wash your hands. • Do your best to avoid touching your face. The virus does not enter the body through the hands. Your hands could pick up the virus and then it could enter the body through touching the nose, mouth and eyes. Therefore, care should be taken not to touch the nose, mouth and eyes during or after handling documents until the hands have again been washed.
Q: What if I or the person I am meeting for the ID document verification meeting feels unwell and/or is displaying any symptoms of possible Covid-19 infection?
A: Do not go ahead with the ID document verification meeting if either party is feeling unwell and/or is displaying possible Covid-19 symptoms, or is concerned they may have come into contact with someone who has the virus. Only re-arrange to complete the verification when any self-isolation period has ended, you feel well, or have been advised by an NHS practitioner that it is safe to do so.
Q: Is it safe to handle all other people’s documentation, and if so, what’s the best way to do this?
A: Some research on how long Covid-19 lasts on surfaces does suggest that the risk of infecting others, or contracting Covid-19 through handling physical documents is low. In order to reduce the risk of transferring Covid-19 between parties, follow all the guidelines above.
Q: Why does the verification have to be face-to-face? Why can’t a video call be allowed where both individuals can see each other, and documents can be shown online?
A: Consideration was given to making use of videos calls in line with DBS guidance. However, The FA, like some other national governing bodies of sport decided against this option, because: a) Having tested it, it was obvious that it would not be possible to ensure that every document shared in this way would be clear enough for identification purposes; and b) The DBS requires any organisation using this method, to subsequently ensure they have viewed all original hard copy documents, as soon as face to face verification was enabled. The FA decided this would place an additional burden on the voluntary workforce.
FACE-TO-FACE ID VERIFICATION DOCUMENT
Hampshire FA ID Verification Request
If you require a DBS Verification to confirm your documents, please fill out the form below.
The form will be open until the 17th July where we will then allocate you to the closest verifier. You should hear back from Hampshire FA as soon as we have received the required numbers, with your appointment and time slot.
Due to the COVID-19, only one of our hub sites is currently open, Stoneham Lane Football Complex, which means that times/dates maybe limited.
All details submitted will only be used to assist in ID Verification requests.
Q: Can I add a Welfare Officer in the Portal Affiliation form without a current FA DBS check?
A: Yes to allow you to start the process, but you will receive warnings and you will not be able to able to submit the affiliation form. With face-to-face DBS verification now reinstated, you are reminded that all Welfare Officers must have a current FA DBS check.
Q: Can I add a Welfare Officer in the Portal Affiliation form without an SGW or WOW?
A: Yes, you will receive warnings, but this is allowed, and the affiliation form can be submitted.
Q: Can I add a new Welfare Officer in the Portal Club Officials page without an FA DBS, SGW or WOW?
A: No, this is not allowed. If you need to have a new Welfare Officer who does not have any of these, you will need to contact your County FA who can support getting the FA DBS check and can record the need for an action plan for the Safeguarding and Welfare Officer Workshops.
Q: Can I add a Youth Team Manager or Coach in the Portal Affiliation form without an FA DBS?
A: No, with face-to-face FA DBS checks reinstated, all Youth Team Managers and Coaches must have a current FA DBS.
Q: Can I add a new Youth Team Manager or Coach in the Portal Team Officials page without an FA DBS?
A: No, this is not allowed. With face-to-face DBS verification now reinstated, all Youth Team Managers and Coaches must have a current accepted FA DBS.
New volunteers must not work with children until their DBS is completed and accepted by The FA and aligned to an individuals FAN on the Whole Game System.