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Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Guidance

The RFU is committed to ensuring that all children enjoy rugby union in a safe and enjoyable environment. The RFU requires any individual engaged in a Regulated Activity to undertake a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check through their club in order to work with children or vulnerable adults in accordance with the RFURegulation21.

Applications for individuals engaging in their roles as volunteers are free of charge.

The DBS was created when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in December 2012 as a result of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA 2012). Following this legislation, a number of changes have been implemented both at the RFU and at the DBS. In particular the introduction of the following:

You might find the RFU's DBS Frequently Asked Questions document helpful.

Having a criminal record does not automatically prohibit an individual from undertaking a role working with children or vulnerable adults. All DBS disclosures are handled confidentially, with every case treated on its own merit. The RFU's DBS Disclosure Management Process is a flow-chart showing the process from start to finish. In addition, the RFU has produced a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders which provides further guidance.

The RFU operates an online eDBS application system. Clubs must register to use the eDBS application system. This system allows the RFU to effectively monitor all DBS applications and disclosure results. Applicants additionally avoid the costs and delays of postage, as well as being considerably faster than the previous paper system. Further information about the online eDBS system and guidance on how clubs can register is available on the following links:

It is important that the ID verification requirements issued by the DBS are adhered to in order to accurately verify an applicant’s identity. This includes ensuring that only original documents are provided and that photocopies/scanned copies are not accepted.

In order to register for the online eDBS system, please contact the RFU Safeguarding Team via email at dbseapp@therfu.com.

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