DBS Checks for Leisure Staff

The Welsh Sports Association (WSA), through its trading arm Vibrant Nation, has been offering a full range of DBS checks since 2016 and is the only bilingual DBS service in Wales. The very competitively priced service is available to all, including Leisure facilities, and is accompanied by a helpline to support leisure operators and leisure staff through the DBS process.

For full details about the WSA’s DBS Checking Service, click here.

WSA Vibrant Nation

There is a common misconception that all staff working in leisure centres should be asked to apply for DBS certificates. This has stemmed from concerns around access to changing rooms where children may be undressed, the potential for physical contact with children in emergency situations and because children often visit these facilities without their parents or guardians.

Leisure centre staff are not specifically named as a role or profession in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and so there is no automatic eligibility to apply for a standard DBS certificate.

A leisure centre is not a specified establishment listed in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006, as amended by Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012, and so there is no automatic eligibility to apply for an enhanced DBS certificate with a check of the DBS children’s barred list for their staff.

If the member of staff simply has contact with children due to working in an area where children may be and does not carry out any of the activities set out in ‘work with children’ legislation, then there is no eligibility for a standard or enhanced DBS certificate, e.g. administration, bar staff, cleaner or caretaker.

However, there may be occasions when leisure centre roles do involve certain duties and activities that would enable an enhanced DBS certificate with a DBS children’s barred list check to be carried out under Schedule 4 of the SVGA 2006. This would mean the post holder would be in regulated activity with children. This would in turn make the employers a regulated activity provider (RAP) which brings obligations under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

For full details about the DBS process for leisure and creche staff, please click here.

WSA DBS Checking Service

If you are not currently utilising the WSA DBS checking service, please complete a non-obligation pre-registration application on the Vibrant Nation website and a member of the team will be in touch.

If you’re not a WSA member, and even if you’re not involved in sport or physical activity, you are still more than welcome to utilise the bilingual DBS checking services available; the WSA has numerous charities and third sector organisations across the UK that utilise the not for profit DBS checking service.

DBS checks are one (very important) part of an organisations wider safeguarding strategy, to be used alongside a host of other safeguarding prevention measures. The WSA has a wide range of resources and courses that can aid your organisation in its’ safeguarding journey. These can be found on the safeguarding section of the WSA website – here.

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