Criminal Records Check

British Fencing (BF) has to comply with the law in determining who needs a check and encourages all people who have frequent and regular contact with young people and adults at risk to be Criminal Records checked.  The way this is done varies from one home nation to another, but the principles are broadly similar.

If you are based in Guernsey you will need to obtain a Guernsey Vetting Bureau (GVB) check by contacting Guernsey Fencing.

If you are based in Northern Ireland you will need to obtain an AccessNI check by contacting Northern Ireland Fencing

If you are based in Scotland you will need to obtain a DisclosureScotland check by contacting Scottish Fencing.

The information on this page relates to DBS checks in England & Wales which is done by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)


Due to current measures that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak,  the DBS is aware that organisations are having difficulty following the DBS ID checking guidance.

To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period.

The change will enable:

  • ID documents to be viewed over video link
  • scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted

The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.

The change will come into effect from today, 19 March 2020.

Please ensure that you follow the advice on GOV.UK around checking identity documents for indicators of fraud, which can be found here.

Full information on the changes to checking ID documents can be found here 

Do I need a DBS check?

BF requires all people who are working in a unsupervised capacity with children on a regular basis, ie once a week or more, or intensively to (4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight) to undertake an Enhanced Check.  A check against the Barred Lists is not required.  This level of check may be suitable for club volunteers.

Anyone who is working in a “Regulated Activity” must have an Enhanced Check which includes a check against the Children’s Barred List .

Regulated Activity is defined as someone who is involved in the following:

  • Unsupervised teaching, training, instructing
  • Caring for or supervising children
  • Providing guidance/advice on well-being
  • Driving a vehicle only for children
  • Happens frequently (once a week or more often)
  • Happens intensively (on 4 or more days in a 30-day period, or overnight)
  • Work in schools

In general the following roles are likely to require an Enhanced Check including the barred list

  • Coaches
  • Team Managers
  • Leaders
  • Club Welfare Officers
  • Referees

The attached flowcharts may help in deciding what type of check is required.


I need a DBS check – what do I do next?

Request a form

If you need to undertake a DBS disclosure you should send a C5 SAE to BF headoffice.  Please use the appropriate letter stamp on both envelopes or you will be charged extra.

Complete the DBS form

Click here to download guidance on completing your DBS form.  You will need to complete sections 5 and 6 of the guidance form and return it with your completed DBS application form.   We cannot process applications without sections 5 and 6 completed and returned to us.

Make a note of the certificate reference number.

Sign-up to the DBS online service.

Any members applying for DBS checks required by BF will be expected to sign up to the online registration system, and give BF permission to view the details online.

You can sign up to the online system either when you receive your application form, or within 14 days of receipt of your certificate.  You will need the certificate reference number.

Signing up to the DBS check service is free for volunteers and £13/pa for professional coaches.

If you are not able to sign up to the online system you may send in your British Fencing DBS certificate to us but there will be a charge of £15 for volunteers and £30 for professional coaches for manually checking any certificates issued after 1st September 2015.  We cannot accept scanned copies of your certificate.

Please note: we cannot accept scanned copies of your certificate.
This charge will in part cover the additional administration and postage of handling the associated paperwork.


More information about the DBS online service

From 17th June 2013 the DBS update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows an employer and BF to check a certificate online.

You can register online when you apply for a DBS certificate, or within 14 days of getting one (you’ll need the certificate reference number)

When you join, you will get an online account that lets you:

  • take your certificate from one job to the next (where accepted)
  • give employers permission to check your certificate online, and see who has checked it
  • add or remove a certificate

In addition to reducing the administrative burden of DBS checks, using the online service will allow BF (and other organisations that require DBS checks) to see if any relevant information has been identified about the individual concerned since their Certificate was last issued.


Equipment Offer

If you are a new customer to BF and Leon Paul then get in contact as we can offer plastic Midi Fence Kit for £500 (usual RRP is £612). Terms and conditions apply.  


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