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.  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?

British Fencing has changed to online DBS application processing.

All registered fencing clubs have been emailed the details to register for this service (Vibrant Nation) and you should contact your club to organise your DBS application via this method as soon as possible.

If your club has not signed up to the online system please ask them to follow the instructions here.


Sign-up to the DBS online service.

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

You can also sign up to the DBS Update Service when you apply for a DBS check through your club using the Vibrant Nation online system.

Once you have your DBS certificate registered for the online Update Service, contact the Development Team here informing your certificate number (it starts with 00 and has 12 digits), your date of birth, surname, and stating clearly that you authorise British Fencing to perform an online check with your details.


Sending applications through Vibrant Nation

For more information on how to use the Vibrant Nation system to process new DBS applications, read this page.


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