Show search form

Disclosure and Barring Service

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check must be completed by anyone who meets the government’s definition of ‘Regulated Activity’ or British Canoeing’s definition of ‘Regular Activity’ as detailed in the British Canoeing Disclosure Policy with further information available on the Disclosure Guidance and Disclosure Eligibility Flowchart.

A deployer or employer is legally responsible for ensuring their volunteer or member of staff has completed the appropriate DBS check before being deployed in their role.

Remember that a disclosure check is only one part of the recruitment and vetting process and no system is fool proof. Ideally you should not rely on just this one system to help create a safe environment. See Recruitment and Selection of Individuals Working with Children for more information.

Information for Coaches

Coaches do not require a DBS Certificate to meet the British Canoeing Coach Update requirements, or to complete any coaching qualifications. The DBS eligibility requirement is linked to an individual’s specific role and the frequency and intensity in which they carry out that role. Therefore, coaches may be required to undertake a DBS check by their deployer or employer in line with the type of activities or role they are carrying out.

How to apply for a DBS check

A DBS application should be requested through your Club, Centre or Employer as it is your employer or deployer who is responsible for ensuring the appropriate checks are in place before you carry out your role.

If you think you may need to complete a DBS check and you have not been asked to, check with your Club or Centre Welfare Officer or employer. Guidance can also be found here

British Canoeing use an external company called Online Disclosures (formally TMG CRB) to manage and process DBS Applications using an online system.

If you have any problems or questions whilst using the online system contact Online Disclosures direct on 0845 251 5000 or onlinedisclosures@gbgplc.com.

There are two routes to apply for a DBS application:


Option 1. Via Club/Centre Welfare Officer – available to Clubs or Centres whose Welfare Officer has registered an ID Verifier with Online Disclosures through British Canoeing.

Step 1 Contact your Club or Centre ID Verifier (in most cases this is your Club or Centre Welfare Officer).

Step 2 The ID Verifier will confirm if you are eligible to apply for a DBS Check and what level of check you require.

Step 3 The ID Verifier will register your name and email address on the Online Disclosure system.

Step 4 Once your details have been registered, you will receive an email from Online Disclosures containing your login information and a link to the Online Disclosure service.

The online disclosure system will take you through your application with prompts to help as you go. Further guidance for this application route can be found here.


Option 2. Via British Canoeing and the Post Office – available to self-employed coaches or clubs who do not have a registered ID Verifier.

Step 1 Contact Kimberley Walsh at British Canoeing at kimberley.walsh@britishcanoeing.org.uk or 0115 8966580.

Step 2 British Canoeing will confirm if you are eligible to apply for a DBS Check and which level of check you need.

Step 3 British Canoeing will register your name and email address on the Online Disclosure system.

Step 4 Once your details have been registered, you will receive an email from Online Disclosures containing your login information and a link to the Online Disclosure service.

The online disclosure system will take you through your application with prompts to help as you go.

When you get to the ID Verification section, you will be asked to print off the Post Office ID Checking Service Form. This must be taken with you to the Post Office to use their service. The Post Office will check your application for accuracy and validate your identity documents against the information you have provided.

Further guidance on this application route can be found here.

DBS Application Information for Club or Centre Welfare Officers

If you are a Club or Centre Welfare Officer, you can register to submit and verify DBS applications for your volunteers or staff. The Club committee or Centre Manager must agree for you to carry out this role and you will need to complete the following relevant online form.

Club Welfare Officer- Register to verify DBS Applications for your Club

Centre Welfare Officer- Register to verify DBS Applications for your Centre

ID Verifier guidance can be found here

DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service is an online government service which, once subscribed to, allows your DBS Certificate to be kept up to date for as long as you are subscribed to the service or until any new information is added to your Certificate (continuous annual subscription is required).

This means that it may be possible to take it from role to role across different organisations. However, this is not guaranteed as not all organisations accept the Update Service system.

If you are a volunteer, subscription to the Update Service is FREE. If you are in a paid role, the annual subscription fee is £13. You only have 30 days to join the DBS Update Service once you have received your DBS Certificate. Join the DBS Update Service here.

British Canoeing may accept the use of the DBS Update Service for portability of a DBS Certificate completed with another organisation when certain requirements have been met in full. See our Portability of DBS Certificate document.

If you have subscribed to the DBS Update service and your original DBS Certificate was processed through British Canoeing via Online Disclosures it may be possible to use the DBS Update Service to replace the need to complete a new application at the time of renewal* If so, you will need to inform British Canoeing by completing a DBS Status Check Authorisation Form.

(*This will be dependent upon your continual subscription to the Update Service, your certificate remaining current and your role and workforce remaining the same)