DBS and Refereeing

Guidance from the RFU has changed in the recent past and all referees that are actively involved in youth rugby (i.e. colts and below) are required to have been DBS vetted within the last 3 years.

This is administered through the RFU and as volunteers, is free of charge to both the applicant (the referee) and the society.

Referees will require to have a DBS check administered by the RFU – any checks from other organisations (e.g. other sports/work) are not transferrable (a fuller explanation below and as outlined in RFU Regulation 21.2).

To allow us to begin the process of getting everything in place, please fill out the attached form and return it to our safeguarding officer, Den Dowdle. If you have moved house recently, then please also include details of your addresses over the last five years.

If you have any questions then please reach out to the management group and we will be assist you.

Why you need a DBS administered by RFU – the long answer…

At present the RFU do not accept DBS disclosures issued by other Registered Bodies, this also includes disclosures that are subscribed to the DBS Update Service. There are a few reasons behind this –

1)      The RFU do not currently have a system in place that is capable of securely logging and monitoring DBS updates (with regards to the status checks that would be required) – Additionally, an organisation is not legally bound to accept disclosures subscribed to the Update Service. 

2)      To accept a DBS subscribed to the Update Service, the club would be required to carry out a fresh ID check (meeting the DBS ID requirements – e.g. at least 3 forms of ID), they would then need provide the RFU with full details in order to log an “interest” in the individual and carry out status checks. The RFU have decided at present that it is essentially just as easy (and safer) to carry out a fresh DBS application. Additionally, as a volunteer this is free of charge.

3)      The DBS disclosure would need to be vetted to the correct level e.g. Adults barred list, Children’s barred list etc. – It is an offence to check someone’s status against a barred list that relates to a workforce that they do not engage in. E.g. If someone has a DBS disclosure subscribed to the Update Service that was vetted against both Children and Adult barred lists and they were to use this for rugby and coaching U14’s for example – we would be committing an offence (as we are viewing information relating to their barred status with Adults). It is as such a complex area to expect clubs to monitor this effectively.

At present therefore, like with many other Sports bodies, it is still our process of not accepting DBS disclosures from other Registered Bodies. RFU Regulation 21.2 states all must be obtained through our organisation, as such this is the current rule in place.

As anyone working in Regulated Activity with Children in Rugby Union needs to have a DBS Disclosure issued by the RFU, the individual has to be supervised by another adult whilst performing their role until they receive their disclosure certificate. Please be aware that if the disclosure certificate contains information, it will be referred to our Referral Management Group for a decision.