Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

The RYA is an Umbrella Body for the DBS to process Enhanced Disclosure Checks for clubs and centres in England and Wales. If you would like more information or to register, please contact disclosure@rya.org.uk and request an information pack. At the bottom of this page you will find a list of additional resources that you may find beneficial.

The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. DBS also maintains the adults’ and children’s Barred Lists and makes considered decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists and barred from engaging in regulated activity.

Enhanced check

An enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or adults in certain circumstances such as those in receipt of healthcare or personal care. An enhanced check is also suitable for a small number of other roles such as taxi licence applications or people working in the Gambling Commission.

The certificate will contain the same details as a standard certificate and, if the role is eligible, an employer can request that one or both of the DBS barred lists are checked.

The certificate may also contain non-conviction information supplied by relevant police forces, if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate.

An individual cannot apply for an enhanced check by themselves. There must be a recruiting organisation who needs the applicant to get the check. This is then sent to DBS through a registered body.

The service is free for volunteers.

Adults Barred List: The RYA is audited on a yearly basis by the DBS service to ensure that we are abiding by the rules and regulations of an umbrella body. The DBS have deemed that none of the roles carried out by sailing volunteers meets the criteria for adding the adults barred list to an enhanced check. However, with this being said, if you feel that a role being carried out by a club does meet the criteria for the adults barred list, you can send a letter advising how it mees the criteria in the Department of Health Guidance and we can put that case to the DBS for authorisation.

The DBS Update Service

The Update Service is an online subscription, for standard and enhanced checks only, that allows applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date and allows employers to view an applicant’s certificate.

The Update Service cannot currently be used for basic checks.


Eligibility for standard and enhanced checks is prescribed in legislation. Recruiters should only request a DBS check on an individual when they are legally allowed to do so – they must be entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, known as asking ‘an exempted question.’

An exempted question applies when the individual will be working in specific occupations, for certain licences and specified positions. These are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

The minimum age at which someone can be asked to apply for a criminal record check is 16 years old.

We have an eligibility tool that can be used to find out what roles or activities could be eligible for a standard or enhanced check, or you can read our eligibility guidance.

Contact us

A list of DBS contact points is available on the homepage.

Additional Resources

DBS Guidance

RYA Employment Check BU Admin User Guide

RYA Employment Check ID Verifier User Guide

RYA Employment Check Applicant User Guide

DBS Frequently Asked Questions

DBS Checks in Sport - Working with Children in Sport Leaflet

DBS Checks in Sport - Working with Adults in Sport Leaflet

Department for Education Guidance for Supervision

DBS Disclosure Workshop Slides