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Safeguarding

Photo: Help and advice on keeping children safe

National Deaf Children’s Society is committed to supporting local groups to safeguard the children and young people in their care, confidently and effectively.

To help do this we offer:

  • free online safeguarding training
  • free criminal record checks across the UK
  • a Child Protection Policy document for all groups to adopt and put into practice
  • support and guidance from our central Local Groups team, including if any safeguarding issues arise
  • free downloadable forms and resources for groups to use and share.

We require:

  • groups to have a Designated Person for Safeguarding
  • the Designated Person to have a criminal record check and to undertake the online safeguarding training
  • all groups to have at least three criminal record checks in place and to renew them every three years.

We know that child protection can be a complex and overwhelming topic, so we have created a number of step-by-step guides to make things clearer and easier. Please take time to look at the relevant sections below.

What should I do if I have a safeguarding concern?

For inquiries or concerns about child safety – or to seek further advice on any of the above – please contact Gavin Davies, Head of Local Groups on 020 7014 1140 or gavin.davies@ndcs.org.uk.

To report any concerns about a child's safety or welfare please contact your local authority directly.

For an urgent response, of course, contact the Police.

Further guidance can be found at the NSPCC website or via their helpline on 0808 800 5000. SignVideo, using BSL, is also available.

How do I get a criminal record check?

Every local deaf children's society needs to appoint a Designated Person for Safeguarding.

There are 3 types of criminal record checks:

Please see the relevant sections below for further guidance.

As an affiliated local deaf children's society, we cover the cost for any of the above criminal record checks for volunteer committee members, and this should be renewed every three years.

If you are in England and Wales you can help save us vital funds by registering for the update service. This means individuals only have to process an application once, so it will only cost us once, and you won't have to complete another application form.

Who needs a criminal record check?

  • The group's Designated Person for Safeguarding
  • At least 2 other committee members, preferably the Chair
  • Anyone else on the committee: there is no limit to how many checks you can process
  • Any individuals involved in 'regulated activity.' That is, individuals who undertake regular unsupervised activities or work in a range of establishments, which give the opportunity to come into contact with children and/or young people. For example groups may have someone externally come and provide a regular service, such as a weekly playgroup.
Help me with my DBS application (England and Wales)

Step 1 - your Designated Person for Safeguarding (DP) will:

  • ask you to sign a consent form, permitting information resulting from DBS checks to be shared with us
  • need your full name and email address
  • then email you a link, a login and a password so you can access the online application.

Step 2 - the online application:

  • Using the link your DP will give you, access the system and select the ‘DBS application’ option (log in using the credentials your DP provided).
  • Follow the instructions online and complete the application with your personal details (this should take about 10 minutes),
  • In position applied for, put ‘trustee,’ if you are a committee member
    If you are not, try and be specific in your role that you do e.g. volunteer swimming coach.

Step 3 – verify your ID:

  • You will need to let your Designated Person know when you have completed the online application and are ready to meet with them, so they can verify and log your ID documents.

DBS identity documentation

Applicants must show a certain set of documentation to their Designated Person to prove their identity.

DBS Identity Documents PDF 

Step 4 - Receiving your disclosure certificate:

  • Only you will be sent the Disclosure Certificate to your home address. However we will receive notification if anything has been disclosed on your certificate (though not the nature of the disclosure).
    You must show your DP your disclosure certificate. 

Step 5 - If there are any disclosures:

  • your DP will consult with the Head of Local Groups and yourself in regards to your involvement with the groups
  • with support from us, your DP will complete a risk assessment on the information disclosed to see how it may affect your involvement with children
  • your DP will confirm how you can continue to be involved with the group.

Update service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) offer an update service which will allow applicants to refresh their information on their criminal record check, for free. Click on our Update service section below to find out more.

Update service (England and Wales)

Have you completed a DBS criminal record application?

Lucky you! Because you need a DBS criminal record check, it means you can register, free, with the online update service and never have to do another DBS application for your volunteer role in your local deaf children's charity.

Being registered on the update service also means you can use the same criminal record check for any future volunteer roles, so its well worth doing.

The small print...

You only have 19 days from the date of your criminal record check certificate so you need to act fast. Even better, once you've submitted your application to DBS you can register using your DBS application reference number. 

Once registered, all you then need to do is complete and return a consent form permitting us and your Designated Person for Safeguarding to run an update on your criminal record when up for renewal, or for random spot checks. You will only need to submit this once.

Update Service Consent Form PDF

Help me with my PVG application (Scotland)

Step 1 - your Designated Person for Safeguarding (DP) will:

  • ask you to sign a consent form permitting information resulting from PVG checks to be shared with us
  • need your full name, postal address and if you are already enrolled on the PVG scheme (this will determine the type of application form you complete and you won’t be required to show ID documents again)
  • forward this information to us, so we can send out the appropriate applications to complete directly to you.

Step 2 - the application:

  • Following the accompanying guidance, complete the relevant sections of the application
  • Ensure your position involves working with children
  • Ensure you are listed as a volunteer.

Step 3 - meet with your DP and prove your identity:

  • Once completed, contact your DP and arrange a time to meet so they verify your original identity documentation.
  • Your DP will take photocopies, and sign and date these.

PVG identity documentation

Applicants must show their Designated Person a certain set of documentation to prove their identity through the PVG scheme. See the list:

PVG Identity Documents PDF

Step 4 - Receiving your disclosure certificate:

  • You will be sent the Disclosure Certificate to your home address. We will also receive a copy.

Step 5 - If there are any disclosures:

  • Your DP will consult with the Head of Local Groups and yourself in regards to your involvement with the groups.
  • With support from us, your DP will complete a risk assessment on the information disclosed to see how it may affect your involvement with children.
  • Your DP will confirm how you can continue to be involved with the group.
Help me with my Access NI application (Northern Ireland)

Step 1 - Your Designated Person for Safeguarding (DP) will:

  • ask you to sign a consent form permitting information resulting from Access NI checks to be shared with us
  • need your full name and email address
  • forward this information so a PIN notification and ID Validation form can be emailed directly to you from our provider, Capita.

Step 2 - The application:

  • Please follow the instructions you will receive in the PIN notification and ID Validation form.
  • Access to the application form is via NI Direct, which is a government website.
  • You will need to create an account, or you may have one already as a resident in Northern Ireland.
  • Complete the form, using your details.
  • Ensure you select an enhanced check.

Step 3 - Meet with your DP and prove your identity:

  • Once completed, contact your DP and arrange a time to meet so they verify your original identity documentation.
  • Your DP will complete the ID validation section of the form and return it to Capita to complete your application submission.

Access NI identity documentation

Applicants must show their Designated Person a certain set of documentation to prove their identity. See the list:

Access NI identity documentation PDF

Step 4 - Receiving your disclosure certificate:

  • You will be sent the Disclosure Certificate to your home address. We will also receive a copy.

Step 5 - If there are any disclosures:

  • your DP will consult with the Head of Local Groups and yourself in regards to your involvement with the groups
  • with support from us, your DP will complete a risk assessment on the information disclosed to see how it may affect your involvement with children
  • your DP will confirm how you can continue to be involved with the group.
What is a Designated Person for Safeguarding?

This is a mandatory role for all local groups: it is an individual who advocates safeguarding and child protection within your group by sharing information, training and resources. They are also the ones who can process criminal record checks on behalf of your group.

Everyone is responsible for safeguarding but your Designated Person would be the ‘go-to’ person for any safeguarding or child protection concerns. They are also a way for us to disseminate important information around safeguarding and child protection to your wider group.

Who should be the Designated Person?

Anyone on your committee! Some groups usually tack this on to their roles as Chair, Secretary or Treasurer, or you can also job share this role if you wish.

No previous experience or knowledge in child protection or safeguarding is required, we offer free online training and resources, and talk you through the criminal record check process. Some skills which are useful to the role, though, are:

  • Good IT skills and access to a computer
  • Good organisational skills
  • Ability to have a good record in keeping systems
  • Ability to be flexible and meet up with individuals to verify documents and view certificates

We have developed an easy-to-follow guide which details the role, responsibilities and administrative tasks involved. It can sound like a lot, but there is a dedicated team here to support you with any problems and answer any queries.

Once you get going, it really is quite simple and we hope the handy guide below helps you to keep track:

Designated Person for Safeguarding Guide PDF

Fancy being your group's Designated Person?

Just contact us on localgroups@ndcs.org.uk and we can guide you through the process and get you set up.