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Disclosure process in British Scouting Overseas

Certain roles within Scouting require a disclosure check to be completed as part of the Appointments Process. This page explains more about disclosure checking for those who hold roles in British Scouting Overseas (BSO).

Adults who volunteer in British Scouting Overseas, and who require a disclosure check as part of their role, are required to secure an acceptable disclosure check in their country of residence as well as a disclosure check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

To find out which roles require a disclosure check please see The Appointment Process chapter in Policy, Organisation & Rules.

British Scouting operates across Europe, the Middle and Far East as well as in other parts of the world. Each of the countries has very different criminal justice systems, cultures and mechanisms of safeguarding.

Disclosure checks you need to complete

All volunteers who have been resident in the UK for a period since their 10th birthday must complete a disclosure check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

In addition, any disclosure check that is available in the country in which the adult takes part in Scouting must also be undertaken.

For further support and guidance about the disclosure check process for adults who volunteer within British Scouting Overseas, contact

If you've not been resident in the UK since your 10th Birthday you're not required to complete a DBS check. You will need to inform UK Headquarters directly so that they can update your record on Compass. To notify UK Headquarters complete the DBS Notification Form.

How to apply for a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check

There are two ways to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check:

  • Submit an online application via Atlantic Data, or
  • Submit a paper application.

To be able to use Atlantic Data the applicant MUST hold the relevant ID documentation to go through ‘Route 1’ as set out in the DBS’s guidance.

If the applicant does not hold the ID documentation required to go through ‘Route 1’ then the applicant will need to complete a paper application (see below).

How to apply for a Local Check

Adults who require a disclosure check for the role they are undertaking in British Scouting Overseas are required to undertake a local check in the country in which they live. You can find more information within the guidance for each District below:

  • Apply for a local check as described in the guidance linked above.
  • Complete the Local Disclosure Check Form  to show that you have applied for a local disclosure.
  • When you receive the local disclosure, provide details on the Local Disclosure Check Form (you will need to have a digital image of the document ready to upload; if the law in your country of residence does not permit copying of disclosures, make sure you provide sufficient information on the contents of the documents and full details of the issuing body ).
  • The Scout Information Centre at UKHQ will:
    • Update Compass
    • Notify the Appointments Secretary when the local disclosure process is complete

You will receive email acknowledgments of the information you upload but you can also check progress. You will need to register (a one-off process) at the Support Portal. You will need an email address and a password of your choice. Once you have done this, you can log in and check on your applications.

Renewal of disclosure checks

You must renew all disclosure checks, both DBS and local, at intervals of not more than five years.

Cost of disclosure checks

DBS checks are free of charge; support for the cost (if any) of obtaining local check is available. Make an application, with full details of the disclosures obtained and with proof of payment, to

Further information about The Disclosure and Barring Service

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is an important element for making safer appointment decisions, ensuring that appropriate people can work with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

More information about the DBS can be found on the UK Government website.

What ID documents will I need to show for a DBS check?

There are certain documents that which you will need to show to an ID checker to complete your disclosure application. The full list of documents is listed on the UK Government website.

Issuing of the DBS check

Once the disclosure certificate is issued to the volunteer by the DBS, the Vetting Team at UKHQ will inform either the relevant Commissioner or the Appointment Secretary of the outcome and whether the volunteer is able to start in their role. The volunteer’s Compass record will be updated to reflect the outcome.

DBS checks are just one element of the National Vetting Process and the issuing of the certificate does not mean that the volunteer is able to begin straight away.

How to complete a disclosure application for someone in Atlantic data using 'Option one'

Guidance about DBS filtering

Certain convictions or cautions no longer need to be disclosed as part of a Disclosure application. This question is asked directly to the applicant within Atlantic data, so no action is required on the part of ID Checkers/Data Processors.

More information on DBS Filtering

Update Service

Scouts does not currently use the Disclosure and Barring update service to undertake an applicant’s status check, as the current scheme is not practical for the Association to undertake.

Further information on the update service