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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 POR Chapter 16: Roles Table.

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've 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'll 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
  • 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’ 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).

After an adult has been added to Compass click on ‘Request New Disclosure’ on the disclosures tab within the adult’s record to pass the applicants details through to Atlantic Data.

To process a DBS check in Atlantic Data there are two ways to complete all of the sections before a DBS application is submitted to the DBS for processing.

A full explanation (including videos, user guides and quick start guides) of the two ways to complete a DBS application using Compass and Atlantic Data can be found on the  Compass Support website.

The quickest and easiest way to complete a DBS application is by completing Option 1 in Atlantic Data.

We understand that it’s not always possible to get the applicant, the ID checker and a connection to the internet all in one place. If this is the case, the ID Checking Form can be used.

The ID Checking Form enables an ID checker to complete Option 1 using the form. The form doesn't collect the details that the applicant needs to provide in their part of the application as this section must be completed by themselves on Atlantic Data.

  • Obtain an original, individually numbered DBS form from your District Commissioner or Appointments Secretary – in case of difficulty, contact

  • Complete the DBS form in black ink with no alterations:
    • Make sure you compete the form fully and accurately. Read the MUST and MUST NOT notes on the front of the form
    • Section b. Current address: enter as: c/o Vetting Team, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London E4 7QW UK at address since enter as the date the form is completed
    • Section c. Other addresses: complete with the applicant’s current address outside the UK (with the date to being the date the form is completed); add addresses if required to show where you have lived for the last five years
    • Section e. Declaration by the applicant: to be signed (within the box) by the applicant
    • Section w. Evidence of Identity: to be completed by the evidence checker. Formal signature not required
    • Verify the identity of the applicant by reference to original documents, not photocopies
    • Verify the residence of the applicant by reference to appropriate documents
    • Section x. Apply for a DBS Check and Section y. Statement by registered person: please leave blank, as these will be completed at UK Headquarters

  • Complete and sign the letter of authority (form BSO DBS) - we need this authorisation for correspondence from the DBS to go to UK Headquarters (this is because the DBS will not send mail to non-UK addresses and so we must have a way of dealing in confidence with any correspondence)
  • Send the completed form (original hard copy, not a photocopy or electronic copy) together with the completed form BSO DBS, by mail to: The Support Centre, The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, LONDON, E4 7QW
  • Notify UKHQ that the paper application has been posted by completing this short form -DBS Notification Form
  • Once the form has been received The Scout Support Centre at UKHQ will:
    • Countersign and forward the application to the DBS
    • The disclosure certificate will be sent by the DBS to UK Headquarters, who will:
    • Update Compass
    • Notify the Appointments Secretary when the DBS process is complete
    • Mail the DBS certificate to the applicant at their current address
    • If there are any issues with the forms a member of the team will make contact to explain the next steps.

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:

    • Update Compass
    • Notify the Appointments Secretary when the local disclosure process is complete

You'll receive email acknowledgements of the information you upload but you can also check progress. You'll need to register (a one-off process) at the Support Portal. You'll need an email address and a password of your choice. Once you've 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 you'll 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.

To watch in full screen, double click the video

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

Double click on the video to view in full screen.

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