DBS Checks for Charities

Find out more about our #worktogether campaign by downloading our information leaflet and learn how you can increase donations by carrying out your day to day activity.

At TotalCRB we believe that charities are an integral part of every community. Whether small, non-profit or global organisations, charities change the lives of people in need every day with even the smallest of donations making a huge impact. Charities help enrich communities by helping to provide goods and services to people who may not otherwise have access to them. We believe that improving the standard of living and support available for people in need is essential now more than ever.

That’s why we’re here to help!

If you run a charity or similar organisation we would like to help and support you through the process of DBS checking your employees and volunteers. Contact us for a chat about your requirements and the different options available to you and your organisation.

If you’re just starting out or thinking of forming an organisation or charity then please keep reading for tips and advice on things to consider.

Finding volunteers

Volunteers can be found from a number of different sources:

  • word of mouth referrals
  • adverts in national or local press
  • personal recommendations
  • marketing – shouting about the fantastic work you do via social media and digital platforms is a great, and free, way to inspire people to give up their free time


NOTE: As an individual you can only apply for a Basic Disclosure. For a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure you will need to apply through your Company.

Criminal records checks for volunteers

If you have paid staff or volunteers who will be working with children or vulnerable adults, depending on their role and DBS eligibility legislation, then you may be able to get an enhanced DBS check carried out on them.

The Enhanced DBS check is the highest level of DBS and will help you to identify people who may be unsuitable for certain roles within your organisation, especially work involving children and vulnerable adults.

DBS checks for volunteers bypass the government charge of £44 so an Enhanced Disclosure would cost £15 through our online or paper processing systems. Contacts us to find out more about our E-bulk checking service for voluntary applicants. You can also find more information on our volunteers page.

If your volunteer roles do not involve working with children or vulnerable adults then you can still carry out a Basic criminal record check to help you decide if your volunteer candidates are suitable for the role. Please contact our team to discuss your requirements and our different disclosure types.

Volunteers’ Legal Status

As an organisation you should clearly distinguish between paid employees and volunteers. Under certain circumstances it is possible for volunteers to claim the same rights as your employees (e.g. unfair dismissal). We advise that you seek proper employment and legal advice when devising work schedules and arrangements for your volunteers. Providing a written role description for your voluntary staff can assist in making clear the boundaries and expectations that your volunteers will adhere to. It’s important that the role description is not confused with an employment contract or job description (e.g. it must not require that the volunteers work particular hours).

Expenses for volunteers

Although volunteers are not paid for their time they should be reimbursed for their expenses. These could include:

  • travel costs
  • telephone or postage costs if your volunteers work from home
  • essential equipment (e.g. protective clothing or tools required for the role

Volunteers should provide receipts for reimbursement of any of the expenses they incur.

Volunteers receiving any type of reward or payment other than expenses, may be seen to be receiving a salary and therefore could be classed as an employee. This could mean that they then receive some employment rights. The Government page on Volunteer placements, rights and expenses has lots of useful information.

Insurance to cover volunteers

You should ensure that your charity’s insurance covers your voluntary staff. Even if your charity does not have paid employees you may still decide to take out employers’ liability cover for volunteers.

Its good practice to check whether your insurance policy:

  • includes voluntary workers
  • covers different activities that volunteers will be involved in
  • Has details on any age limits for your volunteers

Below are some websites where you can advertise the volunteering roles that you have available:

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)



KnowHowNonProfit :

Our Sponsees

TotalCRB are very proud to sponsor various charities and organisations. Being in business doesn’t just mean making money, it also enables and gives us the privilege of giving back to the community, supporting worthwhile social enterprises and facilitating organisations to continue doing the great work that they do.

Find out more about our affiliated charities and organisations below. If you would like more information about any of our sponsees please email Hannah@totalcrb.co.uk.

S.E.E.D – Support & Education for Eating Disorders is a registered charity providing a support network to suffers of eating/food/weight related issues & their family & friends. S.E.E.D Providing weekly support groups for sufferers and a fortnightly advice and information clinic to carers facilitated by a dedicated and specially trained team of volunteers.
S.E.E.D also offers bespoke training on how to identify signs and symptoms of eating disorders and what can assist to a range of professionals including GPs, teachers, therapists, nurses and social workers.

S.E.E.D is dedicated to raising awareness of eating disorders and campaigning for the improvement of treatment, resources and funding for those affected by eating disorder and eating related distress.

Breathe Therapies is a Lancashire based service providing a research based multi-disciplinary treatment programme for eating distress.

Psycho-education, Motivational enhancement therapy, Cognitive behavioural techniques, Nutritional counselling and Dietetics.

Breathe Therapies aims to provide a local and accessible specialist service for those with eating distress. Provide a confidential, professional and individualised treatment package in a safe and therapeutic environment. We provide a challenging but positive journey experience towards emotional and physical wellbeing and engender hope and a message of recover and wholeness.