In an attempt to constantly improve and upgrade their service, the DBS has recently announced an option to apply for a disclosure and barring service check in Welsh. This is just the latest tweak to the DBS processing options, alongside the ability to pay for basic checks using online payment services and several other changes regarding identity checking
Welsh Speaker Bonus
There is an estimated 875,000 people in Wales who can speak at least some Welsh, or around 30% of the Welsh population. Not all of these people will use Welsh as their first language, but in some areas of the country, Welsh is more commonly heard than English in many settings. Many schools teach children purely in Welsh, and all official documents are available in both Welsh and English. It therefore makes a lot of sense for the Disclosure and Barring Service to offer the option of applying for your disclosure in Welsh too. The separate systems in Scotland and Northern Ireland only at present offer an English language application route, but it seems logical to assume that a Gaelic language application in Scotland and an Irish language version will be rolled out shortly.
In addition to the option to fill in the form in Welsh and access all guidance information in Welsh, the DBS helpline also offers a service enquiry line for Welsh speakers, open during office hours.
Unusually, although you are allowed to fill in the form in Welsh, read the guidance notes in Welsh and speak to someone in Welsh if you have any queries, the certificate will still be printed in English. This is because of the way the law is written, as it states that all DBS certificates must be written in English. There is also the issue with translation, as some offences might not translate exactly between the two languages. Also, someone applying in Wales for their disclosure check may have their certificate checked over by their non-Welsh speaking manager. It is unlikely that this is going to change at any point in the near future as it would require parliament to vote through changes in legislation to allow it to happen.
Applying for your DBS in Welsh
Whether you’re applying for your DBS check in Welsh or English, the same rules and process applies. Take care when filling in the application form to make sure you have given all the names you have used in the past, as well as a complete address history for the past five years, including postcodes. Other common mistakes include transposing numbers in dates of birth, or leaving gaps without explanations. The DBS Helpline is there to help and can answer any questions about completing the form or for any other queries about the process. You will also be asked to supply identity documents such as passport, driving licence or utility bills and these will generally be in English rather than Welsh too. Once your DBS certificate arrives, show it to your employer, then file it away in a safe place.