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what is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

  • What is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check?

What is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check?

Due to the nature of our business and as responsible employers we have a legal obligation to ensure all our employees are suitable to work in close proximity to children and young adults. Therefore all staff employed by PGL must undergo an Enhanced DBS check. In the past, this check was referred to as a 'CRB' Check.

Once you have submitted your job application you will receive a confirmation message on screen containing information about how to complete your DBS application form. The form is simple to complete, is all on-line and doesn't cost you anything.
It is absolutely vital that you do this, otherwise your job application will not be processed.

Once we match your job application with your DBS application, your referees will be contacted and your application form will be processed by one of our Recruitment Officers (most of which have previously work on centre in various roles). If you are successful, details of how to get your identity verified by the Post Office (which will complete stage II of your DBS application) will be sent out with your contract. PGL will pay for the cost of the DBS check (approx £60) but you will be responsible for paying to get your identify verified (approx £7.00)

Please note that we'll only make job offers once we are in receipt of 2 satisfactory references.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions received by the PGL Recruitment Team to help you find out more about the DBS check and to assist you in completing the form on-line.

We hope you find the answer to your questions here, but if not, please do contact the PGL Recruitment Team on 0844 3710 123 or email

Please note that if you accept an offer of employment but subsequently decide not to take it up, you will be liable to pay for your disclosure application if it has already been submitted to the DBS.

Why do we require DBS approval before you start work at PGL?

Any UK citizen wishing to work with children or other vulnerable members of society needs to receive clearance from DBS (formally called CRB). The disclosure is an impartial and confidential document that details an individual’s criminal record, and where appropriate, details of those who are banned from working with children.

Please note that overseas applicants will be asked to provide a police check (or proof that it has been applied for) from their country of origin. UK nationals that have lived outside of the UK for 3 months or more during the last 5 years, will also be required to provide overseas police checks from any countries they have resided in. Please click here for further information.

What does the DBS check reveal?

DBS checks contain details of any criminal history you may have, including any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings.
On the 29 May 2013, legislation came into force that allows certain old and minor cautions and convictions to no longer be subject to disclosure. The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (Amendment England and Wales Order 2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are “protected” and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website at

All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specified offences of relevance for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, will be revealed on the disclosure. In addition, all convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where an individual has more than one conviction recorded.

We recognise that ex-offenders may be part of our workforce and it is our policy to promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential. All information will be treated sensitively and in confidence. Minor, irrelevant misdemeanours are unlikely to affect your application.

We welcome applications from diverse candidates and criminal records will be taken into account for recruitment purposes only when the conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning is relevant to the position applied for.

If you have any questions about your criminal record in relation to your DBS check, please contact the PGL Recruitment Team on 0844 3710 123 in confidence.

I have lived outside the UK within the last five years. What do I need to do?

If you are applying from outside the UK, or if you have lived outside the UK within the last five years, you will need to obtain an Overseas Police Check from any countries you have lived in. If you need further information on how to obtain this, please click here.

More information can also be found on the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure website.

Please send a copy of the certificate either in the post, via fax or as a scanned email attachment to You can also scan and upload this via your on-line account, using the link to the uploads page in the left hand panel at the top of this page. We will want to see the original certificate when you start work so please take it with you to your centre when you start with PGL if you have not already sent it to the PGL Recruitment Team.

How far back does my address history need to go?

You need to provide details of all addresses (long term or temporary) that you have occupied during the last 5 years, in date order and with no overlaps or gaps. Please provide full details including post codes.

If you have been travelling during this time, please provide dates and countries you have visited. If you were travelling in the UK please provide the names of towns or cities and dates.

I have been at university. Do I need to provide all my temporary addresses on the form?

Yes. The DBS requires a full address history to include everywhere you have lived within the last five years. Addresses used purely for receiving post are not acceptable.

I have a DBS / CRB from working for another company. Can I use this again for PGL?

Only if you have signed up to the ‘Update Service’ through the DBS when you received a DBS certificate. If you haven’t, we will need to obtain a new DBS through PGL.

How to Complete Your Online DBS Application Form

When you submit a job application you will be sent a confirmation email containing a link and details of how to complete an online DBS application form.

If you need to talk to someone about your DBS form, please call the PGL Recruitment Team confidentially on 0844 3710 123. This will not harm your job application in any way.

If you are not a British Citizen or have lived outside the UK in the past 5 years: You will need to provide us with an Overseas Police Check/Certificate of Good Conduct to be eligible for employment with PGL. Find out more here>

How to Get Your ID Verified

If offered a position you will be sent a Post Office Identity Checking Form. You will need to take this form, the original identity documents (details of acceptable ID are on the form) and photocopies to the Post Office and they will check and the copies against the originals, stamp and sign the form and the copies. You will then need to send the form and the photocopies to the PGL Recruitment Team with the rest of your paperwork. This costs £8.75 which you will have to pay at the Post Office. 

If you live close to one of our activity centres and would prefer to have your ID verified face-to-face, please call the Recruitment Team on 0844 3710 123 to arrange an appointment. If you wish to visit a centre to verify your ID this must be done at least four weeks prior to your contract start date.

Please contact the PGL Recruitment Team on 0844 3710 123 if you are unsure of anything.

PGL's Policy on the DBS Disclosures

At PGL, our policy states that if you have not completed the DBS process, you will not be permitted to start work. If your completed check isn’t received within a set time, you may be suspended from duties and asked to leave the centre until your disclosure comes through.

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Key PGL Facts

Key PGL Facts

Need more convincing to apply? Surely not, but if so – here are a few ‘must know’ key facts:

  • we employ over 3,000 people every year
  • over 400,000 guests visit a PGL centre every year
  • we are old! We have been providing activity holidays since 1957 (almost 60 years)
  • we have the most competitive staff package
  • we are the employer of choice within the outdoor activity industry!