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England & Wales

Criminal Record Checking

In England and Wales, criminal record checks are processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The check will also include information held on the DBS children barred lists, together with any information held by police forces, that is reasonably considered to be relevant to the role.

parkrun UK currently uses UK Athletics (UKA) to carry out all their checks and keep a record of all volunteers who have completed a DBS check, and the date the certificate was issued.

Checked individuals must inform parkrun UK if their circumstances or status changes after their check, eg, if placed on the ‘barred from working with children’ list.

ID checking must be completed by your event ambassador. If this is not possible, please contact and we will provide an alternative option.

Unfortunately, DBS certificates are NOT transferable, nor is there one central system where they can be looked up.

If you are signed up to the DBS Update Service you need to email letting them know your full name, date of birth, postcode and that you are signed up to this service. They will then ask you to post them your original DBS certificate so they can check the details. Any subsequent DBS renewals you then make can be done without re-sending any original paperwork in.

If you already have a DBS certificate that is issued by UK Athletics, and issued within the past three years (for example, if you are an athletics coach) please email and ask them to confirm this to us. Alternatively, if you are happy to do so, you can email with a scanned or photographed copy of your original certificate, showing all information on it. We will then confirm receipt of this and delete/ redact the email.

If you are renewing your check as part of your coaching role you should ask UKA to inform parkrun, should you continue to act in an eligible role at junior parkrun. UKA will not automatically inform parkrun.

If you are applying for a new DBS certificate please follow these steps:

  1. Email
    1. Provide your full name, date of birth and postal address
    2. State that you are applying to be a Run Director
    3. Inform them of the name of your junior parkrun
  2. UKA will reply by email, providing your ‘Unique Reference Number’ (URN), a four-digit password, and an explanation of how to log onto the portal
  3. Log onto the portal and follow the online instructions to complete the form
  4. Contact your Ambassador to verify your ID. Your Event Director can help with contacting your Ambassador if you’re unsure how to do this
  5. UKA will then process your application (this usually takes 1-2 weeks)
  6. Remember to inform if the name on your DBS Certificate will be different to the name you are registered for parkrun with

If your certificate is clean (no convictions on it):

  1. Your certificate will be sent to you in the post
  2. You do not need to send it to UKA or parkrun HQ, please just keep it in a safe place
  3. UKA will receive confirmation from DBS that you are suitable to carry out the role of Run Director
  4. UKA will confirm this to the parkrun Safeguarding Lead

If your certificate has details of any convictions on it:

  1. UKA will be notified that they need to see your certificate and will request that you send them the original copy
  2. UKA will make a decision, along with the Safeguarding Lead at parkrun UK, as to whether or not the convictions you have allow you to undertake the role of Run Director
  3. For the vast majority of cases, UKA will check the details and then confirm to you and the parkrun UK Safeguarding Lead that you are suitable to carry out the role of Run Director
  4. Occasionally, UKA may ask you for more information about a conviction (circumstances surrounding it etc), and occasionally someone may be turned down for the role because of a criminal conviction
  5. Any information that comes to light on a DBS check will remain confidential at all times and is unlikely to impact your participation in parkrun in roles other than that of Run Director at a junior parkrun

If there is a problem with the process, for example, a questionable identity, DBS will write directly to you with instructions for what to do next. UKA and parkrun won’t be informed of this. Your certificate will not be issued until you have followed whatever instructions have been sent to you by DBS.

If you are renewing your DBS certificate you need to log on to your portal using your URN and password, as originally sent to you by UKA, and follow the online instructions. We ask people to renew their certificates every three years. UKA should send you an email letting you know when your certificate is due for renewal, but if you haven’t received one, for example, if you have changed your email address or you initially got your certificate through a non-electronic system, and your certificate was issued three+ years ago, please email

Ultimately, it is parkrun UK’s responsibility, once a check has been conducted, to make a decision about an individual’s suitability for the role.