Close this search box.

The Sensitive DBS Application Process

If you wish to volunteer with Woodcraft Folk on a regular basis, a DBS check (or PVG in Scotland) forms part of the ways in which we ensure all of our members are safeguarded from harm. However, we understand that for transgender people undertaking such a check can be a cause of stress or anxiety. If you wish to volunteer with one of our groups, districts, events or centres without disclosing previous legal names or the gender you were assigned at birth, your check might be able to be processed through the Sensitive Application Process and the information below gives you details on how to go about this. If you have any questions at any point, please contact our Membership team at who can help you to navigate the process.

Processing DBS applications for Transgender applicants

The Disclosure and Barring Service sensitively and confidentially process DBS applications for transgender applicants. They’ve provided a step by step procedure that we can follow to ensure an applicant’s correct gender and name is displayed on their certificate.

1. The applicant must go on to the online DBS system and complete their application as usual.

2. On their application they MUST select the gender they identify with and answer ‘No’ to the question have you been known by any other names (if they wish not to disclose this information).

3. Once they’ve completed their application they’ll need to contact the Membership team ( or call 020 8126 9339 ) immediately, OR the DBS Sensitive Department (see page 3) providing the following information:

  • A request for their application to be taken through the sensitive process
  • A scanned copy of their change of name deed/certificate (if applicable)
  • Contact telephone number and email
  • Home address

Please note the above information must be provided to Folk Office before the application is verified otherwise the DBS will be unable to match the application to the request.

4. The membership secretary can then go on to the First Advantage site and verify the application once they’ve witnessed the relevant ID.

If the identity documents show different genders, please attempt to use only the ID that displays the gender they identify with. If the ID shows only the incorrect gender which they do not wish to disclose to their local membership secretary they must contact the Membership and Groups Officer immediately before starting the application process.

5. The application and documents provided will be sent to the Disclosure & Barring Service Sensitive team requesting that the application be processed in line with the gender recognition act 2004.

If an applicant is happy to have their previous identity disclosed on their certificate, they don’t need to follow the above procedure and can simply submit their information under the ‘any other names’ section of their application.

Options for Non-Binary applicants

Presently the Disclosure & Barring Service does not offer any accommodations for non-binary people, or those who wish not to disclose a gender status at all.

At the moment the Sensitive Applications process is only provided for transgender applicants who have changed their gender within the gender binary (e.g. from male to female, or female to male), and do not wish nor have to provide details of the gender they were assigned at birth. This service is provided in line with the protections afforded by the Gender Recognition Act (2004). Though they do still have to disclose this information to the DBS through the Sensitive Applications process in order for all necessary checks to be completed and to receive a valid certificate.

Woodcraft Folk recognise that there is a lack of legal recognition for non-binary individuals, and stress that within our organisation we seek to validate the gender identities of everyone who participates through maintaining accurate internal records and respecting which pronouns individuals use for themselves. As such any non-binary individuals who have concerns about the DBS process are welcome to contact our membership team by email. We will endeavour to find a way to complete a DBS check in a way which minimises the number of people to whom you will need to disclose the gender you were assigned at birth.

We have been made aware that there are no immediate plans to change DBS processes. However, the Disclosure & Barring Service have stated that they will always amend their services in line with any changes to legislation. Therefore current consultations around the legal recognition of non-binary identities may result in changes to these systems in the near future.

How to contact the sensitive applications team

The sensitive application team is experienced in dealing with sensitive cases and will happily advise you on the process and what you need to do. To contact the sensitive applications team directly, please telephone 0151 676 1452 or email Please note, that the telephone number also has an out-of-hours answering machine where you can leave your details, and a member of the team will call you back. Please note, an applicant using the confidential checking service, will still complete the same application form as any other applicant.
Any questions for Woodcraft Folk membership please email or call 020 8126 9339.

FAQS for Membership Secretaries & Applicants

Do you need to have changed your gender through a gender recognition certificate to be entitled to use the sensitive application process?

A gender recognition certificate is not required to go through the sensitive process.

What do you do if you don’t want to disclose that you are trans to the verifier/membership secretary and don’t have enough ID of the right gender?

Members can complete the application as per the instructions and can contact the DBS Sensitive Department directly. Unfortunately the ID has to be witnessed in hard copy and verified so we’d recommend to use ID that reflects their current gender so no disclosures need to be made to the membership secretary.

The membership secretary will not know if the sensitive process has been used if the applicant has contacted the DBS directly and has used only ID that reflects their current gender.

If the applicant has only ID with a range of names and genders that would mean they would have to make a disclosure to their local verifier/membership secretary this information would be treated confidentially in line with our data protection policy.

What do you do if you are a current member (possibly subscribed to the update service) and have changed your name/gender in the three years since the check was done/updated?

If a member has changed their name/gender in the last 3 years they’ll have to do a new DBS application at point of renewal. The Disclosure & Barring service will check the criminal record against both the new and previous names.

Is it necessary to have a piece of ID that shows gender within those verified (Birth Certificate/Gender Recognition Certificate/Adoption Certificate/Passport) or is there a selection of non-gendered ID that one could show and still complete a check (Driving License, Bills, etc)?

ID checking has to be down in line with the guidance set up by the Disclosure & Barring Service. A minimum of one ID document showing gender will need to be seen.

Current UK Driving licence (old style paper version), Current Non-UK Photo Driving licence, Birth Certificate (UK) issued after the time of birth, Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate, Adoption Certificate.

What should you do if you are in the process of transitioning and currently have ID documents in a range of names and genders?

The identity documents must match current information on the application. If possible should try to use only the ID that displays their current gender.

Any questions or queries please email


Share this Resource

Our website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you agree to our cookie notice

Skip to content