Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Here's some of our frequently asked questions regarding DBS.

My offer is subject to a DBS and Occupational Health Clearance. When and how will this be sent to me?

If you have chosen the University as your Firm choice and are starting in September, you will be sent an email inviting you to complete an online DBS form around May time. For January starters, the email is usually sent in November. The link to the online form will be sent to you in an email.

Why do I need a DBS Disclosure?

The course you have applied for involves going out on placement and working with adults and/or children. For universities, it is a government requirement that you have had a DBS check in order for you to do this.

Do I need to bring original documents?

You will need to take your documents to your Post Office in order to use their verification service. The University does not verify documents directly.

What sort of ID do I need to provide?

Please refer to the list of ID documents along with information regarding Routes 1, 2 and 3. The list will be sent to you when the DBS link is issued.

I don’t have any valid ID from Group 1. What should I do?

We would proceed down route 2 - you would need to provide 3 forms of ID from Group 2 consisting of 1 document from Group 2a and 2 documents from group 2a or 2b (one of which must verify show your current address). In addition, we will have to conduct a check via the external validation service system to confirm your identity.

I can’t produce enough forms of ID from Group 1 or 2. What should I do?

If you cannot provide any ID for Routes 1, 2 and 3 you will be sent for fingerprinting by the Police.

Do I have to pay?

The faculty will fund your DBS check.*

*Excludes Non-Medical Prescribing.

What if I have lived outside of the UK/never lived in the UK in the past five years? How do I do this?

Please be aware that if you have lived outside of the UK for six months or more in the past five years we will need to see a criminal record check from the country you were living in. You can apply for your criminal overseas check through First Advantage. Please send your completed application form to admissions@bcu.ac.uk and the Admissions team will send this to First Advantage on your behalf.

If you already have a criminal record check from the country you were living in you do not need to apply for one through First Advantage. Please just send us a copy of your certificate.

I’ve never lived outside of Ireland - do I need a DBS check?

No – if you live in the Republic of Ireland we need to see an Irish Garda clearance instead.

Once you have moved to the UK you will need to apply for a UK DBS.

I have a DBS certificate from another organisation - can I use this?

Yes, as long as you have subscribed to the DBS Update Service, your certificate is enhanced and you have undergone an Adult and Child Workforce Check (for all Health Courses including Social Work) or a Child Workforce Check only for Education Courses. You will still need to provide us with a copy of your original DBS certificate via email to admissions@bcu.ac.uk.

From 25 May 2017 we will no longer be accepting voluntary DBS disclosures that have been registered with the Update Service. If you are registered with the Update Service but your disclosure was for a voluntary position you will need to obtain a new certificate through our external provider.

What is the Update Service?

This is an online service which enables your certificate to be kept up-to-date and, with your consent, allows an organisation to check your certificate online. For £13 a year, you can subscribe and can re-use again providing the same level of check is acceptable with the organisation.

How long will it take to get my DBS certificate and can I track the progress?

It can take anywhere from two to eight weeks (possibly longer) for DBS to process the forms depending on how busy they are. You can track the progress here using the Form Reference Number of the application and your date of birth.

Will I receive my certificate in the post or do I collect it from the University?

Your certificate will be posted to the address you have stated as your current address on Section B of the DBS form.

Do I need to send the original certificate to you?

No, confirmation of your clearance will be sent to us by our external provider. If you have a conviction listed on your certificate we may request to see a copy. You will only need to provide this if requested separately.

Can I get another copy if I have lost my original or it never arrived?

You can ask DBS to reprint the certificate as long as the request is within three months (93 days) of the issue date. See here for further information.

How long does the disclosure last?

The certificate is only accurate on the date it is issued. For this reason, if you intermit and re-enrol back onto the course you will need to complete a new DBS application. This will be processed by the relevant School Office (not Admissions).

I have a caution/conviction on my DBS certificate. What happens now?

We will need to see the original certificate and take a photocopy to send to our Student Governance Team. Depending on the nature and time of the conviction, they may invite you in for a panel meeting to discuss this in further detail. The panel will consider the suitability of the applicant/newly enrolled student based on the information contained in the Disclosure and the following:

  • The nature of the offence(s)
  • The age at which it was committed
  • Its relevance to the professional area in question
  • Any pattern of offending behaviour
  • The two character references provide

The DBS panel will decide whether the applicant/newly enrolled student is considered suitable to start or continue on the programme. If the decision is no then this exclusion is applied across all professional programmes in the relevant Faculty.

The process is slightly different for the BSc Social Work degree programme. Once an applicant/newly enrolled student has been approved by the Faculty DBS panel then the list has to be circulated to Birmingham Government Child/Adult and other partners within the Social Work sector for approval. Once feedback is received to Student Governance, the applicant/newly enrolled student will be informed of the outcome in writing. Social Work students may also be required to have annual enhanced DBS checks depending upon the placement learning experience and requirements of the practice/placement partner.

I think there may be an error with my certificate. What do I do?

If you think the DBS has made an error on your certificate please contact them to explain what has happened. If the error is regarding incorrect information stated regarding a conviction or personal information e.g. name then you will need to raise a dispute. Disputes can only be raised within three months of the issue date. You can complete the dispute form on their website.

If I have a query who do I contact?

Please contact Health Admissions on +44 (0)121 331 6295 or email admissions@bcu.ac.uk

Please also check the official website for additional information.