Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
The Disclosure and Barring Service
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is an executive agency of the Home Office. It helps inform our decision about applications to study for PGCE and Social Work degrees. It also helps us screen student ambassadors and volunteers and those going on placements involving work with children or vulnerable adults, or those involved in a profession with special responsibilities such as pharmacy.
The University is registered with the DBS and fully compliant with its Code of Practice.
Guidance for Applicants Required to Use the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- What is a DBS check?
- Can I refuse to apply for a DBS check?
- What if I already have a DBS check?
- What if I live or have lived overseas?
- How much will an Enhanced Disclosure cost?
- How do I apply for an Enhanced Disclosure?
- What will happen next?
- What if I have a criminal record?
- How do I know that the information contained on my Enhanced Disclosure will be kept confidential?
What is a DBS check?
If we have asked you to obtain a DBS check, this will be what is called an Enhanced Disclosure. These provide details of a person’s criminal record including all convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC) and all information held by local police forces.
If your programme or placement involves working with children or vulnerable adults, the Enhanced Disclosure will contain details from lists held by the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Education (DfE) of those considered unsuitable for, or banned from, this type of work.
Can I refuse to apply for a DBS check?
Yes, but if you do, we will not be able to allow you to undertake the practical requirements of your programme of study or to undertake particular volunteer or student placements. For PGCE, Pharmacy and Social Work students, this is likely to mean that you are ineligible for admission onto the programme.
What if I already have a DBS check?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept previous DBS checks. In order to discharge our responsibilities and to ensure that the information we have is as up-to-date as possible, we ask that you apply for a new Enhanced Disclosure through the University. There are no exceptions to this rule.
What if I live or have lived overseas?
You will have to apply to the DBS for an Enhanced Disclosure even if you have lived overseas prior to joining the University. We may also ask you for an equivalent document from the relevant overseas authorities.
How much will an Enhanced Disclosure cost?
You will need to pay £50 to the University for your Enhanced Disclosure. This covers payment for the Enhanced Disclosure and a contribution towards our administrative costs. You need to provide us with a cheque or postal order payable to the University of Bath when you forward your application to us. We then pay the DBS on account for your application.
How do I apply for an Enhanced Disclosure?
We will tell you when and how you need to start the application process. We will contact you by email with your DBS user name and password and instructions on how to access the on-line form. Once you have completed the form there are two options:
If you can visit the University:
- We will print a copy of your online application and make sure it is ready for us to add the final ID checks and for you to sign.
- You should ring the Registry Enquiry Office on 01225 383019 and ask for an appointment to go through a DBS Enhanced Disclosure application.
- You should come to your appointment with the original ID documents you specified in your online application and your payment of £50. If you do not bring everything we need, we will not be able to complete your application.
- We will send your completed application to the DBS and you do not need to do anything else unless we contact you.
If you cannot visit the University:
We will print a copy of your online application and send it to you at the current address you provided on the DBS application form. When you receive this form, you should sign it and send it back to us with the original ID documents you specified in your online application. You should also send us a cheque (payable to the University of Bath) or postal order for £50.
Send the Disclosure application form, original ID documents and payment to:
The Admissions Office,
Wessex House 6.17
University of Bath,
Please mark your envelope ‘PGCE’ or ‘Social Work’ as appropriate. We strongly recommend that you use special delivery or a similar secure service.
We will send your application off to the DBS and return your original ID documents to you by special delivery. You do not need to do anything else unless we contact you.
What will happen next?
Once we have submitted your completed Enhanced Disclosure application to the DBS, you will receive your Enhanced Disclosure in the post. The DBS will also send a copy to the University. The DBS aims to complete straightforward applications within 3 weeks, but it can take longer. We will only contact you if the Enhanced Disclosure reveals something that we need to discuss with you. When you receive a copy of your Enhanced Disclosure form, keep it safe in case we, your school, or placement employer etc. asks to see it. The DBS will not normally issue replacement certificates.
What if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from gaining admission to the University of Bath. We will investigate the nature of any declared or disclosed convictions in order to:
- Ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and students
- Ensure the security of University property
- Protect the University’s reputation and public standing
- Carry out our legal responsibilities and duties
Any admissions decision will be taken in the light of a risk assessment against these criteria. Further details can be found in our Policy Statement on Applicants with Criminal Convictions.
How do I know that the information contained on my Enhanced Disclosure will be kept confidential?
We have a Policy Statement on the Secure Storage, Handling, Use, Retention and Disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure Information (PDF) and this is consistent with the DBS Code of Practice. As we only keep Enhanced Disclosures for the minimum amount of time necessary we will not be able to give you a copy if you lose or do not receive it.