Contact us

If you have any queries relating to DBS checks then email

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 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?

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 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?

The Disclosure and Barring Service have recently introduced a new system called the Update Service. If you joined the Update Service when you applied for your previous DBS check you will be able to re-use your check as long as it covers the correct workforce

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. Please see the goverment's guidance on on overseas criminal records checks.

How much will an Enhanced Disclosure cost?

You will need to pay £46 to the University for your Enhanced Disclosure. This covers payment for the Enhanced Disclosure and a contribution towards our administrative costs. Payment can be made online via the University store, a link to the webpage will be provided as part of the application process. We then pay the DBS on account for your application.
If you are unable to produce a group 1 document listed in the DBS Guidance documents an additional cost will apply.

How do I apply for an Enhanced Disclosure?

We will tell you when and how you need to start the application process. We will also contact you by email with details of the documents required. You will then either need to attend a document checking session or arrange an appointment, this will be specified in the initial e-mail.

Once your documents have been validated and the details entered onto a form, the form will then be sent to the DBS centre for processing.

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 aims to complete straightforward applications within four weeks, but it can take longer.

When you have received a copy of your Enhanced Disclosure form it is important that you keep it safely as you will need to show it to us at the start of your programme. Your placement provider and/or employer may also request to see your Enhanced Disclosure. If the Enhanced Disclosure reveals something that we were not aware of we will discuss it with you at this time.

The DBS will not provide replacements for lost or damaged 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.  We only keep disclosure information for the minimum amount of time necessary. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service have their own policies for Standard and Enhanced checks outlining how they will process the information you provide and a policy outlining when and how they will rely on your consent to process your personal data. You will need to confirm that you have read the relevant policies when you submit a DBS check application through the University of Bath.