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University of Bath

DBS checks: guidance for applicants

Read the guidance to understand what is required from you to complete a DBS check as part of your role

Information for applicants

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now using an online provider to administer DBS checks on our behalf on an interim basis. Active Background Checks is an Umbrella Body, registered by the DBS to carry out DBS checks. Please follow this guidance as an applicant when applying for either a new DBS check or a DBS renewal.

Some positions within the University have been designated as requiring satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) clearance (formerly known as CRB). 

When a DBS check is required, it is likely that your line manager will have requested HR to initiate a DBS check for you.

You will only receive satisfactory clearance once HR have verified the original certificate (see stage 4 of Application Process).

A number of departments across the University administer their own DBS checks. In these circumstances, applicants should follow the same process as below, but contact the following designated departmental contacts as below instead of HR.

The University is registered with the DBS and is fully compliant with its Code of Practice, a copy of which can be provided upon request.

What you need to do as an applicant

DBS application forms are available from the Reception in the Department of Human Resources WH3.22 except for Basic Checks.  If you are already registered for the DBS Update Service via the University, let your designated HR Administrator know as you may not then need to submit a further DBS application form.

For more information on the GOV.UK DBS update service.

Application process

This is a four stage process.  You will only receive satisfactory clearance once HR have verified the original certificate (see stage 4).

1. Complete the application form

You must complete the DBS form in black ink.

On the form, please note that Question e55 has been amended from: “have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or received a caution, reprimand or warning?”. Instead, please treat this question as is if you were being asked: “Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance?

It is very important that you include the address history for the full 5 years prior or your application will be rejected.

Full guidance on completing the application form is available via the GOV.UK website.

2. Verify your identity

Once you have completed the form, please bring the relevant original identity documents to HR

3. HR will validate the form and send it to the DBS for processing

This may take between 2 to 4 weeks.

4. Bring the DBS certificate to HR

You will receive your outcome certificate from the DBS in the post. Please bring the original certificate to HR at your earliest opportunity, but within 5 days of receipt.

HR will then enter your DBS details into iTrent and an email will be sent to you and your line manager to confirm that these details have been entered onto the system.

If you have chosen to register for the Update Service, please let HR. Please note you will need to provide your original outcome certificate to HR and they will verify your details with the Update Service.

5. DBS renewals

DBS checks are valid for three years.

Prior to the expiry of your DBS check, you will receive an email informing you that you need to initiate a new DBS check. Your line manager will also receive an email informing them of this requirement.

Once you receive this email, you should follow the application process outlined above.

6. Update service

You must apply for a new DBS check if you haven’t already had one initiated by the University before or as part of joining the GOV.UK DBS Update Service. Joining the Update Service is not a mandatory requirement and it is your choice whether you wish to do so. You will still be required to renew your DBS check after a period of 3 years in line with the Renewal Process above.

If you’ve already applied for a DBS check via the University, you can register for the Update Service using your DBS certificate number. You must do this within 30 days of the certificate being issued. You will be refunded for the cost of a DBS Update Service check, providing that the requirement for the check has been appropriately authorised by your appointing manager.

Applying for a basic check

If you have been asked to complete a Basic Check you must apply online via the DBS.

You will be refunded for the cost of this check, providing that the requirement for the check has been appropriately authorised by your appointing manager.

The online checks are only possible for Basic checks, if in doubt, please ask HR.

Once you have received the outcome of your Basic check, please bring this to your designated HR Administrator.

Satisfactory clearance can only be achieved when HR have verified the original certificate.