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Guidance for applicants on how to apply for a DBS check

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

We use an online provider to administer DBS checks on our behalf. Active Background Checks is an Umbrella Body, registered by the DBS to carry out all types of check.

Some roles at the University have been designated as requiring satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

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

You will only receive satisfactory clearance once HR has received confirmation on the status of your check from Active Background Checks.

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

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

What you need to do as an applicant

You may already have a DBS check because you have previously been asked to apply for one for another job you have undertaken. Irrespective of this fact, where a DBS check is a requirement of the post we will require you to apply again to the DBS.

If you are already registered for the DBS Update Service, please let your HR Co-ordinator know as you may not need to submit a further DBS application form. For more information, please refer to the relevant section below on this page or visit the GOV.UK DBS Update Service webpage. In these circumstances, you will need to bring your original certificate to show HR, so the correct level of check can be verified against the online check.

Application process

This is a four stage process. You will be notified by email when you need to complete a DBS check and how to apply for a check. You'll only receive satisfactory clearance once HR has received confirmation of your disclosure from Active Background Checks.

You can refuse to apply for a DBS check but, if you do so, we may not be able to consider your application for certain posts or may not be able to offer you work in certain areas of the University.

1. Prepare your identification documents

Check what identification (ID) documents you need to provide using the Government Guidance. Scan copies of the original ID documents and email them across to your HR Co-ordinator so they can be verified initially over video link and then in-person later in the process (see Stage 3). Your ID documents will be deleted as soon as your check has been completed.

2. Complete the online application form

Go to and log in using the details provided by your HR Co-ordinator. Complete the application process following the online steps. If you experience any problems, or have any queries in relation to the online process, please contact Active Background Checks by telephone on 03301 355 855 or by emailing

3. Submit your application

Once your application has been submitted, your HR Co-ordinator will contact you to arrange a suitable time for the ID validation to take place and complete the remaining parts of the process. Once complete, your DBS form will be submitted to Active Background Checks so they can carry out the check. You will be able to track the progress of your application.

4. Notification

Once your DBS check has been completed, you'll receive an email notification and your DBS disclosure certificate will be sent out to you in the post. Your HR Co-ordinator will also receive an email confirming the status of your check and will input these details onto iTrent (our HR system). Please bring the original versions of your ID documentation when you first attend your employment or volunteering role so we can verify these with you in person.

DBS renewals

DBS checks at the University are valid for three years.

Before your DBS check expires, you'll receive an email to let you know 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.

DBS Update Service

If you haven’t previously had a DBS Update Service Check initiated by the University or as part of joining the University, you'll need to bring your original DBS certificate to HR so the correct level of check can be verified. 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 three 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 can be refunded for the cost of a DBS Update Service check, providing the requirement for the check has been appropriately authorised by your line manager.

Recruitment of ex-offenders

Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from working for the University. This will depend upon the nature of the role and the circumstances and the background of the offence(s). Please refer to our Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders for further information.

Data protection

The University is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses data and in meeting its data protection obligations. For further information about data protection please refer to the following policies:

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