How to get a DBS check
In most cases, we will be in touch with you to let you know when to start the DBS check process before you start; the University’s DBS team is here to help you go through the DBS check process.
DBS check expiry
Your DBS check will be valid for University use for four years. Your DBS certificate displays the date it was printed, but it doesn’t have a set expiry date because a conviction could be recorded at any time after it's been issued.
Keeping your DBS status up-to-date
It might be a good idea to join the DBS update service, which lets you keep your DBS certificate up-to-date as you continue your professional career, so you won’t have to pay for additional checks.
Courses that require the DBS update service
If you have applied to study one of the courses listed below, you are required to register for the DBS Update Service in order to meet the entry requirements for your course.
- BA Social Work
- MA Social Work
- BSc Occupational Therapy
- MSc Occupational Therapy
- BSc Speech and Language Therapy
- MSc Speech and Language Therapy
How to Register for the Update Service
You only have a small window of opportunity to register for the Update Service so it is really important that you do this as soon as possible.
- If you are in the process of getting a DBS check you will need your application reference number. You will be sent your application number by email after the DBS has confirmed receipt of your application.
- If you already have a DBS certificate you will need your certificate number – you must register for the Update Service within 30 days of the certificate being issued.
A subscription to the Update Service lasts for one year. It is your responsibility to maintain your subscription for the duration of your course. If you do not register in time, or do not renew your subscription before it ends, you will need to apply for a new DBS check to enable you to join the Update Service and will be charged for the cost of the DBS check. Any delays in the DBS check process may impact your ability to go out on placement so it is important that you maintain your registration to the Update Service.
You will receive further information and reminders about registering for the Update Service from our online DBS Supplier, Complete Background Screening.
Once you have registered for the Update Service, Complete Background Screening will monitor your subscription and carry out an annual status check against for the duration of your studies. This ensures that you disclosure certificate remains accurate and up to date.
If you have any queries about the Update Service you can find out more information on the GOV.UK web pages. Alternatively you can contact Complete Background Screening for additional advice and guidance – telephone 01443 799900 or email UpdateService@cbscreening.co.uk.
Registration Costs and Refund Process
The Update Service costs £13 per year. You will need to pay this cost initially but the University will refund this once we have confirmed your subscription and you have registered for the year. A member of University staff will be in contact with you to request your bank account details after you have registered. Please contact the University’s DBS Team for more information about the refund process.
Do you need a new DBS check?
The DBS update service lets other organisations check the DBS certificate you currently hold and whether it’s still valid. If you’ve joined the update service, our DBS team can check whether you can use your current certificate using our status check form, or whether you need a new one, as long as your certificate was issued on or after 17 June 2013.
If you’ve lost your certificate
Try not to! It's your responsibility to look after your original certificate. You can call the DBS centre on 0300 020 0190 to reissue a certificate, but you need to do this within 93 days of your certificate being issued. If your certificate can’t be reissued, you may need to complete and pay for a new check.
DBS check for a job or work experience
The University can only help with DBS checks when it’s related to your course, so if you need one for a new job or work experience, please contact your new employer to organise the check.
The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and merges the functions previously carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The University of Essex processes criminal record applications for students and members of staff through a company called Complete Background Screening. Both staff and students complete the DBS check application online. To find out more please read the University’s policy and procedure on DBS checks (.pdf)
You may have questions about the DBS check, perhaps involving some sensitivity. Our helpful, friendly DBS team is on-hand to provide support and guidance, so please get in touch if you need some help.