The DBS check process

How to complete a DBS check

The University’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) team help manage the online DBS check application process for you. It will probably happen during the summer before you start your course. It’s a straightforward process that guides you step-by-step – but remember, providing accurate information from the start will help your check run smoothly.

The DBS check process:

  • requires face-to-face ID verification
  • takes a few weeks to a few months to complete.

Tips for completing your DBS check

  • Read our guidance on DBS checks
  • Provide accurate, up-to-date and precise information to make your application go smoothly
  • Check your email as the DBS process gets underway
  • If you’re from the EEA or outside the EEA, see below for identification documents
  • If you’ve lived overseas in the past five years, you’ll need additional checks
  • Pay particular attention to previous addresses and any previous names
  • Look after your DBS check certificate when it arrives, it’s your only copy
  • If you need a reprint of your DBS check certificate you only have three months to get one
  • If you need to talk about your application for a DBS check please contact the University’s’ DBS Supplier, Complete Background Screening – please call on 01443 799900 or email info@cbscreening.co.uk.

Activation and getting started

Once you have received an unconditional offer to study at the University, which you have accepted and confirmed, your DBS check can get underway. You will receive an email with information about how to log onto the online application. So, keep an eye on your email, including your junk email folder, and remember it’s really important to check that your personal details are accurate at this stage. The online application will guide you through the process and will prompt you to input some further details, including your name and address history for the last 5 years. 

Your identification documents

As part of the DBS application process you will need to get your identity verified. The online system will prompt you to select 3 types of identification and will provide you with a list of documents that you can choose from. Please read the guidance that is available on the Government DBS webpages for information about what documents are acceptable.

All students should try to provide documents from ‘Route 1’ before taking any other option. If you can’t provide the documents listed in ‘Route 1’ then one of the other routes may be possible.

Please make sure you read all the relevant guidance as this differs between applicants who are a national of the UK and applicants who are not a national of the UK. There is also specific guidance for students who have an unusual address, for example if you are living abroad or in student accommodation. 

ID Check and Face-to-Face Verification - Post Office Route

After you’ve selected your ID documents, the online system will generate a barcode, which you need to take to the Post Office along with your selected ID within 28 days. Please make sure you take these to a Post Office that offers a DBS ID Verification Service. More information about the Post Office Services can be found here. The Post Office will charge a fee for this process, which you will need to pay for.

Once you have completed the ID check the University will need to submit your application for processing before it is sent to the DBS. 

COVID-19 and Travelling to a Post Office

Completing a DBS check is an essential activity linked to your education and needs to be completed in order to meet the requirements of your course. Whilst the current advice from the Government is to stay home, you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ to travel to a Post Office, as you need to obtain a service that enables you to complete the DBS process.

Please make sure you adhere to the Government’s COVID-19 related guidance and support when travelling to and from the Post Office and when you get your documents verified. The most recent guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you have been issued with a key worker letter from your department/school please take this letter with you when you travel to and from the Post Office as it can be used to show that you have a valid reason for leaving the house.

If you have any concerns about completing your ID check at a Post Office or you are aware of any challenges that will prevent you from completing your application in this way, for example you are shielding or are concerned about travelling, please contact the DBS Team for more advice and guidance.

You are encouraged to complete the DBS process as soon as possible to ensure that your result comes back before you are due to go out on placement. If your DBS result is delayed this may have implications for your placement start date and your ability to continue on the course, as you may not be able to meet the required learning outcomes. If you placement is postponed for any reason please continue with your DBS application.

Once your application is complete

Once your application has been completed online, it’s sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service. They check your details against police records and barred list information where applicable. If you’ve applied for an enhanced DBS check your details will also be checked with local police forces.

How long the process takes 

It’s difficult to say exactly how long your check will take, as every person has different circumstances. Most DBS checks are completed within six weeks, but the process can take up to eight weeks and sometimes it takes longer.

Receiving your DBS certificate

Once all the checks have been done, you’ll receive your DBS certificate by post to the address that you provided.

If you haven’t received your DBS certificate within 14 days of it being dispatched, you can request a free reprint by calling 0300 020 0190. Note that the DBS centre can only reissue certificates up to 93 days after the original date of issue.

Incorrect name on the DBS application

If the name on your DBS application is incorrect, it means it has been added incorrectly to the online system. You can amend this easily yourself by updating your name as it appears on your online application form. 

Copies of your certificate

You won’t be able to get one – you’re only given one copy, so make sure you look after it as it can’t be replaced if it gets lost or destroyed. The University is not sent a copy.

Get in touch
Student Progress Team
Complete Background Screening For queries about your online DBS application
Telephone: 01443 799900