Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

This page tells you more about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for university students, why you might need to get one, and how you go about doing this.

What is the Disclosure and Barring Service?

The Disclosure and Barring Service acts as a 'one stop-shop' for organisations, checking police records and, in relevant cases, information held by the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

The DBS service enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children and at risk adults.

Who requires a DBS check for studying with Anglia Ruskin University?

A DBS Enhanced Disclosure is a compulsory requirement of any offer to study on courses which require you to work with children and/or at risk adults. This check will confirm whether you have any criminal convictions, cautions or reprimands registered against you, and is necessary to protect both you and the public against people who are unsuitable to work with children and/or at risk adults.

Courses listed below all have a compulsory DBS Enhanced Level clearance requirement to be obtained through ARU prior to the start of the course.

+ Undergraduate courses requiring a DBS check

+ Postgraduate courses requiring a DBS check


It is imperative that if you receive a reprimand, caution or conviction whilst studying on your course that you contact the DBS Officer immediately on 01245 684984 or email DBSOfficer@aru.ac.uk.

For further details on the ARU DBS process please contact us 01245 684984 or email DBS@aru.ac.uk.

How do I get a DBS check?

Once you have received and firmly accepted your conditional or unconditional offer, you will be emailed guidance on how to apply for your DBS through the ARU online DBS Provider, GBG Online Disclosures.

The guidance document includes all the necessary links and information to enable you to register and submit your DBS application via the GBG website. As part of your DBS application you are required to provide and submit three original identity documents for verification.

The Post Office can verify your identity documentation. You will need to take your identity documents together with the ID Verification form (available to print from your GBG account after application submission) to a Crown Post Office. You will be able to check on the GBG website which post offices offers the verification service

Once you have verified your identity documents your application will automatically be sent to GBG to be countersigned and onto the DBS for the necessary checks to be carried out.

ARU will pay your DBS application fee.

The average DBS processing time is five working days, however, some applications can take longer. You can track the status of your DBS application with your GBG log-in details.

The Disclosure certificate is a very important document which should be kept securely, ARU does not receive copies and the only copy goes to you. If you lose your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate you will be required to apply for another at your own expense.

Be prepared for your placement to ask to see your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate. Please do not allow anyone to keep hold of your Disclosure certificate as you may need to refer to it multiple times.

Should your DBS Disclosure certificate show a conviction, caution, reprimand, warning or additional information or you receive an offence whilst on course please contact the Criminal Records Officers immediately for further advice and guidance on 01245 684984 or DBSOfficer@aru.ac.uk.

If ARU does not receive confirmation of your DBS clearance you will not be permitted to attend practice which will impact on your continuation on the course.

Can I use a DBS Disclosure I already have?

If you already hold a DBS at the enhanced level and is registered to the update service, please submit a clear scan to DBS@aru.ac.uk for verification.

The DBS introduced the Online Update Service in June 2013; this service will allow you to register your Disclosure certificate for an annual fee of £13 enabling your DBS to become portable. This allows you to take your Disclosure certificate from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same type and level clearance is required, this greatly reduces the need to apply for multiple Disclosure certificates.

ARU supports the DBS Update Service and will accept Enhanced Disclosures registered on the update service under set criteria. The Disclosure certificate must be checked under the required Workforce for your course and must be at Enhanced Level. To verify your certificate with ARU you must produce your original Disclosure Certificate to the Criminal Records Team; please contact us on DBS@aru.ac.uk.

If you wish to register a DBS Certificate or require further information on the OUS you can do so at www.gov.uk/dbs.

Certificates can only be registered to the Update Service within 30 calendar days of the ‘date of issue’ printed on the certificate or, as soon as you have your GBG application number.

Applicants living overseas

Offers for applicants based overseas will be confirmed on the basis of a letter from either the British High Commission or your home Police force confirming you have no criminal convictions and are of good character. Your home police clearance (and any translation) should be emailed to DBSOfficer@aru.ac.uk.

Once you have firmly accepted your offer, a DBS application link will be emailed to you. Please only complete this once you have your UK address along with evidence of this.

You will not be permitted to attend placement until the DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate is received and verified.

What should I do if I have a reprimand, caution or conviction?

ARU is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and at risk adults who access its activities or services. To achieve this we require all of our offer holders to complete either a Criminal Conviction Declaration or an Enhanced DBS Disclosure.

Once a declaration has been made our Criminal Records Officers will contact you to request a statement of events. You should include as much detail as possible about the events leading up to and the receipt of the reprimand, caution or conviction including the outcomes (costs/fines etc) and the insights you have gained from the experience.

The information provided will be risk assessed and kept securely under ARU's Storage and Retention policy. Recommendations will be made and reviewed with Director of Studies or Dean of the faculty. You may be contacted and requested to submit a further independent reference and any court/police related information on the offence.

All declarations made for Social Work and Medicine will automatically be reviewed by a DBS Panel consisting of Director of Studies or Dean of the Faculty and designated relevant faculty staff and professional external bodies. wo professional character references will be requested along with the statement of events.

Should further information have been requested a DBS panel consisting of Director of Studies or Dean of the Faculty and designated relevant faculty staff and where appropriate an NHS HR manager or head teacher will be convened to conduct the review. The DBS Panel will assess the information and make a decision. You will be contacted by the Criminal Records Officer in writing with the outcome. This could be that your application is withdrawn, deferred or that you are able to continue.

For courses requiring a DBS Disclosure as an entry requirement, where the assessment outcome allows you to continue with your course application, you will be required to complete a new DBS application. Once you have received your DBS Enhanced Certificate you will be required to submit this to the Criminal Records Officers who will compare it against your statement of events. If there are any discrepancies between the information previously provided in your statement and the information displayed on your DBS certificate a further assessment or panel will be conducted. You will be contacted by the Criminal Records Officer in writing with the final outcome.

It is imperative that if you receive a reprimand, caution or conviction whilst studying on your course that you contact the DBS Officer immediately on 01245 684984 or email DBSOfficer@aru.ac.uk.

Filtering of old and minor offences

Legislation came into force in May 2013 that allows certain old and minor cautions and convictions to no longer be subject to disclosure under the Exceptions Order.

For full guidance on the Exceptions Order and details of which offences will remain please review the information available on the Gov.UK website.

The DBS Recheck process

(Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work students only)
All students studying Nursing and Midwifery courses will be required to complete a DBS and Good Health Declaration form at the beginning of each progression year of their course. This will be provided by email with a survey link attached.

Social Work students are required to register their DBS Certificate with the Online Update Service and will be responsible for covering the £13 annual fee for the service. If the DBS is not registered within the required timeframe, a new DBS application will be required.

If ARU does not receive confirmation of your subscription to the Online Update Service you will not be permitted to attend practice which will impact on your continuation on the course. Further information on the Online Update Service can be found at www.gov.uk/dbs.

Intermitting students

If you have intermitted from your course of study you must ensure you have a valid DBS Enhanced Disclosure in place before you can return to training.

If you already hold a valid DBS Disclosure certificate which has been completed through ARU at Enhanced Level and is less than 12 months old on the date that you return to your course, or an Enhanced DBS certificate which meets all the requirements for your course and is registered to the Online Update Service this may be accepted.

You will be advised 8-12 weeks prior to your return date and provided with a DBS online link should you require a new DBS Disclosure certificate. Please complete this as promptly as possible as without clearance you will be unable to attend any of your placements and this could jeopardise the completion of your course.

Storage and retention of DBS Disclosures

All DBS information is retained under the Storage and Retention policy.

ARU will not provide third parties with information regarding your Disclosure.

How to contact us

If you have any questions relating to DBS please contact our DBS Officers.

Forms