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. The Criminal Records Bureau was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and was launched in March 2002. After review the services undertaken by the CRB were merged and formed the Disclosure and Barring Service in December 2012.

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.

Further details on DBS disclosures can be found at gov.uk, by contacting the DBS information line on 0870 9090 844 or by emailing Anglia Ruskin University's Criminal Records Officer at DBSOfficer@anglia.ac.uk.

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

  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing – all branches and routes including apprenticeship
  • BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing
  • BOptom (Hons) Optometry
  • BSC (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy
  • BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditional with Rehabilitation
  • BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching and Physical Education
  • MBChB Medicine
  • MSc Physician Associate
  • BA (Hons) Social Work
  • MA Social Work
  • MA Dramatherapy
  • Youth and Community Work
  • DipHE Counselling (child and young person)
  • MA Music Therapy
  • BOst and MOst Osteopathy
  • All non QTS education courses

Can I use a DBS Disclosure I already have?

From 17 June 2013 the DBS introduced an online Update Service. This service will allow you to register your Disclosure certificate for an annual fee of £13. The Update Service will enable your Disclosure to become portable and will greatly reduce the need to apply for multiple Disclosure certificates, enabling you to take your Disclosure certificate from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same type and level clearance is required.

To use this service you must have a DBS application submitted to the DBS on or after 17 June 2013, and on submission of your DBS application form you should visit gov.uk to register for the online update service with your application form reference number. All DBS enhanced disclosure applications must be received by the DBS within 28 days of registering. You can also register with the Update Service within 30 days of the ‘date of issue’ which is printed on the certificate.

Anglia Ruskin University 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 title for your course and must be at the Enhanced Level. To enable the Criminal Records Officer to verify your information you must produce your original Disclosure Certificate at the iCentre along with one original Group 1 document such as a passport, drivers licence (provisional or full) or Biometric Residence permit.

How do I get a DBS check?

For the majority of the courses above, once you have been invited to interview and received a conditional or unconditional offer which you have accepted as your firm choice, you will be emailed a guidance document with instructions for applying for your DBS through our DBS provider GBG OnlineDisclosures.

The guidance document will include a link which will take you to the GBG website where you will need to register and submit your DBS application. As part of your DBS application you will need to decide what three identity documents you would like to verify and you will also be able to choose between two verification methods for your identity documents. The options for verification are:

  • verification at the Post Office: if you chose this option you will need to bring your identity documents together with the ID Verification form (available to print on your GBG account after you submit your application) to a Crown Post Office. You will be able to check on the GBG website which post offices offers the verification service
  • verification at the organisation: if you chose this option you will need to bring your identity documents in to the Anglia Ruskin University iCentre at the Cambridge or Chelmsford campus, or the reception at the Peterborough campus.

Once you have verified your identity documents Anglia Ruskin University will pay your DBS application fee and your application will at that point be automatically sent to GBG to be countersigned and then to DBS for the checks to be carried out.

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. If you lose your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate you will be required to apply for another at your own expense.

Be prepared for the manager of 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.

If your DBS Disclosure certificate shows a conviction, caution, reprimand, warning or further information please contact the Criminal Records Officers immediately for further guidance and instruction on 01245 684984 or DBSOfficer@anglia.ac.uk.

You will also be asked to complete a consent form giving Anglia Ruskin University continuous permission to check your Disclosure certificate online using the online Update Service through the duration of your course.

If your DBS certificate is not confirmed by Anglia Ruskin University you will not be permitted to attend practice which will impact on your continuation on the course.

Applicants living overseas

DBS checks can only be conducted for candidates with home addresses in the UK. Offers for applicants based overseas will be confirmed on the basis of a letter from either the British High Commission of their local constabulary confirming that they have no criminal convictions and are of good character. They will complete and submit their DBS application as soon as a UK address is secured and will not be permitted to attend placement until a satisfactory DBS Disclosure certificate is received and verified.

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

Anglia Ruskin University 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 lessons you have learned from the experience.

The information provided will be risk assessed and a recommendation will be made, either that the application can 'proceed' and be sent to the Director or Dean of the faculty for confirmation, or you will be contacted and requested to submit a further independent reference and any court/police related information on the offence.

If further information has been requested a panel will be convened be conduct a review. The Disclosure Panel will then further assess the information and make a recommendation, which will be conveyed to the applicant by letter. This could be that your application is withdrawn, deferred or that you are able to continue.
If your course requires a DBS Disclosure as an entry requirement, and If the assessment outcome allows you to continue with your application, you will be required to complete a new DBS application which will then be reviewed against your statement of events. If there are any discrepancies between the information provided in the statement of events and the information displayed on your DBS certificate a further assessment will be conducted.

This information will be securely kept under Anglia Ruskin University's Storage and Retention policy until your completed DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate is received. This will be presented to a Disclosure Panel, consisting of academic staff, the Director or Dean of the Faculty and where appropriate an NHS HR manager or head teacher.

It is also 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.

Filtering of old and minor offences

On 29 May 2013 legislation came into force 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 at gov.uk.

Storage and retention of DBS Disclosures

All DBS information are retained within the Chelmsford Admissions Office in secure lockable filing cabinets.

Anglia Ruskin University will not provide third parties with information regarding your Disclosure.

The DBS Recheck process

(Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practice and Social Work students only)
All students studying Nursing, Midwifery and Operating Department Practice courses will be required to complete a DBS and Good Health Declaration form at the beginning of each progression year of their course.

Social Work students will be required to register their DBS Certificate with the online update service and will be responsible for covering the £13 annual fee for the service.

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 from intermission.

If you already hold a valid DBS Disclosure certificate which has been completed through Anglia Ruskin University 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 contacted 8-12 weeks prior to your return date and provided with a DBS online link. Please complete this as promptly as possible as without clearance you will be unable to attend any of your practice placements and this could jeopardise the completion of your course.

How to contact us

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