Handling of DBS certificate information

The DBS Code of Practice applies to all Registered Bodies with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) under section 120 of the Police Act 1997 (Registered Bodies) and recipients of Update Service information under section 116A of the Police Act 1997.

The University is a registered body with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and is only permitted and required to carry out a DBS check for roles engaged in regulated activity or otherwise identified in relevant legislation, as prescribed in the DBS guidance on types of criminal records check. It is recommended to use this tool to find out what type of DBS check can be requested for University staff.

DBS check is a record of a person’s criminal convictions and cautions. It is an essential requirement for those applying to work directly with children or vulnerable adults (e.g. in teaching or healthcare) and these roles are eligible in law for an enhanced DBS check with appropriate barred list check. The information shown on the DBS check certificate is used to ascertain a candidate’s suitability for a particular role.

A vulnerable adult is defined as:  "aged 18 years or over; who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation."

It is important to determine whether the DBS check must be completed before an individual can start work or if there are activities that the individual could reasonably and safely carry out before the check result has been received.

With effect from 1 February 2020 the University uses an online DBS provider – First Advantage OnlineDisclosures (formerly GBG OnlineDisclosures) to carry out the DBS checks.

In the event that the paper-based DBS check process is being followed Faculties and Directorates have a role to play in checking and verifying applicant’s identity documents. This role is usually the responsibility of the line manager or designated other such as the Executive Office Administrator.

The manager / designated other must:

  • Check and validate the information provided by the applicant on the application form

  • Establish the true identity of the applicant through examination of a range of documents as set out in the 3 route ID checking process

  • Ensure that the applicant provides details of all names by which they have been known

  • Ensure they provide details of all addresses where they have lived in the last five years

  • Check that the application form is fully completed and the information it contains is accurate.

Faculties and Directorates should also ensure they receive outstanding DBS certificates from the applicant.  

The contents of a disclosure should be discussed with an individual in the event that it leads to the withdrawal of employment. If in doubt, advice should be taken from Human Resources.

Updated February 2020