skip to content

The University is a registered body with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Registered bodies are entitled in law to apply for a DBS check only where the position is included in the DBS's list of eligible posts. These posts represent the professions, offices, employments, work and occupations that are known as the exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

There are two types of check available from the DBS:

  • Standard - contains details of spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC) that are not ‘protected’. Protected convictions and cautions are normally old and minor; they are filtered by the DBS so they are not disclosed and they must not be taken into account by employers. The filtering rules and the list of offences that will never be filtered are now available for you to view on the DBS's web pages.
  • Enhanced - contains the same information as the standard check but also any relevant and proportionate information held by the local police forces. In addition, where the role is eligible, registered bodies can request a check on whether a person is barred from working with children or adults in regulated activity (particular types of work with children and adults).

Many roles in the University which involve working directly with children and vulnerable adults fall into the category of ‘regulated activity’ and so are eligible in law for an enhanced DBS check with appropriate barred list check. The most common regulated activities which take place in the University are:

  • Teaching, training, instructing, supervising children whilst unsupervised at least once a week or more or on four days or more in a thirty day period; and
  • Health care provided by, or under the direction or supervision of a regulated health care professional (please note that this only needs to be on one occasion).

It should be noted that teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising a 16 or 17 year-old's employment (which includes work experience) is not regulated activity and a DBS check may not be requested. A DBS check may only be required for work experience students under 16 in the rare event that the same person is teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising them whilst unsupervised on a frequent/intensive basis.

Where an individual is not working in regulated activity, he/she will be eligible for a standard DBS check where his/her work is:

  • Concerned with the provision of health services;
  • Of a kind as to enable the individual concerned to have direct, physical contact (such as interviews or focus groups) with persons in receipt of such services in the course of his/her normal duties.

Full details of the type of work and roles which are eligible for DBS checks are found in the DBS section of the Recruitment Guidance. An appropriate individual within the department/institution (for example, the line manager/supervisor for the role or the person providing administrative support to the recruitment process) should review this eligibility criteria at the start of the recruitment process, or as soon as the duties of a role change, to identify whether a DBS check is required and, if it is, which type.

The appropriate individual should also determine whether the 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. Guidance on whether a check can be treated as ‘essential before start’ or not is found in the Identify required screening checks section of the Recruitment Guidance.

The HR Division’s DBS web pages also set out the procedure for requesting a DBS check for new and current employees, receiving and recording check results, and how departments/institutions may (where it is appropriate) complete a risk assessment in order to allow individuals to start work where their DBS check is being treated as ‘non-essential before start’ .

Appropriate control measures must be set out in the risk assessment and implemented in order to minimise any risk arising from the DBS check not having been completed when the individual begins work. Examples of control measures include not allowing the individual to commence any work relating to the DBS check until it has been completed or ensuring that he/she is supervised at all times.

Please note that DBS checks for students are managed by the Student Registry. Their process is set out in the DBS section of the Student Registry web pages.