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 ‘disclosures manager’ 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 get stuck or need to talk about anything, please contact our DBS team

Activation and getting started

Once you have received a conditional or unconditional offer to study at the University, which you have accepted and confirmed, your DBS check can get underway. You will then receive an email with a username. You’ll need to use this to log onto the ‘disclosures manager’ online process. Atlantic Data (the company that handles the process) will then email you providing instructions on what to do next. 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.

Your identification documents

The first part of your application involves selecting identification from the list provided. Please read the acceptable forms of ID for EEA students (.pdf) and acceptable forms of ID for non-EEA students (.pdf) to help you select which is the best form of personal identification to put forward as part of your DBS check.

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.

Route 1

UK and EEA nationals undertaking study/voluntary activity and
Non-EEA nationals undertaking unpaid work/voluntary activity

You must be able to show:

  • one document from Group 1 and
  • two further documents from either Group 1 or Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show your current address.

If you are unable to present the documents above it may be possible to follow Route 2.

Non-EEA applicants undertaking paid work/study

If you are undertaking paid work/study and are not a national of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) must be able to show:

  • one Non-EEA primary document; and
  • two further supporting documents from Group 1, 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show your current address.

If you are unable to provide these documents your right to study in the UK cannot be established and you will not be able to submit a DBS check. You cannot use any other ID route.

Route 2

UK and EEA nationals undertaking study/voluntary activity

Route 2 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Route 1. Non-EEA applicants undertaking work/study cannot use Route 2.

To complete Route 2 you must complete an external ID validation check through the University and provide:

  • one document from Group 2a; and
  • two further documents from either Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show your current address.

If you are unable to complete the external ID validation or is unable present the documents above it may be possible to follow Route 3.

Route 3

UK and EEA nationals undertaking study/voluntary activity

Route 3 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Routes 1 or 2.

For Route 3, you must be able to show:

  • a birth certificate issued 12 months after the time of birth (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands); and
  • one further document from Group 2a; and
  • three documents from Group 2a or 2b.

At least one of the documents must show your current address.

If you are unable to present the documents above it may be possible to follow Route 4.

Route 4

Route 4 is only for applicants that cannot provide any primary ID documents and all other available routes have been explored. A manual application must be completed and you will be invited to make an appointment with your local police station and consent to your fingerprints being taken. You must be residing in the UK to complete a Route 4.

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

After you’ve selected your ID documents you will need to complete the rest of your online application, which includes updating your name and address history. Once you have done this the application will generate an automated letter, 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 of £11.00 for this process, which you will need to pay for.

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 disclosure manager system. You’ll need to email the DBS team to tell us, as your application may need to be cancelled and started again.

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.

Contact us
Contact us
Student Progress Team