What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government agency providing criminal records checks to assist employers in identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, for example, work involving contact with children or other vulnerable groups.  They also maintain barred lists of those individuals unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults.

We obtain Enhanced disclosures from the DBS, via our supplier First Advantage.

You can find further information on the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service webpages.

How will I find out which check(s) are required?

If a post requires a Criminal Record Check, this would normally be clearly stated, along with the type of check required, on the job advert and as a condition of your contract of employment.

How do I declare a criminal record?

When you are applying for a vacancy with us and completing our application form, you will be asked if you have any unspent conditional cautions or convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

You will also be asked if you have any adult cautions (simple or conditional) or spent convictions that are not protected as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020.

Where relevant, you should provide details of the dates(s), nature of offence (s) and sentence(s) passed.

I have a criminal record.  What happens to my information when I apply for a vacancy?

Any information provided by you will be held securely by the University and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.  If you are subsequently shortlisted and following the selection process are the preferred candidate for the role, to determine whether your criminal record is relevant, the information you have provided will be assessed in relation to the nature of the role, the tasks you would be expected to undertake and the circumstances in which the work is to be carried out.

All information will be treated as strictly confidential and will be considered only in relation to the post for which you are applying.  Human Resources may discuss the content of your Disclosure, and the results of any criminal records checks, with the Recruiting Manager, where they consider this to be essential in determining your suitability for the post.

Where applicable, discussions may be held with you to give you the opportunity to make all information known. 

DBS checks will be arranged for:

Successful candidates for a vacancy, once a conditional job offer has been made.

DBS Update Service

Anyone who applies for a standard or enhanced criminal record check through the DBS can choose to subscribe to the DBS Update Service (basic disclosures are not eligible).

This service enables employers (with your permission) to carry out an instant and free online check, known as a ‘Status Check’, which reveals whether the DBS Certificate is still up to date, or whether new information may have been added to your criminal record (for example, new convictions).

This means that you may not necessarily have to repeat checks when moving jobs, working for multiple employers, or when you need a DBS disclosure for both work and voluntary activities. However, there is only portability as long as the new activity is within the same ‘workforce’ and requires the same level of checking.  

So, an enhanced disclosure to work with children cannot be accepted if your new role is with at risk adults, or vice versa. In such cases a new disclosure will be required.

When our HR team contact you regarding a DBS check, they will ask you if you are a member of the update service.

Conducting a DBS Check

Our HR team will send you a link to set up an account with our supplier, First Advantage who facilitate the DBS checking process for us.  You will then complete an online application form and provide proof of identity at the Post Office, with First Advantage completing the relevant checks.