Disclosure and Barring Service - DBS

A number of programmes of study at the University of Chester involve students undertaking a placement that includes specified contact with children or vulnerable adults; this is known as Regulated Activity.

Your guarantee of a place at the University of Chester remains provisional pending a receipt of both satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health clearance through the University. Remember, to consider joining the DBS Update Service.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

The University of Chester, and other Higher Education Institutions who offer programmes of study where students engage in Regulated Activity, are required to ensure that these students are suitable through a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure and, in some cases, are provisionally registered with the appropriate Professional or Regulatory Body.

If you study on one of the programmes listed below you are required to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure of criminal records through the DBS; a fee is charged which you will be expected to pay.

Once you have been accepted onto a place at the University, we will write to you with further instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure through the University as a DBS Registered Body and subscribe to the DBS Update Service. Applications for DBS checks are made on-line; following which, you will be required to attend a DBS signing session at the University so that you can provide your proof of identity, a cheque for the fee and sign the disclosure application form. Dates of the signing sessions for the coming year are given below.

Please note that the University does not currently accept DBS checks from any other employer and therefore you will have to apply for a new check for your studies through the University as a Registered Body.  However, you are strongly advised to subscribe to the Update Service during your time at the University for the purposes of placements.

You will also be expected to self declare any cautions, convictions or any other matter that may have a bearing on your suitability to undertake Regulated Activity.  Any matters revealed either by you or the DBS will be considered by the Programme Leader and may affect the University’s offer of a place. The nature of the disclosure is carefully considered and an appropriate course of action is determined and taken. In determining this action the NACRO guidance ‘Recruiting Safely’ is taken into account. While most matters will not automatically preclude an applicant from commencing study, the University reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place to anyone who fails to provide a satisfactory DBS check. Moreover, failure to declare a conviction etc. that is subsequently revealed on a DBS check may also affect your offer of a place.

Your guarantee of a place at the University of Chester remains provisional pending a receipt of both satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health clearance through the University.  These conditions remain in place irrespective of whether you have enrolled or commenced studies.  The University may withdraw the offer of a place, or terminate studies, if information comes to light that may have a bearing on your suitability to work with Children or Vulnerable Adults or you fail to meet the necessary suitability requirements for admission.

The University does not require you to subscribe to the DBS Update Service we do recommend that it is in your interests to do so.  Subscribing to the Update Service and keeping your subscription up-to-date could save you both time and money and mean that you do not need to apply for a DBS check in the future.  Should you subscribe you must ensure that you subscribe to the DBS update service within 19 days from the date of your DBS Certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Programmes of study require DBS Clearance at the University?

The following programmes of study will involve regulated activity and require DBS clearance:

Foundation Degrees



Early Years Practice BA (Hons.) with Qualified Teacher Status MA Art Therapy
Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) BA Youth Work MA Clinical Counselling
Sports Coaching BA Early Childhood Studies Postgraduate Certtificate Counselling Supervision
  BSc Nutrition and Dietetics Postgraduate Certificate in Education (all programmes)
  BA Social Work Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice with Early Years Teacher Status (formerly Early Years Professional Status)
  BSc Sports Coaching MSc/PG Dip Nutrition and Dietetics
  All Pre-registration Nursing programmes MA/PG Dip Social Work
   BSc Midwifery (pre-registration)  

How Much will the Disclosure Cost?

The cost of the Disclosure is £55.00.  Payable in cash or by cheque made payable to the University of Chester.  Applicants will also be required to subscribe to the Disclosure Update Service at a cost of £13.00 payable directly to the DBS. 

The DBS definition of a 'volunteer' specifically excludes students undertaking a placement as part of their studies.  DBS defines a ‘volunteer’, as:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.’

To qualify for a free-of-charge volunteer check, the applicant must not:

  • Benefit directly from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted.
  • Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses).
  • Be on a work placement.
  • Be on a course that requires them to do this job role.
  • Be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification.

The following table is adapted from the table published in the October 2013 edition of DBS Disclsoure News.

Position Applied for University Activity DBS 'volunteer' Status Reasoning
Students mentoring/tutoring children in schools or undertaking regulated activity with vulnerable persons (Children or Adults) as part of a placement (three scenarios)

Scenario 1: Where there is no benefit to the student except to gain experience, develop skill and enhance their CV eg volunteering through SSG Volunteering or mentoring.

Volunteering or mentoring through SSG


Scenario 1: This activity is entirely voluntary, is upaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party.

Scenario 2: Where the student receives a qualification or credit towards a qualification as a direct result of their voluntary activity.


Early Childhood Studies

Social Work, Youth Work

Sports Coaching


Work Based Learning modules (WBL)

Placements for the purposes of data collecting in preperation for a Dissertation or Project. 


Scenario 2: This activity is entirely voluntary, is upaid and provides a service to a third party - but also provides a direct benefit in kind to the student.
Scenario 3: Where the student receives a qualification or credit towards a qualification and an opportunity to earn a tax-free bursary or payment.

Pre-registration Nursing

Pre-registration Midwifery

Nutrition and Dietetics

Ineligible Scenario 3: This activity is entirely voluntary, is upaid and provides a service to a third party; but also provides a direct benefit in kind to the student and an opportunity to receive a tax free bursary or payment.

Applicants for the following NHS funded programmes, whilst liable for the fee, do NOT need to pay for the DBS check at this stage; the cost will be covered by the NHS.  However, applicants will need to pay to subscribe to the DBS Update Service:

  • Pre-Registration Nursing
  • Pre-Registration Midwifery
  • BSc and MSc/PG Dip Nutrition and Dietetics

How do I complete my University DBS Application?

Full details of how to complete the DBS application may be found by clicking on this link: How to Complete Your DBS Application or on the link at the right of this page. Please ensure that you read the instuctions carefully before applying.

What are the Dates of DBS signing sessions

You should only attend a signing session once you have received a letter from the University requesting that you apply for a DBS Disclosure and have completed the form on-line. However, it is imperative that you attend the signing session. Failure to do so may result in serious implications for your continued enrolment on the programme. This process MUST be completed before the commencement of your studies.

Dates of DBS Signing Sessions may be found on the DBS Dates page at http://www.chester.ac.uk/dbs/dates

All student signing sessions will take place in Senate House room CSH103 or in CSH104 and CSH105 on the University’s Chester Campus, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ.

Due to limited space available for queuing you are requested not to attend for the signing session before the start time above to avoid excessive waiting.

Applicants should note that they may also be required to complete other relevant checks to demonstrate suitability or fitness to practice including completion of an Occupational Health Assessment.  The University may withdraw the offer of a place if you fail to provide satisfactory Occupational Health clearance.

Information for Staff
Applicants for positions of employment at the University should contact Human Resources to arrange a signing session.

How do I Track my DBS Application and Sign up for the DBS Update Service

If you have completed a DBS application through the Univerity and attended a signing session you will receive an email advising you that the form has been dispatched to the DBS.  To be able to track the progress of your application you will need the form reference number, this will be included in the email.  You can track your DBS application using the following link: https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/enquiry/

  • You will also need your form reference number to subscribe to the DBS Update Service.  Please ensure that you do not register for the Update Service as a volunteer, this will make your application void and you will be required to re-subscribe and apply for a new DBS disclosure including paying the full fee.

What if I have a criminal record?

This may, but not necessarily, debar you from being admitted to your course of study at the University.  If you know that you do have a criminal record (including a caution, warning or reprimand) you should declare this whilst completing the on-line form and bring any further details with you to the signing session. You should also provide a brief account outlining the circumstances of the incident and any mitigating circumstances that you feel may be relevant.  This statement should be submitted in a sealed envelope at the signing session.  Please rest assured that the University considers all cases fully and fairly, including your written account, before reaching a final decision. 

All guarantees of a place at the University of Chester remain provisional pending a receipt of satisfactory DBS clearance through the University.

However, you do not need to delcare any Conviction, Caution or Reprimand that will be subject to the DBS Filtering Rules; you are strongly advised to check these rules prior to completing the form.

I am now ready to Complete My Application for a DBS Check.*

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