How to Complete Your DBS Application

Applying for a DBS Disclosure

The primary role of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children.

The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and merges the functions previously carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).  The Disclosure service allows organisations to make safer recruitment decisions by offering a means to check the background of applicants to ensure that they do not have a history that would make them unsuitable for posts they are trying to fill.  Disclosures will provide details of a person’s criminal record including convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC). ...

Once you have received the email from the University informing you that your DBS application has been sent to the DBS you are recommended to subscribe to the DBS Update Service.

If you are applying for a position that involves working with the vulnerable, the Disclosure will also contain details from lists held by the the Disclosure and Barring Service of those considered unsuitable for this type of work.  You will need to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure, when requested to do so by the University,  as the course you will undertake involves a degree of contact with children or vulnerable adults.  This includes a check on local police records, where additional information relevant to your course may be released by the Chief Police Officer for inclusion within the Enhanced Disclosure.

You do not need to apply for a Disclsoure until you have been instructed to do by the University.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Complete the On-Line DBS Form?

Please note that the web based application form is incompatible with the Google Chrome web browser.

  1. Log on to disclosure application website – www.chester.ac.uk/disclosure or use the link at the bottom of this page.  
  2. Enter your username and password as shown in either the letter or email informing you of the need for a DBS check.
  3. Ensure that you have your National Insurance Number, details of all your addresses for the last five years including term time addresses and at least 3 ID documents for verification (a list is provided below) to hand.
  4. Carefully read the introduction screen.
  5. Select ‘New Application’ from the links on the right.
  6. You should answer the questions regarding whether you hold a valid UK Driving Licence and/Passport.  If you answer ‘Yes’ you MUST use these as your ID documents. 
  7. Now click ‘Full document List’; select your third document from the list.  At least one document, including your driving licence, must show your current address.  The system will advise you when you have enough documents.  You need to use and provide original documentation (no photocopies) to apply for the Disclosure; you must bring these documents with you to the DBS signing session for checking.  Please check the list below for acceptable documents.
  8. Once you have selected the appropriate documents you should click the ‘Proceed to Application’ button.
  9. Begin to enter your details.  Note that the fields marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory and must be completed
  10. You must provide details of any other Forenames or Surnames that you have used including the dates.  The application screen will help you do this.
  11. Choose the relevant position or job title from the pull down menu.  This title should be the Programme of Study that you have applied for at the University of Chester.
  12. In answer to the question "Working at Home Address?" you MUST select NO
  13. Continue to enter your details on the form.
  14. You must enter your NI number, whether you were born in the UK, your place of birth and nationality.
  15. When entering your address you should first enter your current address.  The DBS will send your Disclosure to this address.  Please make sure that will be able to access any mail sent to this address.  The University is unable to provide you with a copy of your DBS check.
  16. By entering your postcode you should be able to enter your address automatically from the pop up screen.  If you do not know your postcode you will be able to search for it by entering your address.  Remember, your DBS Disclosure will be sent to this address
  17. You must provide the month & year in which you moved to the given address.  If you have lived at this address for less than 5 Years you will be requested to provide further addresses.  You will not be able to continue with your application unless a full and continuous 5-year address has been supplied.  You will be advised when you have supplied adequate address details.
  18. You must provide a complete 5-year address history including any term-time or temporary addresses.  Please note that if you have lived overseas during this period you will also be required to provide a certificate of good conduct from your host country.
  19. Enter both telephone and email contact details so that we can contact you if necessary.
  20. Answer the question regarding convictions.  You should also complete the Self Declaration Form that was sent to you by the University.
  21. Carefully input your ID document details.  Remember you must bring these documents with you to the DBS signing session for checking.
  22. Read the Service Agreement.  To view all the terms of the agreement use the scroll bar.  If you agree to the terms then press the ‘I Agree’ button; if not press ‘Cancel’.  If you select ‘Cancel’ your application will not be processed.  Now press the ‘Next’ button again to submit your application. 
  23. The system may ask you to enter any omitted fields.
  24. You can now check and amend your application as necessary.
  25. Press the ‘SUBMIT’ button again to finalise your application, or ‘CHANGE’ to amend your details.
  26. Once the application is complete you can print off the confirmation letter, a copy will be sent to the email address you provided as part of your application.
  27. If you press cancel at any time you will need to complete your form and the process again.

 

What Happens Next?

  • Your application form will printed by the University of Chester.
  • You will be expected to attend a DBS signing session on one of the dates detailed on the DBS Signing Session Page.
  • You must bring your ID documents to the signing session.
  • Do NOT forget to bring your completed Good Conduct Declaration Form to the signing session
  • You must also bring payment in the form of cash or a cheque to the signing session; cheques should be made payable to the University of Chester.  Applicants for positions of employment with the university do NOT need to pay for the DBS check at this stage.
  • Once signed your DBS disclosure application form will be sent to the DBS. You will receive an email sent to the email address that you have submitted as part of your application confirming that your application form had been sent to the DBS and informing you of the application form number.  You will need this number to subscribe to the DBS Update Service.
  • You will be able to track the progress of your DBS check by using the DBS Tracking Service.

 

Final Steps and the DBS Update Service

  • Once you have received the email informing you that your DBS application form has been sent to the DBS you may subscribe to the DBS Update Service. Having subscribed to the Update Service you will receive a copy of the Disclosure Certificate from the DBS. Further information regarding the Update Service can be found at DBS Update Service.
  • Your DBS Disclosure will be sent to your current address, please make sure that will be able to access any mail sent to this address.
  • You must retain this Disclosure Certificate and ensure that you accuratelty record the disclosure number and date of issue when requested to do so as part of the University's On-Line Enrolment process.
  • Failure to provide your Disclosure Certificate number as part of the On-line Enrolment Process will mean that your guarantee of a place at the University of Chester remains provisional and that you will not be able to attend classes or placements.
  • 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.
  • If you choose to subscribe you must ensure that you subscribe to the DBS update service as soon as you recieve the email or within 19 days from the date of your DBS Certificate.

 

How do I self declare a Conviction, Caution or Reprimand?

If you know that you do have a criminal record (including a caution, warning or reprimand) you should have indicated this whilst completing the on-line form.  You should also complete a Good Conduct Declaration Form and 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.

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.

 

When are the Signing sessions?

The dates, time & venue of sessions can be found on the DBS Signing Session Page and in your induction handbook.

Please note that 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.

You must complete the application on-line before attending your signing session.

 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I use the ‘back’ button when filling out the form?

This is a security measure implemented by the system. It is to protect your information from being accessed or changed by anybody else, should you forget to logout.  If you think you have forgotten something, continue to the end of the form and press ‘submit’.  The system will not allow you to submit an incomplete form and will redirect you to the appropriate section.

What should I do if I exit the on-line application process before I have fully submitted my form?

Your username and password will remain active until you complete the online form successfully, if for whatever reason you exit the application prematurely, then you should still be able to access the system by logging in again.

Can I challenge the information on my Disclosure if it is incorrect?

Yes.  You need to contact the Disclosure Dispute Line on 0870 90 90 778 immediately and ask about dispute procedures.  You should also contact the University of Chester to inform them which aspect of the Disclosure you are disputing.

How long will my Disclosure be valid?

Each disclosure will show the date it was printed.  Generally, the older the disclosure, the less accurate and comprehensive it is likely to be. However, the disclosure will cover you for the duration of your programme, should yoou subscribe to the DBS UPDATE SERVICE your certificate will last a lot longer.

What if I already have a Disclosure from a previous employer / placement / programme?

Due to new guidance from the DBS we do not accept existing Disclosures from previous employers etc.  A new DBS clearance obtained through the University is required. It is highly recommended that you also subscribe to the DBS UPDATE SERVICE

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 have record this on the Self Declaration Form.  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.

The form will have been given to you either at interview or sent to you with the DBS information.  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.

How much does the disclosure cost?

The cost of the Disclosure is £60.00.  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

Eligible

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.

PGCE, BA (QTS)

Early Childhood Studies

Social Work, Youth Work

Sports Coaching

Counselling

Work Based Learning modules (WBL)

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

Ineligible

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.

What if I am a foreign national, do not reside in the UK or have lived overseas in the last five years?

You must also provide a Certificate of Good Conduct (or similar) from your country of residence.  The relevant embassy should be able to provide further details on how certificates may be obtained, contact details for embassies may be found from the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office.  Details regarding the availability of certifacates of good conduct may also be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants.

Why won't my driving licence number be accepted?

Make sure that you have entered your full driving licence number including the two numbers at the end, do NOT enter the space.  The DBS advise that UK Driving Licence numbers are formatted as follows: 

"The format of the number for Christine Josephine Robinson, born 2 July 1975 is:

R

O

B

I

N

7

5

7

0

2

5

C

J

9

9

9

0

1

N

N

N

N

N

Y

M

M

D

D

Y

I

I

C

C

C

C

C

N = 1st five letters of the surname (if the surname begins MAC or MC it is treated as MC for all).
Y = YEAR of birth.
M = MONTH of birth (In the case of a female, the number represented by the first M will have the value 5 added to the first digit e.g. a female born in November (i.e. 11) would display '61' in the MM boxes) or if born in February (i.e. 02) would display ‘52’).
D = DAY of month of birth.
I = Initial letter of the first two forenames - if only one, then 9 will replace the second letter. If the licence indicates that the applicant has a middle name, ensure that one has been provided in Section A.
C = Computer generated. Other Examples:

JOHN STEPHEN JONES - DOB 02 NOV 56  - JONES 511026 JS 9XXXX

MAUREEN LEE - DOB 23 DEC 1970 - LEE99 762230 M9 9XXXX

CRAIG ALLAN MACDONALD - DOB 6 APRIL 1984 - MCDON 804064 CA 9XXXX"

Further details can be found at An applicant's guide to completing the DBS application form (PDF file - 205kb)

What Documents are Acceptable for Verification Purposes?

Group 1

Group 2a
(Primary Trusted Identity Credentials)

Group 2b
(Financial/Social History Documents - issued within last 3 months old)

Group 2b
(Financial/Social History Documents - issued within last 12 months)

Valid passport UK or EEA (any other nationality with a Biometric Residence Permit or current Work Permit/Visa

Any from Group 1

Bank or Building Society Statement (UK)

Mortgage statement (UK)

Current Driving Licence (including Isle of Man, Channel Islands and EU)

Current Driving Licence - photocard where counterpart is not presented; (including Isle of Man, Channel Islands and EU)

Credit Card Statement (UK)

Financial Statement - e.g. pension, endowment, ISA (UK)

Birth Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - issued at the time of birth; full or short form acceptable. (Photocopies are not acceptable)

Current driving licence - paper version.  (including Isle of Man, Channel Islands and EU)

Utility Bill (UK) – NOT mobile phone

P45/P60 statement (UK & Channel Islands)

Biometric Residence Permit (UK)

Birth Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - Issued after the time of birth; (Photocopies are not acceptable)

Benefit Statement - e.g. Child Allowance, Pension

Work Permit/Visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit)

 Adoption Certificate (UK)

Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate

A document from Central/ Local Government/ Government Agency/ Local Authority giving entitlement (UK & Channel Islands) - e.g. DWP, the Employment Service, Customs & Revenue, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus Social Security including a letter from Student Finance England.

Group 2b
(Financial/Social History Documents - may be more than 12 months old)

 

HM Forces ID Card (UK)

 

EU National ID Card

 

Fire Arms Licence (UK)

 

Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK)

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE:

The Disclosure application online process must be completed before you attend a signing session and as soon as possible.  Failure to complete the process will delay your enrolment and may have serious consequences for your continued registration and studies at the University of Chester.  You must bring your chosen ID documents with you to a DBS signing session, dates overleaf, for checking and verification.

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 dates, time & venue of sessions can be found on the University DBS Page and in your induction handbook.  Please note that it is imperative that you attend one of these sessions.  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.  You must complete the application on-line before attending a signing session.

Applicants for positions of employment should contact Human Resources to arrange a DBS signing session.

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

*Nb:- The above website is incompatible with the Google Chrome web browser.