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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

All those who work with children or vulnerable adults are required to undertake a police clearance (Enhanced Disclosure) through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

If your course involves working with children and/or vulnerable adults, you will be required to obtain a DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate prior to the start of your programme.

Students and trainees who do not have satisfactory clearances by specified, published dates for their programme of study will have the placement components of their studies suspended until such time as satisfactory clearances are obtained.  This means you will not be able to fully enrol and the Faculty will not allow you to start your placement if you do not have the necessary clearance.

Please note that the Head of Student Recruitment and Admissions reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place if you do not complete the DBS Disclosure Application, or any other documentation required in order to meet the conditions of your offer, by a given deadline.

We will make every effort to help you complete the documentation thoroughly but cannot take responsibility for delays in obtaining your Disclosure certificate due to inaccurate or incomplete information supplied by you, or through any specific queries which may arise at the DBS in relation to the information you have supplied. Nor will Edge Hill University be held responsible for any delay in receiving your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate, which in turn may result in a delayed placement, or a deferral of certain elements of your programme until the next academic year or even a deferral of the start of the whole programme to the next academic year.

DBS Check

The following groups of students are required to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure

Other than those groups listed above, Edge Hill University is not in a position to process Disclosure applications for those who are seeking to find work experience (e.g. Camp America or school experience in advance of applying for a programme of initial teacher training). In these cases, you should discuss with the employer organisation about how to proceed with your DBS Disclosure. You can also contact the DBS directly to find out if there are any ‘umbrella’ organisations that are able to process Disclosure applications for individuals.

If you were born outside of the UK or have spent any time living or working abroad, particularly in the five years prior to the start of your programme, further checks in the country or countries where you have resided are required.

* Your offer conditions will clearly state whether or not you require a DBS Enhanced Disclosure for entry onto your programme of study.

Disclosure certificates shelf life

The Disclosure is only truly accurate on the day it is issued. For this reason, any student who takes a break from their studies (intercalation, deferral) is required to obtain a further Disclosure before recommencing their programme.

For students/trainees on professional programmes (Initial Teacher Training, Pre-Registration Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practitioner, Paramedic Practice, Social Work etc) your Enhanced Disclosure is valid for the full duration of your programme as long as you don’t have a break in your studies. However, you should note that any, and every, future employer will require a new Disclosure certificate.

For other students undertaking placements, you may be required to complete a new Disclosure for each placement.

Enhanced Disclosures obtained from other organisations may only be accepted if you have also subscribed to the DBS Update Service.

Application process

If you have been asked to complete a DBS application as a condition of your offer, you will be asked to complete the application online.

You will be sent an email with instructions on how to complete the application, however the information below will guide you through the process.

If you already have a DBS check, see whether you need to apply for a new one or not.

You will receive an email from “DBS Team” with Disclosure and Barring service application as the subject. The email will include your login details and the link to the online application. When you click the link, you will be able to choose your own password. Please ensure it is memorable, as you may need to log back into the system later.

First of all, you will select at least three items of identification. You will then complete the application itself online and the system will guide you through the process.

At the end of the application, you will see an application summary to check you have entered your details accurately.

The final stage is to upload your identity documents. You will be asked to confirm that the details on your documents match your DBS application and you will then be taken to the upload screen.


Please only upload the documents you have selected on the application.

If you are unable to provide one of the core forms of ID (passport, driving licence, birth certificate) you may be asked to provide alternative identification. This process may also involve an external ID check completed by Experian, through our online DBS application provider. A record of the search will be retained, but will not be visible to other parties or affect your credit record. Providing this check is passed your ID will then be processed and the application can continue.

If you are unable to produce the required documentation for the DBS check then we will have to begin the fingerprinting process, the costs of which would be covered by the applicant.

Update service

The DBS Update Service allows applicants to keep their DBS check up to date to show to new employers or organisations. See the below FAQs for further information.

If I am subscribed to the Update Service do I have to apply for a new DBS check with Edge Hill?
What do I need to do if I am subscribed to the Update Service?
I am not currently subscribed to the Update Service but I have recently received a DBS check from another organisation. Do I still need to apply for a new one with Edge Hill?
Do I have to subscribe to the Update Service when my Edge Hill DBS check is complete?

Cautions and convictions

Convictions and cautions form part of the assessment of an applicant’s suitability for the programme for which they have applied. Although rare, in certain circumstances, the University will withdraw an offer solely on the basis of the information provided on the DBS Enhanced Disclosure. Under such circumstances, the University would provide feedback to the individual concerned.

What happens if a conviction or caution appears on the Disclosure certificate?
What information will I receive after the panel interview?
Can I appeal against the Panel decision?
What if I get a caution or conviction after I have received my DBS Enhanced Disclosure?

Safeguarding checks for education programmes

In October 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) issued an update to its Statutory Guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education.” As a result of this update, further safeguarding checks must be carried out on applicants due to embark on a course that involves working with children in schools, in addition to the usual Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Childcare Disqualification Declaration
Prohibition to teach check

Overseas Criminal Record Checks

When a DBS check is undertaken, the police authorities in the UK check all records going back to childhood for an individual. Where an applicant was born outside the UK and/or has lived or worked outside the UK for a period of more than three months, then it is expected that an application will be made by you to the appropriate authorities in the relevant country or countries to establish clearance.

You need to be aware that this can be a lengthy process and that this needs to be started as soon as possible. Please note the Edge Hill University is not able to make these applications on your behalf. You must do this yourself. We appreciate this can be a daunting process but please keep us updated on your progress.

Not all countries have a centralised police record and are not able to produce a statement of your conduct. In these circumstances, we will work with you to help you obtain as much supporting evidence as possible.

How do I obtain the check?
I’m struggling to obtain the check
Overseas residence declaration

If you have lived in a country other than the UK for more than three months, you should complete the relevant form.

Complete the online form

General FAQs

What if I have a conviction, caution or I am the subject of an investigation and want advice before applying to Edge Hill University?
I already have a DBS check processed by another organisation. Do I need to do another one?
How long does it take to get an Enhanced Disclosure?
How will I know when the process is complete?
What does Edge Hill do with the information?
What if I lose my DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate?
Were you born outside the UK or have you lived or worked outside the UK particularly in the last 5 years?
Will I get a refund if I don’t take up my place at Edge Hill?


Get in touch

If you would like to speak to a member of our team for further advice, please get in touch.

Email us