Information about the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and the steps you need to follow in order to obtain your DBS Certificate.

A DBS check is a record of an individual's criminal convictions and cautions and is issued as a certificate. This check is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and helps prevent unsuitable individuals working with at-risk groups, such as vulnerable adults and children.

Who needs a DBS?

You will be required to undertake a DBS check if you are studying on one of the following courses:

  • Nursing (BSc & MSc)
  • Midwifery (BSc & MSc)
  • Social Work (BA & MA)
  • Paramedic Science (BSc)
  • Speech & Language Therapy Pharmacy (BSc
  • Pharmacy (MPharm)
  • Primary Education (BA & PGCE)
  • Secondary Education (PGCE)
  • Early Years (BA, PGCE)
  • FE and Skills (All)

Student Ambassadors will also be required to complete a DBS check once they are employed.

If you already have a DBS and it is registered on the update service, you may not need to obtain another certificate for your university course. Please check with the Student Centre by email or on 020 8331 8272 before you make a new application.

Students with an overseas address, or those have lived outside the UK within the last five years will also need a Certificate of Good Conduct from the Local Law Enforcement body of the associated country before arriving in the UK. If you already live in the UK, you can seek help from the relevant embassy or high commission. You should present this certificate to our Student Centre.

What do I need to declare?

New regulations have been introduced in relation to 'The Disclosure Barring Service' (DBS). The regulations mean that certain offences need not be disclosed by applicants. You must disclose any convictions or cautions not subject to the filtering rules on a Suitability Declaration during interview or induction.

You will be asked to answer the following: "Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not "protected" as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013)".

You are also required to declare if you are living or working in the same household as someone who is disqualified (disqualification 'by association') as specified in regulation 9 of the 2009 Regulations. 

Safeguarding checks will be repeated in each year of study.

When should I obtain a DBS?

If you are joining a degree that requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate, you will receive instructions by email on how to begin ahead of the start of the course. Once you receive this, refer to our step-by-step guide

Applicants/students should not begin before this. This could result in the wrong type of DBS and incur more charges.

How much does a DBS cost?

An Enhanced DBS costs £49.00 for all university courses.

The administration cost for the DBS Enhanced certificate is payable by debit or credit card (American Express is not accepted) using the our online secure payment system.

For Student Placements and Student Ambassador Schemes, some faculties or offices subsidise the cost. Please confirm with your faculty/office.

How to apply for a DBS

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the DBS have temporarily amended their ID checking rules. Please follow our Step-By-Step Guide.

The administration cost for the DBS Enhanced certificate is payable by debit or credit card (American Express is not accepted) using the our online secure payment system. We do not take payment during document checks – please make the necessary payments prior to arrival. 

Student Ambassadors and current students taking a placement should check if the faculty or department will subsidise the cost before making payment. Proceed with the ID check by taking a video of yourself stating your name and holding your documents so that they can be clearly seen. Please send document scans and your video to L.J.Ramsey@gre.ac.uk.

Can I keep my DBS updated?

The DBS update service helps applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date and allows employers and universities to check a current DBS certificate.

This is not a requirement. The DBS you obtain for your course will usually cover your whole period of study.

The update service keeps your certificate updated so you can use it for employment (if the employer needs the same type of DBS you have obtained). For this, you must register your certificate within 30 days of the issue date and pay an annual fee (currently £13). 

If you are interested, we can provide you with more information.

There are errors on my Disclosure

When you receive your Disclosure please check it carefully for any errors or inaccuracies (e.g. spelling). If there are any errors, notify the DBS immediately. You can do this by telephone, mail or e-mail. Contact details are available on the reverse of the Disclosure.

Who to contact?

If you need help processing the application, we can assist if necessary. We arrange drop-in sessions for you to bring your documents for checking. All documents will be handed back to you on the day.

The agencies involved are listed below:

Disclosure and Barring Service
PO Box 110, Liverpool, L3 6ZZ
Tel: 0870 90 90 811
www.gov.uk/dbs

Jobcheck
Apex Charitable Trust, St Alphage House, Wingate Annexe, 2 Fore Street, London, EC2Y 5DA
Tel: 0870 6084567
Fax: 020 7638 5977
www.apextrust.com
Email: jobcheck@apextrust.com

NACRO
10-12 Lawn Lane, London, SW8 1UD
Tel: 0800 0181 259
www.nacro.org.uk
Email: helpline@nacro.org.uk

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Foreign Embassies in the UK
King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH
Tel: 020 7008 1500
www.fco.gov.uk

Sensitive applications

If you're a transgender applicant and you don't want to reveal details of your previous identity to a potential employer, you can contact the DBS sensitive applications team.

Sensitive applications team
Customer services
PO Box 165
Liverpool
L69 3JD

Email: sensitive@dbs.gsi.gov.uk

Important Notes

  • Students who do not have satisfactory clearances in time may have their placement activities suspended until satisfactory clearances are obtained.
  • Any University of Greenwich bursary payments that you may be entitled to will be delayed until we have had your DBS clearance.
  • We will make every effort to help you complete the process thoroughly but cannot take responsibility for delays in the processing of your disclosure application 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 the university be held responsible for any delay in receiving your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate, which in turn may result in a delayed placement and funding.
  • As the disclosure is part of your career portfolio, it is your responsibility to contact the DBS in case of lengthy delays.
  • Payment for the DBS check must be made via our secure online payment system and refunds can only be made to the card used for payment. We do not accept cash. Once you have completed and submitted your online application to the DBS you will no longer be entitled to a refund.
  • University of Greenwich fully complies with the DBS Code of Practice which sets out obligations for everyone participating in the Disclosure process.
  • Students who receive a caution, reprimand or conviction after their Enhanced Disclosure certificate is issued must inform the university immediately.