Applicants' guide to the DBS procedure

Step 1:

You will receive an email from HR which will include the log in information needed to complete DBS application form online.  GBG (the online supplier) will be able to assist you with any problems once you have logged in to the system.

Step 2:

Once you have submitted your details online you will need to provide your original identity verification documents (as outlined online) to the named verifier in your original email.  If you have any problems with proving your original documents then you much contact your named verifier or HR as soon as possible.

Identity documents

We need to see at least 3 documents to verify your identity and address and would recommend:

  • a valid passport (with your current Biometric Residence Permit or current visa if you are not a national of an EEA member state)
  • a utility bill (UK) showing your current address which is less than 3 months old (excludes mobile phone bills) and
  • another document with your current address (eg current driving licence, a bank statement - less than 3 months old, etc).

Photocopies of identification will not be accepted.

Further advice is available on the Home Office website.

We will check your online information against your verification documents, and submit the application.

Step 3:

The DBS will carry out the necessary checks and return a disclosure to you. At the same time GBG will inform the University as to whether the disclosure was clear or not although no further information will be provided as to the nature of the disclosure.  You will be asked to present the original disclosure to HR.  The University will then consider the contents of the disclosure and either confirm the offer of employment or invite you to a meeting if there are any potentially relevant convictions or other related information that require further exploration. The University has a responsibility to assess the relevance of any criminal record before deciding whether an offer of employment can be confirmed.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you need to know this information?

The University and potential employees have a statutory obligation and a duty of care to ensure the protection of certain vulnerable groups in particular circumstances. Where the post involves significant contact with children or vulnerable adults and in certain other cases, the University is entitled to make enquiries about the applicant's entire criminal record and will seek a disclosure through the DBS.

Who pays for the disclosure?

The cost of a disclosure relating to a job application and the admin chanrge for using the online system will be met by the University.

What if I already have a CRB Disclosure or a DBS disclosure?

The University's policy is not to accept CRB disclosures or DBS disclosures issued to a previous employer or volunteer body. This is because there is a risk that information may have changed since its issue; the information released by the Police was based on the position for which the DBS disclosure was originally applied for and other information may be disclosed for a different position; and to manage risk effectively the University needs to conduct its own checks. You must therefore complete a new application for the post you are applying for within the University.

It is the policy of the University to require a new disclosure every three years. If you have subscribed to the DBS Update Service, then the University will be able to get the information online without you having to fill in another application.

What if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar an applicant from working within the University of Exeter. Rather, depending on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences, a decision will be made in agreement with the College PVC/Head of Service and the HR Business Partner.

Any offences or other matters that are declared or disclosed which might be relevant to the position will be discussed with the applicant, College PVC/Head of Service and the HR Business Partner. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought may lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment or disciplinary action including dismissal. The University undertakes to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment or amending an employee's duties.

What if I start work before the disclosure is received?

Should your disclosure not be returned by the DBS by the date that you are due to commence employment then you will be asked to self declare any relevant information and this  will be taken into account. Failure to disclose the requested information or failure to send a copy of your DBS disclosure to Human Resources may result in the withdrawal of your employment.

Who will see the information?

Information provided in a DBS disclosure and any self disclosure information will be kept confidential and on a need-to-know basis only. 

In the event that the project/work is being co-ordinated by someone external to the College/Service eg Education Liaison Office, then information given in the certificate will also be shared with the Senior Manager in that department. Applicants need to be confident that information about their convictions will not be disclosed to colleagues unless there is a specific reason for doing so. On appointment an individual with a conviction should be advised as to who within the organisation knows of their conviction and the reason why the information has been disclosed.

Where the applicant will be involved with working with a partner organisation, explicit consent will be obtained from the applicant to agree to information received in the disclosure from the DBS to be shared with the organisation. The applicant will be asked to sign a written statement agreeing to this.

Information on the decision will be noted but the disclosure and any copies will be destroyed and no record of criminal matters, past or pending, will be kept on the individual's personnel file. However, information regarding the post being subject to a DBS disclosure will be recorded (see Statement on the secure storage, handling, use, retention & disposal of Disclosures).