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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for students

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for students

If you are applying to CU Coventry and your course requires a DBS check it will be detailed on the course information. Use our course pages to see whether you will require a DBS check.

What is a DBS check?

A small number of our courses include a placement, which requires engagement in what is known as a Regulated Activity, relating to working with children or vulnerable individuals. When you are offered a place on a course, your offer letter will make the DBS requirement clear.

Enrolment on these courses and modules is subject to the receipt of satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) clearance and the Coventry University Group reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place to any student who fails to produce a satisfactory certificate.

DBS checks

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a record of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings and may also include intelligence held by the UK police that relates to the individuals suitability for a position working (paid or unpaid) with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Applications for DBS checks

Applications for DBS checks are managed by our partner company, Atlantic Data Ltd. By applying for a course or module requiring a DBS check, you are agreeing to CU Group sharing limited personal information (that you will have previously provided to us) with Atlantic Data Ltd, including:

  • Your name
  • Your gender
  • Your date of birth
  • Your email address

Shortly before enrolment you will be sent an email from us asking you to login to Coventry University’s portal to complete the application.

Please note that as part of the application process, you will need to visit a Crown Post Office and present three forms of ID as a verification check.

Contact us

Before contacting us take a look at our FAQs, as the answer may be listed there. However if you have a specific enquiry regarding your DBS application, please contact our registry team at


What will show up on my certificate?

Any unspent convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands. Also any spent convictions and cautions that are not eligible for filtering, which are detailed on the website.

How do I complete my online DBS form?

  1. You will receive an email from , titled DBS application: post Office ID check, with a link to the disclosure website: 
  2. Login to the disclosure website entering your email address that the dbs invitation was sent to and your date of birth
  3. Ensure that you have your National Insurance (NI) number and details of all of your address(es) for the past five years
  4. Carefully read the introductory screen
  5. When you are ready, you should complete all of the boxes marked with an asterisk (*)
  6. Note that as a security feature, you cannot use the back key
  7. When you have completed the on-line form you should print off the letter that you will need to take to a Crown Post Office, where your ID can be verified

What ID documents do I require?

During the application process, you will agree three forms of ID that you will present at the Crown Post Office. The types of ID that can be presented are detailed in the ID checking guidelines for DBS check applications.

What happens if I don’t have any of the Group 1 ID documents?

You will need to provide further ID from the Group 2 ID documents. Information on ID can be found on the DBS website

Can I present photocopies of my ID?

No, the ID you present must be valid, current and original documentation. Photocopies will not be accepted and neither will documentation printed from the internet, for example bank statements.

Where do I present my ID documents for verification?

You can visit any Crown Post Office without and appointment. You will need to ensure that you have the three agreed forms of ID plus the letter that you will have printed from the application portal.

How long does a DBS check take?

On average, it takes 10 days from completion of the application process, including ID verification at a Crown Post Office, to receiving a certificate.

What happens if I lose my certificate?

You will have to pay for a replacement certificate and it is your responsibility to apply for the replacement.

I already have a DBS certificate, can I use that?

No, your DBS certificate is specific to a job role, volunteering activity, course of study etc, unless you currently subscribe to the update service.

What is the update service?

The update service allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date for as long as you subscribe or until new information is added to your certificate. You will need to apply for the service within 30 days of receiving your certificate.

Can I use the update service instead of reapplying for a DBS certificate?

Yes, if you are currently subscribing to the update service and the check you require is the same level (e.g. enhanced) and for the same workforce (e.g. child workforce) as the DBS check you had at the time you registered to join the update service.

What if I live abroad?

If you have not been permanently resident in the UK for the last 5 years for a continuous period of 6 months or more you must supply a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ issued by the country or countries in which they have lived during that time in addition to applying for a DBS Enhanced Disclosure. A ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ (CoGC) is a general term given to the check of police records in a volunteer’s home country, or the country in which they have resided. Each country has a different process for checking police records, and give a different name to the checking process. You will be responsible for any cost associated with this check.

How do I know whether my course/module requires me to have a DBS check?

If it is a requirement enrolment for a course, it will be detailed in the prospectus, you will also be informed of the entry requirements at interview.

If you are a current student considering module options, check the Module Information Directory before registering or discuss with your course team.

Do I need a separate DBS certificate for each module I study that requires a check?

No, your DBS certificate will be valid for the duration of your course.

Can I present a Disclosure certificate from a previous programme, employer, placement or organisation?

No. Your application will be specific to your course of study at CU Coventry, unless you have signed up to the DBS Update Service.  If you have subscribed to the Update Service then please bring your previous DBS certificate to our customer service team to carry out a DBS Certificate Status check. 

Do I need to write in my term-time address?

You will need to detail ALL of the address you have lived at in the past five years, up to and including your current address.

How much does the disclosure check cost?

There is no charge to you as an applicant. 

What if I have a criminal record?

A criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from enrolling on your chosen course or module. However, your application and the detail of your conviction will be reviewed by CU Coventry and your suitability for the specific course or module will be considered.

What if I don’t want to get a DBS check?

If a DBS check is an entry requirement for your chosen course or module then deciding not to apply for a check will mean that you cannot enrol.

Can I challenge information on my certificate if it is incorrect?

Yes. If you think that any information on your disclosure is incorrect, you should contact the Disclosure dispute line on 03000 200 190 immediately. You should also contact the registry team in confidence and let them know which aspect of the disclosure you are disputing.

Who should I show my DBS certificate to?

We are notified by the Disclosure and Barring Service when you have been issued with a certificate, so you will not need to show it to CU Coventry staff unless specifically asked to do so. However, it is possible that the organisation that is hosting your placement may want to see your DBS certificate, so keep it safe.

My DBS certificate hasn’t arrived and I am about to start my course/module

You should contact the registry team and let them know that you are still waiting for your certificate and discuss whether you can begin your course/module. It is likely that while you will be able to attend lectures, you will not be allowed on placement.

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