Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a DBS check?
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.
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 gov.uk website.
How do I complete my on-line DBS form?
- You will receive an e-mail from email@example.com , titled DBS application: post Office ID check, with a link to the disclosure website: https://coventry.disclosures.co.uk/
- Log-on to the disclosure website entering your email address that the dbs invitation was sent to and your date of birth
- Ensure that you have your National Insurance (NI) number and details of all of your address(es) for the past five years
- Carefully read the introductory screen
- When you are ready, you should complete all of the boxes marked with an asterisk (*)
- Note that as a security feature, you cannot use the back key
- 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 faculty.
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 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 your Faculty Office 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. This is included in the Flying Start support promised to Coventry University students.
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 the University 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 your 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 University 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 your faculty 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 whilst you will be able to attend lectures, you will not be allowed on placement.