Disclosure and Barring Service - Advice and Guidance for Students

Why the University of South Wales (USW) requires students to undertake a DBS check for specified courses and modules:

A number of courses at the University of South Wales involve students undertaking a placement or activity that includes specified contact with children or vulnerable adults; this is known as Regulated Activity. For these courses we are required to ensure the suitability of students through a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure. These checks are carried out at an enhanced level.
Where a DBS check is required, applicants/students are liable to pay all associated fees which are non-returnable.

Completing a DBS application

1. Completing the DBS check (Home/UK domiciled students)

All “Home/UK” domiciled students will be required to complete an enhanced DBS check using the online service, before being allowed to undertake any placement element of your module or course. Students will be emailed an “Organisation Pin”, a “Secret Word” and a “Position” which are needed to complete the online registration and complete particular questions in the application. However, if you already have an existing DBS disclosure and have registered for the DBS update service you may be exempt.

USW subscribes to an online service on which students need to “self-register” via the following website:


Full guidance is provided in the “Applicant User Guide” on the provider website and it is strongly recommended that you read this document before commencing your application as it will save time during the process. All enhanced DBS and verification costs are met by the student (Enhanced Disclosure, post office verification cost and online administrative fee).

Once you have registered you are ready to begin the enhanced DBS application process. Students can sign in to complete the online application form in your own time and can return to the form as often as is required until the process is complete. Further details are provided below:

1. How do I select the ID for Post Office Verification? Students will be asked to select their “Position” within the University. Each student’s “Position” is included in the email sent to you by Student Administration Services.
2. ID verification. USW requires all forms of ID to be verified at a Crown Post Office in person because the University does not operate its own verification service. A full list of acceptable ID is available on the provider website.
3. The student already has an existing DBS disclosure and is registered with the DBS update service. The student will need to scan and email a copy of the front page of their disclosure to the USW Student Administration Services Team to studentrecords@southwales.ac.uk . If you have not signed up to the Update Service, or the level of the Disclosure is less than your course or module requires, then unfortunately you will be required to complete a new DBS.
4. The student already has a DBS through their work. Provided the level of disclosure you currently have is the same as that required for the course or module you have applied for then we can accept confirmation from you current employer. You will need to contact us at studentrecords@southwales.ac.uk to request the relevant consent form. Please note that you will need to have the appropriate level (enhanced) and type for the course you have applied for. Unfortunately if you do not have this then you will be required to complete a new DBS.

2. Completing the DBS check (International/EU students)

All International/EU students or home applicants who have not fully resided in the UK within the past 5 years will be emailed details by Student Administration Services of how to complete a “Certificate of Good Conduct”.

3. Additional information for all students

• Whilst you may have met the academic conditions of your course and modules, you are required to gain a satisfactory enhanced DBS or a Certificate of Good Conduct (whichever is relevant – see above) in order to continue with any placement activity in relation to your studies. Should you not gain a satisfactory DBS or Certificate of Good Conduct you will be invited to discuss your options with your Campus Advice Zone.

• All students are strongly advised to sign up to the DBS update service as the University will need to undertake an annual status check to determine a student’s continued suitability for a course where this is required (this costs £13 per annum as at May 2015). If you choose not to sign up to the service, you will be required to pay the full DBS fee (including post office verification and admin fee) for additional checks as detailed above. This will happen at the point monitoring takes place and may need to be undertaken more than once depending on the length of the course. It is therefore advisable to pay the annual fee of £13 rather than pay £44 each year of the course.

• Where a disclosure identifies a conviction Student Administration Services will contact the student and they will be asked to send in their original DBS certificate. A Panel may be convened to consider their suitability to undertake the module/placement. At this stage additional information may be evident on the DBS disclosure that does not permit the student to undertake the placement and continue to study their chosen modules. This will be communicated to the student either by a member of the Panel or by Student Administration Services. Where an student’s DBS check is clear then the University will update its records and the student will be able to continue with their placement and module.

• If the Panel determines that the offence(s) do not debar the student from the course/module, this will be communicated to the student either by a member of the Panel or by Student Administration Services, and the student will be able to continue with their placement and module.

• Appeals against a Panel decision can only be considered where the student can demonstrate that a procedural failing has occurred, which resulted in all the materials provided by the student not being considered.

• Appeals against information reported on a DBS certificate need to be made directly to the DBS. Contact details can be found on the DBS website.

4. Frequently asked questions

• How much does it cost?
£57.20 which is payable when you visit the Post Office for your verification checks. (Fee correct as at 01/07/2015).
• Post Office Locations?
These can be found on the Post Office website.
• Issues with the DBS Application form/documents/system?
Our Online DBS System is administered by an external company, the GB Group, and you can access the Applicant Guidance notes. Details are also on the GB Group website.
• How long will the process take?
The university has moved to an online system and the process can be completed and around time can be as quick as two weeks (except at peak times) but we encourage you to make your DBS application as soon as requested to ensure that your continued study and placements are not affected.