Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Clearance and Certificate of Good Conduct

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate conducts checks on UK criminal records only. Applicants who have been resident in countries other than the UK will be required to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct (or equivalent) from each country they have been resident in for the past 5 years as well as one from their home country.

Applicants who have been resident in the UK but also in other countries in the past 5 years for more than 6 months will be required to obtain an enhanced DBS certificate as well as a Certificate of Good Conduct from the relevant country(ies). The DBS application and the non-UK check can be processed simultaneously. For further guidance about applying for a Certificate of Good Conduct for different countries click here.

For some courses you will be required to obtain criminal records checks and subsequently clearance from the University prior to enrolment in order for you to undertake a placement requirement during the course. This can be in the form of an Enhanced DBS checks or Certificate of Good Conduct or both. This clearance is needed to ensure that safeguarding measures have been fulfilled on behalf of placement providers where you may need to work with vulnerable adults and/or children.

If the course you have applied for has compulsory placements included, you will likely need to obtain an enhanced DBS clearance ideally prior to enrolment. If however, the course you have applied for offers the option to go on placement and therefore is not compulsory, you may or may not need to obtain an enhanced DBS clearance. The requirements will be determined nearer the time and will be dependent on the placement providers’ expectations. However, we will place greater importance on your answer to the question on any criminal convictions on the application form whether via UCAS or direct to the University of Derby. For further understanding on this aspect of the process, please click here.

If you are unsure whether your course placements are compulsory or optional, please check the ‘About this course’ and ‘Entry requirements’ section on our website for the course you are applying for.

From the point your criminal records checks have been cleared by the University and therefore accepted for entry onto the course, you would be expected to self-declare any new cautions/convictions for review. If you have yet to enrol, you would need to inform the Admissions team at the earliest opportunity to ensure you are able to continue with the course of study. Or if after enrolment, you would need to inform your dedicated Student Liaison Officer or Programme Leader. Any new information will need to be reconsidered uner the same procedures as described above and could affect your place on the course.

Important: Full enrolment will be restricted for any applicants who have not received a University clearance. This particularly applies to applicants who have declared any criminal convictions/cautions on their application and UCAS Clearing applicants applying on or after 1stJuly, as criminal convictions information is not shared by UCAS in Clearing even if it is declared.

If you state in your application that you have any criminal convictions/cautions, this information will be considered in conjunction with your DBS certificate when it arrives and not necessarily prior to this point. We take this approach to avoid duplication of investigative processes. This means you could receive an offer without criminal records checks being undertaken even when declared.

It is important that you answer the criminal convictions/cautions question on the application form accurately as this will be considered alongside any records check for consistency. The relationship between an applicant/student, the University and third parties e.g. placement providers is based on trust, confidence and professionalism. Failure to declare a relevant criminal conviction/caution in itself could result in your application being withdrawn or if after enrolment becoming subject to student disciplinary procedures.

Enrolment will be withdrawn/restricted for any applicants/students who have not received a University clearance within 2 weeks of starting their course or less where students are expected to attend placements straight away. This applies to all students needing to meet this requirement, but also especially those who have declared any criminal convictions/cautions on their application.

Privacy statement

The information that you supply on your application will be held and processed in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR and subsequent legislation.

The information will be used by the University of Derby (as Data Controller) to ensure your suitability for the course you have applied for in line with the requirements of the placement you will undertake. We may contact you to request a copy of your Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate.

For courses with compulsory placements, the criminal records check clearance needs to be achieved prior to enrolment where possible.  A placement may not start during the first year of study, however in order for students to go on placement at any point in the course we need to confirm your criminal records check clearance ideally in advance of enrolment at the University alongside other conditions of any offer. 

Applications for courses requiring a DBS/Certificate of Good Conduct clearance will be reviewed for academic suitability following which if an offer can be made, this will be subject to a DBS/Certificate of Good Conduct clearance.  The term ‘clearance’ refers to required criminal records certificates and information being obtained for the University of Derby and relevant to the course applied for which either has no content; or if it does have content for it to be considered and cleared by the University for admission or continuation in studies.

If you provide a UK address on your application to us, we will automatically assume that you are resident here for the purpose of identifying applicants requiring a DBS clearance.  However, as already stated you will need relevant criminal records checks for all countries you have been resident in for the last 5 years. 

At the University of Derby we use an online DBS registration system; this is managed for us by GBG Online Disclosures.  Once you firmly accept our offer and no more than 4 months prior to the start of your course we will contact you by email to commence the DBS application process.  The system enables you to complete the process at your own convenience and we will provide full instructions on how to do this. 

It is important that you commence and complete the process as soon as possible as it can take up to 12 weeks or longer depending on lead times of regional/country police departments.  If required there may be additional time added to complete university panel processes, all of which ideally needs to be done prior to enrolment.

If you apply late or through Clearing you need to be aware that you will have even less time to complete this full process.

A criminal record will not automatically prohibit admission to the University. The specific details of each case will be considered on an individual basis.  In each instance we will review your ability to meet the skills and experience required for the course/placement provider/profession and assess the impact of your criminal record upon the needs of the course/placement provider/profession. We are conscious of our responsibility both to consider the needs of each applicant, ensuring they receive the support required, whilst also safeguarding the public and the University community.

If you are unsure whether your course placements are compulsory or optional, please check the ‘About this course’ and ‘Entry requirements’ section on our website for the course you are applying for.

The University will treat your information confidentially.

For courses with optional placements which for example, usually occur in year 2 or 3 of an undergraduate degree course, any requirements for a criminal records check clearance will be assessed closer to the time depending on placement providers’ requirements.

The term ‘clearance’ refers to required criminal records certificates and information being obtained for the University of Derby and relevant to the course applied for which either has no content; or if it does have content for it to be considered and cleared by the University for admission.

At the University of Derby we use an online DBS registration system; this is managed for us by GBG Online Disclosures.  The system enables you to complete the process at your own convenience and we will provide full instructions on how to do this. 

It is important that you commence and complete the process as soon as possible as it can take up to 12 weeks or longer depending on lead times of regional/country police departments.  If required there may be additional time added to complete university panel processes, all of which needs to be done prior to placement.

A criminal record will not automatically prohibit you undertaking a placement. The specific details of each case will be considered on an individual basis.  In each instance we will review your ability to meet the requirements of the course/placement provider/profession and assess the impact of your criminal record upon the needs of the course/placement provider/profession. We are conscious of our responsibility both to consider the needs of each student, ensuring they receive the support required, whilst also safeguarding the public and the University community.

If you are unsure whether your course placements are compulsory or optional, please check the ‘About this course’ and ‘Entry requirements’ section on our website for the course you are applying for.

The University will treat your information confidentially.