College of Medical and Dental Sciences DBS and ESD Panel Process

Applications for programmes which lead to entry to a registered profession will be considered in respect of any matters shown following a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for all professional programmes within the College. 

Applications for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy will also be checked with the Excluded Student Database (ESD) which is held by the Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Schools Councils. The Database records details of students excluded from these programmes on fitness to practise grounds.

Read our Guidance for applicants on the ESD

This process explains how applications with positive results from a DBS or ESD check will be considered. 


1. The applicant will be given the opportunity to make a written submission explaining the circumstances for the positive result. If the positive result was a ‘relevant conviction’ which should have been declared on the application form, the applicant will be asked to explain why it was not declared. The applicant will be asked to submit any evidence they wish to be considered in deciding this issue. The applicant will have 10 working days to do this with extensions possible in exceptional circumstances.

2. The Panel will meet to consider the positive result and any written documents provided from the applicant. The names and contact details of applicants will be redacted from the documents considered by the Panel at this stage. The Panel will have the following options: 

a) Reject the application on the basis the positive result is not compatible with the professional requirements of the programme.

b) Permit the application to proceed on the basis the issue raised does not call into question the applicant’s current fitness to practise for the programme they have applied for.

c) Request the applicant attend a meeting to discuss the matter. The primary function of the meeting will be to establish further information and/or assess insight into the issues involved. 

3. If a meeting is required the applicant will be invited to attend. The Panel will be present. The applicant will be given the opportunity to make a statement before the Panel asks questions. The meeting will conclude with an opportunity for a final comment from the applicant. The decision will normally be sent to the applicant within 10 working days. 

4. Applicants will be given summarised reasons for any decision to reject the application at either stage of this process (before or after meeting the applicant). There is no right of appeal against the decision of the Panel at either stage. 

5. The documents for the admission decision following this process will be confidentially held on successful applicant’s student files for as long as the student file is kept. This will not include actual DBS certificates.

6. If an applicant is admitted to a programme with a positive result, the applicant will have the choice of having a wellbeing meeting to discuss the matter near the start of their studies. 

The Panel 

The Panel will be appointed by the Programme Director (or nominee in their absence), from the programme the application has been made to. The Panel will include: 

  1. An academic member of staff from the Programme applied to (which can be the Programme Director if they wish).
  2. A member of staff from the Programme applied to who is involved in conduct and fitness to practise matters.
  3. A member of staff from another programme within the College subject to fitness to practise requirements who is involved in conduct and fitness to practise matters. 

The Programme Director may appoint a fourth member who works in association with the Programme for placements who holds professional registration for the relevant Professional Statutory Regulatory Body. 

Admissions Tutors will not be members of the panel or involved in the decision process. 

At least one member of the Panel must have registration with the relevant Professional Statutory Regulatory Body of the programme the applicant has applied to.  

Find out more:

Guidance for applicants on the ESD

February 2018