DBS Application Process

If obtaining a satisfactory DBS check is a condition of your offer of a place at the University of Birmingham, your offer contract will specify this and the standard procedure below will normally apply. 

Applicants who firmly accept an offer of a place will be contacted by the University via email with further information about completing the online DBS process. Please do not send any documentation through the post or visit the campus to present your documentation, as our staff will not be available to receive these.

2: Essential information

On receipt of the email about completing a DBS check it is essential that applicants read the guidance about completing the application, along with the information about acceptable identity documents. Please see the section ‘Documents you must provide for your DBS check’.

3: Applicants with DBS certificates registered with the DBS Update Service

We may be able to consider existing DBS certificates where applicants have registered their existing certificate with the DBS Update Service. We can only consider certificates registered with the DBS Update Service where the original certificate is at the exact same level as is required by the programme of study (Standard or Enhanced with the correct work force and with the correct barred list information).

4: What's required

Once you have received the email from us about completing your DBS check you will need to do the following:

  • Complete the online Security Watchdog DBS application and make payment via the link provided.  (Security Watchdog will provide you with an eBulkplus reference number via email, provided an email address was entered within the application)
  • Get your three ID documents certified by the Post Office. Please see the following webpage for details of the cost and process https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/document-certification
  • Send the DBS team an email confirming you have completed the online application along with providing the following information:
    • Your name
    • University ID number
    • eBulkplus reference number
    • Scanned copies of your 3 Post Office certified documents along with the Post Office confirmation
    • DBS Privacy Information form

5: Processing the DBS application

Once the online Security Watchdog DBS application has been completed and submitted, and on receipt of the above information, the DBS administrator will check the information entered on the DBS application for completeness and accuracy; that the relevant ID documentation has been provided and that the DBS Privacy form has been completed and returned. We aim to check your documents and process your application within 15 working days of receipt of your email. If the application is complete, correct and the appropriate documents have been provided the application will be submitted to Security Watchdog to check and counter sign. Security Watchdog will then submit the application electronically to the DBS for processing.

Once submitted to the DBS for processing applicants will receive a 2nd email from Security Watchdog confirming their DBS Application Reference number, along with further details and links to the DBS website to enable applicants to track the progress of the application from the moment the disclosure process commences.

6: Disclosure certificate process

The DBS will post the Disclosure certificate directly to the applicant. Processing by the DBS can take on average 4-6 weeks, although it can take longer during their peak period (between June and September). On receipt of the disclosure certificate it is recommended that applicants consider registering their disclosure with the DBS Update Service, applicants have 30 days from the date of issue in which to do this.

Security Watchdog notify the University once a DBS check has been completed and, if the DBS Disclosure certificate does not contain any content/is clear, the DBS condition will be updated to having been met. It is essential that applicants keep their Disclosure certificate in a safe place as it may be required when applicants go out on placements.

If, however, a DBS Disclosure certificate does have content, and is therefore considered an ‘adverse’ disclosure, the relevant academic Department/School will contact the applicant for sight of the original disclosure certificate.

7: DBS administrator process & Adverse DBS disclosure Certificate process

If a DBS Disclosure certificate does have content, and is therefore considered an ‘adverse’ disclosure, the outcome provided by Security Watchdog to the University will be ‘Please wait to view applicant’s certificate’. A named administrator within the relevant academic Department/School will contact the applicant for sight of the original disclosure certificate so that it may be considered further. 

In deciding whether to permit an applicant to proceed on to their chosen programme, the relevant academic Department may consider the following:

  • The seriousness of the offence and its potential relevance to the course
  • The length of time since the offence occurred
  • Any relevant information offered by the applicant about the circumstances which led to the offence being committed
  • Whether the offence was a one-off, or part of a history of offending
  • The degree of remorse, or otherwise, expressed by the applicant and their motivation to change 

If a decision cannot be reached by the relevant academic Department based on the information provided then further details may be required and the applicant will be contacted accordingly. The Department will consider any further details which the applicant provides and will decide to allow the application to proceed or refer it to a panel to consider the matter further.

If the panel decide that the offence(s) on the disclosure may warrant the refusal of admission to the chosen programme, the applicant will be invited to attend an interview to explain the circumstances of the offence(s) and offer any evidence in mitigation.

If the University’s decision is to refuse admission, then the reasons why the applicant cannot be admitted to their chosen programme will be made clear. The University’s decision will be communicated to the applicant in writing.