Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on the 1st of December 2012.

The University makes use of the DBS service for admitting applicants to courses where a DBS disclosure is a requirement of admission; also for some students where a DBS disclosure is required to undertake a placement or carry out work/research as part of the degree programme (this does not normally include voluntary work/placements).

For the majority of programmes, where a DBS disclosure is not a requirement of admission, applicants are only asked to disclose details of relevant ‘unspent’ convictions, as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. (For further advice on whether a conviction is ‘unspent’ or relevant, and should therefore be declared, please refer to the Unlock website. Unlock is a charity which provides information, advice and advocacy for people with convictions and they are able to provide specific advice in relation to HE applications and criminal convictions).

Programmes that involve close working with children and/or vulnerable adults, such as programmes in teaching, health and social work, are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, and a DBS disclosure will therefore be a requirement of admission. (For most programmes an Enhanced disclosure will be required).

Legislation that came into effect on 29 May 2013 allows for some old or minor convictions and cautions to be exempt from disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended). This means that under the new filtering rules, applicants will no longer need to declare certain old and minor convictions or cautions when completing a DBS application form, as they will not appear on the DBS disclosure certificate, and the University cannot take these into account in their decisions. This process is referred to as the "filtering" of convictions and more information can be found via DBS filtering guidance.

Further information about the DBS application process at the University of Birmingham can be found below: