DBS Disclosure Process
As a result of government legislation, all Higher Education Institutions who offer courses where students may come into unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults are required to ensure that such students obtain Disclosure Statements via the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), formally Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
This legislation has implications for trainee teachers on school experience. It is necessary for individual schools to have sight of a Disclosure Statement concerning any person who may come into regular contact with children. This will of course affect all teachers employed by the school and, also, volunteer classroom assistants, caretakers, catering and other ancillary staff. Whilst it is the responsibility of the individual school (or local council on their behalf) in respect of these employees, it is the responsibility of the 'placing institution' in respect of student teachers who are embarking on their in-school experience. In this context, the University of Roehampton is the 'placing institution', referred to as the Registered Body.
It must be emphasised that the reasons which might preclude a person from becoming a teacher have not changed. However, there is now a more transparent and definite method by which to assess the suitability of those who come into regular contact with children, in a position of trust.
1. What is a Disclosure Statement?
A Disclosure Statement is an official document issued by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) providing details of a person's conviction record, including cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer. Whilst there are various categories of Disclosures, if you do need to apply, the University of Roehampton will seek an Enhanced Disclosure on your behalf.
2. Do I need to apply?
There are some groups of students who will definitely need to apply for a Disclosure Statement through Roehampton, whilst other groups are likely to need to apply.
Students on the following programmes will definitely need to apply:
- BA Primary Education
- all PGCE Primary and Secondary students, including part time
- all Maths Enhancement Course students who will be joining the University of Roehampton for their PGCE programme
- Return to Teaching
- Therapy Students – eg Dramatherapy, Play Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance Movement Therapy
Some groups of students who are likely to need to apply are:
- BA/BSc Early Childhood Studies
- BA/BSc Education
- Student Volunteers
- Psychology students who go into school or hospital as part of their studies
- Counselling students who go into school or hospital as part of their studies
- Clinical Nutrition students who go into hospital as part of their studies
If you are uncertain whether you need a Disclosure Statement, please ask your Programme Convener who will contact the Admissions Manager for advice. Personnel at your 'placement' often have the final decision since they have a duty of care over the children and vulnerable adults concerned and need to be satisfied about the suitability of students on placement. The University's advice is that if you are going into a placement as part of your studies you should assume that you will need a DBS check and you should ask about it as soon as you are able.
It is the applicant's responsibility to complete the online form accurately and to keep their Disclosure Statement in a safe place in anticipation of being asked to produce this. The University will not be able to provide you or the school with a copy. Your copy of the Disclosure Statement will be posted to whichever address you give as your current address, so it is important that this is one from which you can still obtain your mail.
3. How do I apply?
Each applicant will be invited to the University by the Admissions department to attend an Identification Check and complete an application form online for a unique serial number to be issued by the DBS. Once the applicant's section of the online application is completed, the countersigned form is then sent to the DBS electronically. They will make their checks in accordance with their statutory powers and advise the result in the issue of a Disclosure Statement to the applicant.
For continuing students – your School Office will be your first point of contact and they will make the necessary arrangements for you to apply for a Disclosure. You will be asked to provide them with an email address.
For new students to the University of Roehampton – you will be contacted by the Admissions Office and asked to complete the identification check and application online at the University.
4. How much will this cost and will I have to pay?
With the exception of authorised Student Volunteers, each Applicant is responsible for the fee charged by the DBS for the issue of a Disclosure Statement. The cost of a Disclosure Statement is currently £55 and the DBS collects this fee directly from the University. Therefore, payment must be paid via the University of Roehampton online store. Please be aware that if the DBS need to return the completed Application form for any reason, there will be only a short period to respond to their queries after which a replacement form will need to be completed at a further cost of £55.
5. What Information will I need to include on my Disclosure Application form?
- Your full name, and any other name that you may have been known by
- Details of addresses where you have lived during the past five years
- Your date and place of birth
In addition, you will be required to provide personal identification documents including items such as your passport and/or driving licence to facilitate completion of the identity check by the Registered Body, which is the University of Roehampton.
Please note that in providing this service the DBS and the University of Roehampton are committed to compliance with the Data Protection Act. This means that any personal information you submit to the DBS and to the University will be protected.
6. What if I already have a Disclosure Statement?
Although the Disclosure arrangements are designed to be 'portable', the particular nature of your study with Roehampton means that specific checks must be carried out which may not have occurred when you obtained the Statement which you currently hold. The date that this was issued would also be of relevance. Further information is contained in the guidance notes which will be sent to you.
7. Who will receive my Disclosure Statement?
Disclosure Statements are sent through the post to the applicant only. The University of Roehampton will only receive a copy if there are convictions present. The Countersignatory will have been registered with the DBS and, as such, has agreed to comply with the DBS Code of Practice. If any information is revealed in the Statement which was not disclosed prior to you being accepted onto the Programme you will be contacted. It will not necessarily mean, however, that you will be unable to continue as a student, since each case is considered individually.
8. How long will my Disclosure be valid?
If you do need a Disclosure while you are studying at Roehampton you will usually only be required to apply for one Disclosure Statement. However, when you leave university your future employer may require you to apply for another more up-to-date Disclosure. Students studying on one of the Teacher Training programmes will also be required to complete a new statement if they interrupt their studies.