Guidance for Students on how to apply for Disclosure
Disclosure applications (ie Criminal Records Checks) are processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB). There are two levels of check, standard and enhanced. The majority of posts/programmes at Durham University will require an enhanced check. If you are unsure what level of check you require please ask the relevant person from the list of countersignatory contacts.
Please read the following guidance for details on how to obtain, complete and return a CRB Disclosure Application Form:
1. How to Obtain a Disclosure Application Form
You can request a Disclosure Application Form from
- the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on: 0870 90 90 844 or
- via the Student Services Reception desk in the Palatine Centre
Please ensure you have the following information to hand when contacting the DBS:
- The 11 digit Registered Body number of Durham University: 21308900001
- Your full name (including middle names).
- Your current address.
2. Completing the application form
Please ensure you read the advice provided on the Direct.Gov website regarding completion of the DBS (CRB) application form (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Startinganewjob/DG_195813) and also note the following main points:
- Check that any pre-printed information is correct.
- Only use black ink and print clearly within the boxes.
- Remember to leave spaces between words when filling out the application form but not between telephone numbers or postcodes.
- Do NOT use tippex or any other correction product to correct mistakes. If you do make a mistake draw a single line through it and write the amendment clearly in the space next to the box.
- Please do not write in sections W, X or Y as these must be completed by an authorised member of staff within the University
- Remember to include middle names or any other names that you have been known by (eg maiden name).
- Remember to include a complete 5 years worth of address history including term time and overseas addresses - please list in chronological order and use an official DBS continuation sheet if necessary.
Your application will be returned if you do not follow these guidelines.
The fee for a DBS application is:
- Standard £26
- Enhanced £44
Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to 'Durham University'. Please write your DBS application reference number on the front of the cheque in the top right corner. Alternatively you may pay using a debit or credit card - please contact Sue Woodcock for further information.
Generally applicants pay this fee themselves but in some instances a department may be willing to pay or reimburse the applicant. Please ensure that you check with your department about who should pay.
Volunteers are not required to pay for the application fee but volunteer status can only be applied to those applicants who are:
- not being paid for the work they are carrying out (other than out of pocket expenses);
- carrying out the work for the benefit of others, not themselves (students on placements can not claim volunteer status).
Please refer to the FAQ webpage for further information on 'What is a Volunteer?'
4. What Next?
Once you have completed and signed the application form you must take the following to the relevant Departmental/Section contact for processing (do not post unless you are specifically asked to do so):
- Your completed application form;
- The correct number of ORIGINAL documents to confirm identity (please refer to the DBS' ID checking process Guidance Notes for information on the number and types of documents that must be seen);
- If applicable, your continuation sheet(s) indicating 5 years of address history and any other additional information that may be required;
- Your cheque/postal order for £44 or £26 (made payable to University of Durham) or a valid debit/credit card in your name.
Please ensure that you contact the person who has asked you to apply for a Disclosure for specific guidance on where to take your completed application form. Alternatively please visit the Contacts page of this website.
Your original identity documents will be checked for authenticity by the relevant Countersignatory or someone appointed on their behalf (an ID checker). A copy of your documents may be taken and you will be handed back your original documents (copies are made for University administration purposes only and will be securely destroyed once the application has been processed. They will NOT be forwarded to the DBS). The form will then be signed by the Countersignatory (Section Y) and forwarded to the DBS.
5. Timescales/Notice of Disclosure
Please note that it generally takes the DBS between four and six weeks to process an enhanced application. Once this is complete you will receive a Disclosure notice through the post. A copy will also be sent to the Countersignatory for review and this document will then be stored according to the University's Data Protection Code of Practice and the DBS Code of Practice. For further information on storage and retention please visit: http://www.dur.ac.uk/disclosure/guidance/storage_retention/
6. Portability of Applications
It is currently Durham University's general policy NOT to share Disclosure information with any other body or institution. However in exceptional circumstances it may be possible to share information with partner orgnisations but in these instances explicit consent must be sought from the individual. It is also normally Durham University's policy NOT to accept disclosures from other institutions.
7. Further Advice
If you require further help/information please do not hesitate to contact either:
Sue Woodcock (PA to Academic Registrar)
Tel: 0191 33 46141
Sam Dale (Deputy Academic Registrar and Lead Countersignatory)
Tel: 0191 33 46120 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org