Information about DBS Checks
What is a DBS Check (Criminal Records Checks)?
- A DBS check is a service provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB), an executive agency of the Home Office. Criminal records checks help organisations to make more informed recruitment decisions and thus help reduce the risk of employing or admitting someone who may have an unsuitable background for particular types of work or programmes of study.
- By way of an authorised Application form, the DBS provide access to information held on the Police National Computer (PNC) and by local forces, and, in relevant cases, information held by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
- There are two levels of Disclosure: Standard and Enhanced. Your Department/Section will advise you on what level of Disclosure you need to apply for. However most applicants to Durham University, whether it be staff or students, will be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure as they will be working directly with children and/or vulnerable adults in a regulated setting.
- Disclosure Scotland offer a basic level criminal records check. For this level of check applicants must apply directly through Disclosure Scotland.
Who should apply for a DBS Check?
There are three circumstances under which the University will undertake a criminal records check via the DBS. These are:
- posts which are covered by specific legislation, such as the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the Protection of Children Act 1999, which make it compulsory for some checks to be carried out or strongly recommends checks. These posts are listed in the Exemption Order of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. These include posts that involve unsupervised access to children or adults within a specific environment deemed as regulated activity eg summer school activity where volunteers are working, unsupervised on a one-to-one basis with children; volunteer work linked to the University that involves unsupervised access to children or adults within an activity that is deemed as regulated; posts within the University Nursery etc;
- programmes of study leading to a qualification in professions that would be covered by specific legislation, such as the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the protection of Children Act 1999, which make it compulsory for checks to be carried out. These programmes are linked to professions listed in the Exemption Order of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. These programmes will involve unsupervised access to children or adults as part of the provision and assessment of the course or an associated professional qualification;
- students studying, at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, who wish to undertake research or project work linked to their course of study that involves unsupervised access to children or adults within an activity that is deemed as regulated.
Please visit the FAQ section of this website for a full list of posts/programmes that require criminal records checks.