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Durham University

Information about 'Disclosure'


Portability is the re-use of a DBS Disclosure for a position in another organisation. The DBS has clarified that it will not facilitate the portability of Disclosures and that organisatons using portability do so at their own risk. Major limitations for re-using a Disclosure include:

  • An offence may have occured since the Disclosure was issued.
  • The Disclosure may not be at the level to which we require to check our staff/students (ie enhanced level)
  • The original may not include checks of the ISA Adults Barred and/or ISA Children Barred lists .
  • The applicant's copy of the Disclosure will not state if any additional information was provided by the Police.

For these reasons it is Durham University's policy not to accept Disclosures from other institutions unless an individual has also signed up to the DBS Update Service (see below).

It is also Durham's policy not to share Disclosures with other organisations and all information provided should remain confidential and disclosed to authorised personnel only; unauthorised disclosure is an offence. However there are some circumstances where it may be possible to share information with partner organisations eg student on placement. In these instances explicit consent must be sought from the individual to share the disclosure. Please see the 'Good Practice' webpage for an example of a Disclosure consent letter.

In all other circumstances Durham University will only provide confirmation to other organisations that a Disclosure has been received. It is recommended that if an individual wishes to present their Disclosure to another organisation that they retain their own personal copy.

Update Service

To help reduce the need for requesting multiple DBS checks a new service has been introduced by the DBS - the Update Service. This service allows applicants the chance to keep their DBS certificate up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online. Subscription costs £13 per year and is suitable for applicants who may be required to carry out multiple checks, thus avoiding the need to request to share disclosure information. For further advice on what the service is and how to subscribe please visit:

If you require further information on portability or a particular case, please email