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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Disclosure (DBS)

For safeguarding information and guidance please refer to the following page here

Guidance Note for Staff

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) application process for applicants and members of staff

Durham University is committed to adhering to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Code of Practice.

Making a Disclosure Application to the DBS

  • If you are required to undertake a DBS disclosure you will be informed by your line manager (existing staff) or in your formal letter of appointment (new staff). There is an online application form to complete via UCheck. Please contact Stina Maynard 0191 3346417 who will be able to send you the link and guidance notes.

  • Once you have completed the online application you will be invited to an appointment to allow you to present your original copies of a number of documents to confirm your identity (as defined by the DBS). This will then allow HR to complete and submit the application for you.

Processing the Disclosure Application

Whilst processing the application, the DBS may contact you or HR if further information is required. Please provide this information promptly. If you have any concerns regarding this, please seek guidance from HR.

Receiving the Disclosure Information

A copy of the result of the Disclosure application will be sent to you at your current home address. Please note that the University no longer receives copies of DBS certificates. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure that you provide a copy of your certificate to the HR Representative so that it can be reviewed. If you do not do this then you will not be able to proceed with the activity.

Reviewing the Result of the Disclosure

The Director of Human Resources will assess the content of the Disclosure. Any information received will be considered in line with the duties of the post to which you have been offered appointment.

Satisfactory Disclosure

If your Disclosure is considered to be satisfactory, you will be informed in writing that this condition of your appointment has been met. Your recruiting department will also be informed. For certain posts it may be necessary to inform a relevant third party that you have received a satisfactory Disclosure, e.g. many NHS trusts require this confirmation prior to issuing Honorary Contracts to university staff. In such instances you will be informed in advance if this is a requirement of the role.

Disclosures which require further review

Where the Disclosure confirms details of spent/unspent convictions/records, this will not lead to an automatic bar from appointment. The Director of Human Resources will review the contents of the Disclosure in line with the requirements of the vacancy and will consider any other information which you have provided regarding your case. As part of this review you may be invited to discuss your case further with an HR Manager (appropriate managerial representatives from the recruiting department may also be involved) before a final decision on suitability is made. All aspects of the review of the Disclosure will be in line with the University's Policy on the Recruitment and Employment of Ex Offenders. If an individual's circumstances are not compatible with the post, the University may be required to withdraw the offer of appointment and will inform all appropriate parties of this outcome.

Management of Information

All documentation relating to the Disclosure application process will be considered highly confidential by all parties involved and will be stored securely by HR, separately from your personal file. Access to documents, and the results of the Disclosure, will be restricted to those who require access as part of their duties, as determined by HR. Documents will only be retained for a reasonable period following which they will be destroyed as confidential material in line with DBS guidance. Further details are available in the University's Policy Regarding the Security, Storage and Retention of Applicant/Staff Criminal Records Information.

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. If you have an up to date subscription to the Update Service please advise HR as this may be accepted rather than the requirement for a new application submission. Please note the level and duties of the certificate your DBS subscription must be the same for your postiion here at Durham University.

For further advice on what the service is and how to subscribe please visit:

Further Information

  • If you wish to discuss any aspect of this process further, please contact Stina Maynard 0191 3346417 All enquiries will be dealt with in confidence.