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DBS Clearance - returning students

Please note the content of this page is relevant only to existing University of Cumbria students returning to course (e.g. intercalations; deferred placements.) If you are a new applicant applying via the Admissions Office, please see the Admissions Checks pages.

Please note that the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We will be using the new terminology from this point onwards: what was previously referred to as a CRB check is now a ‘DBS check’.

Your DBS application is a two-stage process.

PART 1: Providing your identity documents

To start the DBS application process you must either bring or post in certain pieces of identity documentation to Programme Administration (PAd) at your campus. If posting your documents, please send by Royal Mail Signed For service to your Programme Administration Office (PAd) and they will be returned to you the same way.

Full details of acceptable identity documents (for us to verify your identity) and further information are available in our DBS guidance. Please note that if a particular document is not on this list, it is not a DBS-approved document and we cannot accept it, so please look carefully at the table of documents in this link before you select your choices. We also need a minimum of three documents.

We need a minimum of three documents, and photocopies of each document (three originals plus three photocopies).

Please note:

  • If you are providing your driving licence we need a photocopy of both the front and back of the photo card.
  • If you are providing your passport we need a photocopy of the personal details page.

You also need to submit your Criminal Record Self Disclosure form now if this applies to you and you have not sent it in already. Please refer to the specific notes lower down this page for further information on this.

PART 2: Complete the online DBS application

After you have completed part 1, we will send you an email containing a web address, username & password to complete your DBS application online. We can only do this once you have provided sufficient acceptable identity documents, so you must follow-up any queries on this (e.g. missing documents) quickly.

This email comes from an address ending ‘…@cumbria.disclosures.co.uk’ so please look out for this – it may go into your spam folder. If you do not receive this email please let us know. Please read the DBS guidance before you start the online form: there is important information in here.

You must do the online application promptly as DBS checks can take some time to be completed.

More Information about Part 2

Important: Self-disclosure of any criminal record

As part of the DBS clearance process you may also need to submit a self-disclosure form as detailed in Part 1. Should you have any queries or concerns about this please email the DBS Team. Please note that the law in this area has recently changed (as of May 2013).

As of the above date, certain old and minor offences will be removed from your record after a designated time period: this depends on the type of offence (whether it was a conviction or a caution/reprimand/warning), and on how old you were at the time of the conviction or caution / reprimand / warning. This is known as ‘filtering’.


If you were under 18 at the time of the caution, these will be filtered (removed) if: 2 years have elapsed

If you were over 18 at the time of the caution, these will be filtered (removed) if: 6 years have elapsed


If you were under 18 at the time of the conviction (not the offence), this will be filtered (removed) if: 5.5 years have elapsed

If you were over 18 at the time of the conviction (not the offence), this will be filtered (removed) if: 11 years have elapsed

You can also refer to this detailed government guidance

Please note that offences will never be removed if:-

  • you have multiple offences on your record
  • the offence appears on a list of designated offences that are more serious or of a certain nature (e.g. some drugs related offences; violent offences; most sexual offences)
  • if you received a custodial sentence for the offence

Applicants with any criminal record to declare

Please refer to the guidance above and complete our Criminal Record Self Disclosure form now if applicable to you. Please return by email to dbs@cumbria.ac.uk and contact us if you have any queries.

It is very important that you declare any offences, even if you believe them to be ‘spent’ (expired) or if the police have told you that they will be removed from your record (e.g. in 5 years’ time, or when you turn 18). This is unlikely to be the case in the context of a career working with vulnerable groups, because such areas are excluded from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and offences are therefore never considered spent. You will not prejudice your chances by being honest with us, but you may do so by concealing information which is later revealed on a DBS check.

Receiving this form as early as possible from you will assist us in dealing with your DBS clearance situation in a timely manner.

No criminal record to declare

You do not need to submit a self-declaration form, but please note the following important information:
If you do not submit a self-declaration form prior to applying for your DBS check but your DBS certificate later reveals that you do have a criminal record, the University will treat this as a case of failing to declare relevant information: you will be subject to our DBS clearance procedures and will have to explain your failure to declare.
It is therefore far better that you tell us now if you are in any doubt about whether you have anything to declare: concealing information could be seen as worse than the offence itself and could jeopardise your place on the course.

Certificate of Good Conduct

This is a background police or criminal record check from countries other than the UK. As DBS checks can only cover time spent in the UK, applicants who have spent time outside the UK may need to obtain a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ of some kind from the country/countries in which you are now living or have lived. A ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is a generic term for a police or criminal records check from outside the UK; these will be called something different according to the country.

Please see our overseas criminal records checks information page for further detail on which applicants this affects and advice on obtaining the relevant document.


Update Service: new facility from 17 June 2013

The Update Service makes DBS checks generally transferable, subject to certain conditions such as the level of check; the workforce(s) and Barred List(s) specified; and whether it was for a paid or a voluntary position. Detailed information is available at www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service. There are 2 elements to the Update Service:

We encourage you to subscribe to the Update Service.

More Information about the Update Service

This would enable you potentially to use your University of Cumbria DBS check again in future within the same workforce and not have to apply for a new one (e.g. when you get a job or do voluntary work). There are certain restrictions to this and employers are not obliged to use it, so it is not a guarantee that you will never need to obtain another DBS check. It will however make it considerably more likely that you will not need to get further checks.

If you do subscribe to this service, it will also mean that you may not need to apply and pay for a new check if you take time out from your course at any point (which would otherwise require you to apply for a new check).

Please note that this service is optional and carries an additional fee of £13 per year to subscribe to it, and you need to renew this annually. You would pay this fee on the DBS website at the time of joining the service. How to subscribe:
  • With your application reference number. Please email dbs@cumbria.ac.uk to obtain this.
  • With your DBS certificate number once issued: you must do this within 14 days of the date of issue of your University of Cumbria DBS certificate, using your certificate reference number when you receive it from the DBS.

Are you already registered with this?

If you are registered with the Update Service (with a DBS check issued since 17 June 2013), the procedure is as below:

  • Was the check for a paid or a voluntary position? We can only use it if it was for a paid position.
  • Email dbs@cumbria.ac.uk with a scanned copy of your existing certificate so that we can check if it meets our requirements, and state your ongoing consent for us to carry out ‘Status Checks’ as needed (for the duration of your course) in this email.
  • We will let you know if the check meets our requirements. If it does not, you will need to apply for a new check via the University of Cumbria as above.
  • If it meets our requirements, we then have to see your original DBS certificate & verify your identity: you will need to post or bring in your certificate and 1 original form of ID to the DBS Team, Admissions, University of Cumbria, Bowerham Road, Lancaster, LA1 3JD.
  • We carry out an online ‘Status Check’ to verify the information on your certificate. If you do not hear anything further, please assume this was successful and you do not need to take any further action.

Further information

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for further information about your DBS check. You may find it helpful to print this out or save it to refer to throughout your course.

If you have any queries or have not received information about how to apply for DBS clearance contact your Programme Administration Office (PAd).