Guide to DBS Checks when Applying for University Placements
If you are enrolled on a university course, or thinking about applying for one, there’s a good chance that you will need to do a work placement as part of your studies.
This is especially true for vocational degree courses such as medicine, teacher training, nursing, law, veterinary studies, etc.
A question we hear often is – do I need to get a DBS Check for a university placement or work placement? In this brief guide, we’ll explain how university placement DBS Checks work and how to apply for one.
Deciding on the level of DBS Check for a university placement
The university should let you know well in advance if they expect you to get a DBS Check to take part in a work placement. However, they may not tell you what level of check you need to get and may leave that down to the employer.
You can contact the employer yourself to ask, but it may not be clear who you will be working with until the degree course is already underway.
To help you work out which level of DBS Check may be appropriate, here is some guidance on the levels of DBS Check available and which roles may require them:
- Basic DBS Check – Reveals any unspent convictions and conditional cautions on your record. Available for anybody aged 16 or over in the UK. Used for lower responsibility jobs and those that do not involve unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults such as retail workers, engineers, cleaners, etc.
- Standard DBS Check – Reveals any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands on your record. Application must be submitted by a registered employer or organisation on the applicant’s behalf. Used for jobs with higher levels of responsibility or occasional unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, such as lawyers, accountants, etc.
- Enhanced DBS Check – Reveals the same details as the standard check, along with any other relevant information held on police files. Application must be submitted by a registered employer or organisation on the applicant’s behalf. Used for jobs with the highest levels of responsibility and unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, such as teachers, doctors, nurses, etc.
Some roles are classed as a ‘regulated activity’ by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which means that the role involves direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults on three or more occasions within a 30-day period. Regulated activity roles will require an Enhanced DBS Check, plus a check of either the children’s or adult’s barred list.
For university placements, regulated activity work placement roles are likely to be included in teacher training, medicine degrees, nursing degrees, etc.
How to apply for a DBS Check
The application process depends on the level of check required.
If a Basic DBS Check is required for the university placement role, then you can apply for yourself online without needing any verification from the university or employer. You can use our convenient and fast online portal to apply and get your results within 48 hours.
If you need a higher level check (either standard or enhanced) then you will need to contact the university or the work placement employer to arrange for them to submit the DBS application on your behalf. Some employers and organisations use online platforms like ours to make the process more easy and faster.
If you’re unsure about the details surrounding DBS Checks for your particular university course, then you should contact either the admissions office for the university or one of the administrators for your course.
Summary of university placement DBS Checks
Many university courses require students to take part in a work placement.
For instance, teacher training courses include a school placement that involves teaching children in a classroom and will therefore require an Enhanced DBS Check.
The easiest way to apply for a DBS Check is online, as postal applications take longer and can be more expensive.
To find out more about DBS Checks for university placements, or ask any other questions related to DBS Checks, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.