DBS Application Process


​If you are required to do a DBS check, you will receive a self declaration form and a DBS application pack either with your offer letter, or on receipt of a 'Firm' reply through UCAS Track. This pack will include instructions on how to apply for the checks but you may also find it helpful to read the rest of this section.

You must have completed all criminal records checks prior to the start of your programme. The DBS process usually takes at least 6 weeks so we strongly advise that you initiate this process once you decide that Cardiff Metropolitan University is your firm choice. However, so that your check is as recent as possible prior to the start of the programme, we would recommend that you do not undertake the process before April in the year that you intend to start your programme. 

If Cardiff Metropolitan University is not your firm choice then please contact the relevant institution to find out their procedures concerning criminal record checks.​

How do I complete the DBS form?

You should receive a Cardiff Metropolitan guidance sheet on how to complete the form with your application pack which is intended to guide you through completing the application form.
The DBS have a very strict policy on how the form should be completed so please read the instructions carefully before you start to fill it in. In particular try to avoid some of the common pitfalls shown below – or we may have to return your form!

  • Do not use correction fluid
  • Always write in BLACK ink
  • Ensure that your address history goes back for a full FIVE years without any gaps or overlaps. If you have lived at more than one address at the same time, e.g. student address and parents address, then please provide your main address for that period. You may use a continuation sheet as necessary.

For information concerning the process and what is needed, please refer to http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/

What ID documents do I need to produce?

In addition to completing the form you must also provide a number of documents to prove your identity, date of birth and current address.

Documentation normally consists of a valid passport or UK driving licence or UK birth certificate (issued within 12 months of birth). At least 1 document should contain a photograph in order to prove your identity. A list of acceptable documents can be found on https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check.

The documents must be originals, photocopied documents are not acceptable. For a complete list of acceptable means of identification please visit: https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check. If you do not have these documents, provided there is enough time before the start of the programme, we would expect applicants to obtain these documents in order to undertake the DBS check.

The DBS recommends that wherever possible identity checks are conducted on a face to face basis. Applicants are therefore encouraged to bring their DBS form and documents to Cardiff Metropolitan's iZone (open between 10-4 Monday to Friday).

If applicants are not able to visit the University another option is for those that have been offered a place and are attending an open day to undertake this process during the open day. The DBS form and documents would need to be presented to the admission staff available on the day to undertake the process and would not be sent to the DBS until after the April of the year of entry.

The Post Office also offers an Identity Checking Service for which there is a charge, for customers that need to have photocopies of identity document certified as a true likeness of the original eliminating the need to proof of identity to be sent to Cardiff Metropolitan University.

For those applicants that cannot visit the University to undertake the face to face identity checks and for those who's application process involved an interview (due to identity checks being undertaken at interview) the DBS form and documents can be sent to the University. We recommend that you use recorded delivery when posting your documentation (at your cost). We will return your documents to the address stated in Section B of the form also using recorded delivery. Cardiff Metropolitan University aims to return your ID documents to you as soon as possible; usually this will be within a week of us receiving them.

If you are unable to provide the documents listed in group 1, i.e. passport, driving licence or birth certificate and there is not enough time before the start of your programme to obtain these documents, your identity will need to be checked by an External Validation Service approved by Cardiff Met.

An external ID validation check is an alternative way of verifying the identity of an applicant, and involves Cardiff Met providing an applicant's details to a chosen supplier who will compare the data against a range of independent, external data sources.

CRD is the chosen supplier used by Cardiff Met, based on The Cabinet Office guidelines for verifying the identity of individuals. If you require an external verification check, your details provided on the DBS application form will be provided to the CRD.

How much does it cost?

The current cost for processing a DBS check is £44.00 (subject to change).

This amount must be paid upfront or enclosed with your application for processing. If you are sending in your documentation we advise you use Recorded Delivery, and all original documentation will be sent back by Recorded Delivery.

How will my application be handled if a relevant criminal conviction is declared

Once your DBS Disclosure has been sent to the Admissions Office which indicates a conviction, it will be sent to the relevant School to assess if the conviction bars entry to the programme.  For more information, please click here.

If satisfied that you are not a risk your application will proceed in the normal way.

All information concerning criminal convictions will be treated sensitively, confidentially and managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

I am ready to send my form in, have I remembered everything?!

In order to initiate your criminal record check, please ensure that you have included the following:

  • Completed Cardiff Met Self Declaration form;
  • Completed DBS application form (with a full 5 year address history);
  • Original documents as proof of identity;
  • Don’t forget to make a note of your DBS form reference number (found on the front of the form) so that you can track your application on the DBS website.
  • Payment of £44.00 (cheques to be made payable to Cardiff Metropolitan University)

How long do the checks normally take?

In order to ensure that checks are as recent as possible we will not send forms to the DBS before April in the year that you are due to start at Cardiff Metropolitan University. After April, we aim to send forms to the DBS as soon as possible.

The DBS check itself can take around 6 weeks. Once the check has been completed you will receive a copy of your disclosure which you should keep safe for future reference and we will also get a copy for our records. You can track your application on line – see below. If you have not received your disclosure after two months, please contact Cardiff Metropolitan University and we will investigate this with the DBS on your behalf.

Please note that if you do not receive your disclosure due to a problem with the postal service, the DBS will only provide a free of charge re-print within three months of the date that the disclosure was issued.

Can I track the progress of my DBS check?

Yes. You can track the progress of your application, free of charge, from the DBS website at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/services/online-tracking1/, you will need to enter the form reference number and your date of birth.

My application is taking a long time, should I contact Cardiff Metropolitan University?

Yes. Please contact us if after two months you have not received your Disclosure Certificate so that we can investigate this with the DBS on your behalf. If you do not receive your disclosure due to a problem with the postal service, the DBS will only provide a free of charge re-print within three months of the date that the disclosure was issued.

I have my printed DBS Disclosure, what do I do next?

DBS certificates are issued directly to the individual, and not to the Registered Bodies such as Cardiff Met, so unless the DBS certificate is sent to the Admissions Unit, we have no evidence of your clearance, which will result in a delay in your offer being confirmed.

You are required as part of your offer, to produce your original DBS certificate to Admissions, before the start of your programme.

Local applicants are encouraged to bring in their DBS certificate to the iZone at Cardiff Met (www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/izone) as the institution can not take responsibility for certificates lost in the post.  For applicants who are unable to visit Cardiff Met we advise the use of recorded or special delivery if sending in the DBS certificate.