Frequently Asked Questions



How long is my DBS disclosure valid?

The DBS disclosure is literally a record of your criminal history up to the day that it was issued and as such there is no ‘validity’ period. Usually we will accept your disclosure for the duration of your course but please note that we do reserve the right to ask you to carry out a new DBS check at any point during your course as deemed necessary.

Is it worth joining the Update Service?

The Update Service allows individuals to apply to have their criminal record check kept up to date and employers to check that the information is current and valid.  It is therefore, in the interest of applicants to sign up to the Update Service when they undertake the DBS check as this will mean that no future DBS checks will need to be undertaken, unless any offences have been committed since your initial DBS application.  It is particularly recommended for students who attend placements as part of their programme, and who will be progressing into roles bringing them into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults, as this limits the number of checks ​needed.

For further information on this service, please refer to the Update Service​ web pages.​

Since being checked there has been a change to my criminal record, what should I do?

You MUST tell Cardiff Metropolitan University if there has been a change to your criminal record since you have returned your self declaration form and/or received your DBS disclosure. If you have not started your course you should inform the Admissions Office, alternatively if you have started your course then you should inform your Programme Leader or an appropriate tutor.

I have a criminal record, will this affect my application?

You must tell Cardiff Metropolitan University about ANY criminal convictions, bind-over orders or cautions. If you have any doubt about the relevance of the criminal conviction, please contact the Admissions Unit, even if you have taken legal advice, so that advice can be given on Cardiff Metropolitan University's policy.

Having a conviction will not automatically exclude you from the application process but we may need to consider your application further.

You should also be aware that if you have a criminal conviction and are given a place on a Cardiff Metropolitan University course this does not mean that you will be guaranteed work placements during your course or that you will be able to register with professional bodies such as the Health Professions Council and General Teaching Council.

If you have indicated a criminal conviction, you may be required to attend an additional interview by your work placement organisation and where successful completion of a programme requires registration with a professional body e.g. the Health Professions Council, you will need to apply to that body separately. The case will be reviewed again and at this point a decision will be made in relation to acceptance onto the register.

I have lived outside of the UK, how does this affect the criminal record checks?

All applicants must complete the self declaration.
If you have never lived in the UK then you will not need to have a UK DBS check carried out. However, you will need to have the equivalent of a criminal records check carried out for the country (or countries) in which you have lived. If the country does not have an organisation similar to the DBS then you will usually need to contact your local police station (or equivalent) and ask them to issue you with a certificate stating whether or not you have a criminal record.

If you have lived in the UK for a while and another country (or countries) then you must complete the UK DBS check and the equivalent of a criminal records check carried out for the other country (or countries) in which you have lived.

If you have resided in another country for work or holiday purposes for a period of more than 6 months, you would be expected to undertake a police check in the country in which you have resided.

Part-Time Students

For those students who undertake a part time programme at Cardiff Metropolitan University which requires a DBS check, Cardiff Metropolitan University does not take responsibility for undertaking this as the responsibility lies with the employing organisation.

All institutions and organisation in the UK that have a responsibility towards children and vulnerable adults in their care are required to ensure the safety of those individual by checking that any employee or trainee student coming into contact with them has DBS clearance. Although the duty of responsibility lies with the employing institution students are encouraged to inform their employer about their current DBS status and how recently the check has been carried out.

Dos and Don'ts

Each Disclosure application form is scanned automatically. However, many forms cannot be processed due to some basic errors when completing the form. This causes delays in processing applications. To ensure your applications are processed as smoothly and efficiently as possible, please follow these do’s and don’ts when completing Disclosure application forms.

DO make sure you use BLACK INK THROUGHOUT and write clearly in BLOCK CAPITALS ONLY.
DO place only one letter or number in each box.
DO leave an empty box between words; but not between postcodes or telephone numbers.
DO cross out any errors on the form and amend the correction to the right of the error. If there is no space to write next to a particular piece of information, please write as close to the text as possible.
DO use the ‘Checklist to completing your application form’ to ensure all mandatory fields are completed.
DO ensure signatures are wholly contained within the boxes provided.
DO ensure that you enclose a cheque for the required amount of £44.00.

DON’T send in copies of documentation, originals are required.
DON'T enter future dates in Section C 'Other Addresses.'
DON’T use staples to attach any cheques, continuation sheets or additional information.
DON’T place any stickers or stamps on the form i.e. featuring addresses or dates.
DON’T use correction fluid on the form. To correct a mistake, please follow the guidance above.
DON’T allow text to cross the edges of the boxes on the application form.
DON’T put a line through a section of the form or state a field is ‘not applicable’ – if it is not relevant to the application then please leave it blank.

Returning Students

If you are returning to your studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University on a course that requires a DBS check, you will need to complete a new DBS for the start of your programme.

If you have not been sent a DBS application form from the Admissions Unit please contact the unit to request one on 029 2041 6010.

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