Guidelines On Handling DBS and Disclosed Information​

As an organisation using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) to help assess the suitability of applicants for positions of trust, Cardiff Metropolitan University complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of ​Disclosure information. It also complies fully with its obligation under the Data Protection Act 1998​ and other relevant legislation, which is available to those who wish to see it on request.​​ Please also see the University's policy on Data Protection.


Cardiff Metropolitan University makes all reasonable endeavours to ensure that criminal record checks submitted to the DBS are done so in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions and is requested in line with the appropriate barring lists. For example, applicants will only be asked to undertake an enhanced check if their programme of study brings them into contact with children and/or vulnerable​ adults. 

Storage & Access

Information disclosed is never kept on an applicant’s personnel file and is always kept separately and securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers


In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, information disclosed is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the programme of their duties. We maintain a record of all to whom Disclosures or Disclosure information has been revealed and we recognise that it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it. 


Information disclosed is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.


Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made; we do not keep information disclosed for any longer than is absolutely necessary. This can be for a period of up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep information disclosed for longer than six months, we will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights individual subject before doing so. Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.


Once the retention period has elapsed; we will ensure that any information disclosed is immediately suitably destroyed by secure means, i.e. shredding. While awaiting destruction, information disclosed will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g. waste bin or confidential waste sack). We will not keep any photocopy or other image of the certificate or any copy or representation of the contents of a certificate.

However, in relation to the DBS Disclosure, notwithstanding the above, we may keep a record of the date of issue of a Disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of Disclosure requested, the position for which the Disclosure was requested, the unique reference number of the Disclosure and the details of the recruitment decision taken.

Ex-Offenders (Students)

As an organisation using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Cardiff Metropolitan University complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants who apply for places fairly. Cardiff Met does not knowlingly discriminate against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a  conviction or other information revealed.

Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to providing a learning environment free from any form of harassment, intimidation, victimisation or discrimination on the grounds of nationality, sex, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, age or martial status, language, social origin, political opinion, property, birth, status or offending background.

We have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available on request to those applicants concerned at the outset of the recruitment process on our web site.

We actively promote equality of opportunity for all the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of applicants, including those with criminal convictions. We offer places and select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

DBS Disclosures are only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the programme concerned, i.e. programmes which involve working with children and/or young or vulnerable people. Applicants are informed via Cardiff Metropolitan University's website, prospectus and offer conditions that they are required to carry out an enhanced disclosure with the DBS before they are accepted onto the programme. Applicants for these programmes are sent information concerning the DBS Disclosure process, including all the necessary procedures that have to be undertaken, once an offer has been made.

Unless the nature of the position allows Cardiff Metropolitan University to ask questions about your entire criminal record we only ask about “unspent” convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation Offenders Act 1974.

We aim to ensure that all those in Cardiff Metropolitan University who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitability trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the programme. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position could lead to withdrawal of an offer.

We make every subject of a DBS Disclosure aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.

We will discuss any matter revealed in a DBS Disclosure with the person seeking a place on a programme or position of employment before withdrawing a conditional offer.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from being a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This will depend on the programme or nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences. When a DBS Disclosure is received which indicates a conviction, this is sent to the relevant school committee who will consider the above and make a decision. However even though ​you may be offered a place on the programme your suitability for employment can not be guaranteed.

Non-UK Applicants

As there is a need to be particularly careful about the character and background of any person whose work or training will bring them in contact with children and vulnerable people, Cardiff Metropolitan University requires all applicants who have lived outside the UK for any period of time to carry out the equivalent of a criminal records check for the country/countries that they have lived in prior to being accepted. The DBS cannot currently access overseas criminal records or other relevant information as part of its disclosure service. For more information please refer to http://www.gov.uk/fco/.

However, for International Students (those residing outside of the EU), once residence has been obtained to study in the UK, you will also be required to carry out an Enhanced DBS Disclosure from the Disclosure & Barring Service, in addition to completing the self-declaration form. Information concerning the process and procedures will be provided by the International Office.

In the majority of cases individuals can obtain a police certificate which is issued by the local Police Station. Applicants are usually asked to produce their passport as proof of identity when applying to the local police station.

The original certificate and any other documents should be sent to the: Admissions Office, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB. Cardiff Metropolitan University will return the certificate and any documents to the applicant by recorded post.

Whilst we appreciate that this action will involve a certain amount of effort and expense, this procedure is necessary in order to safeguard the protection of children and vulnerable people and is a condition that must be fulfilled before the applicant will be able to start the programme.

Data Protection

We will keep a record of the information that you have provided to us, this is primarily so that we can contact you in relation to your application to Cardiff Metropolitan University. Keeping this data will allow us to collect statistics and help to detect and prevent fraud.

From time to time we may also send you information that we think is likely to be of interest to you. This may be in the form of e-mails, sms text messaging or by post. Where possible we will limit this information so that it is relevant to the programme area that you are interested in and studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University in general. If you do not want us to contact you at all, you should instruct us in writing to remove your details from the mailing list.

Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to the principles of both the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

Cardiff School of Education Safeguarding Policy

Please see the Cardiff School of Education safeguarding policy and the Flow Diagram relating to the admittance of students onto programmes which require DBS clearance.