DBS Application Process & Notes of Guidance

​Applicants who reply Firm to their offer with Cardiff Met will be sent instructions on how to undertake and complete a DBS check through First Advantage Online Disclosures, which is an online electronic disclosure service.

If you would like to download a version of our Notes of Guidance on how to complete the process, click hereFull guidance is provided in the "Applicant User Guide" on the First Advantage Online Disclosures website when you access the site.

Please note that you must have completed all criminal records checks prior to the start of your course.

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

How do I complete the online DBS form and what identity documents are needed?

You will be sent an email from Cardiff Met which will include a link to the First Advantage Registration/Sign In page where you will need to self-register.  The email will also contain an Organisational PIN, Secret Word, and the name of your course which you will need to use when selecting the Position of the check when starting the application.  

The self-registration process enables a password to be created so that you are then able to begin the application process.  Once completed, you will be sent an email as confirmation that you have registered, with your user details which will be required if you need to log back into the system.  You can sign in to complete the application process in your own time and return to the form as often as required.

Before you begin this process which should only take around 5 minutes, it is recommended that you have the following information and documents at hand, in order to make the process as quick as possible:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Valid Driving Licence

  • Valid Passport

  • Valid National ID Card

  • Full 5 year address history including dates

  • Marriage Certificate if applicable

You are required by the Disclosure and Barring Service to provide a minimum of 3 identity documents.  To see a full list, visit the Disclosure and Barring Service Check page.


How can I get my documents verified?

Cardiff Met provides two options within the First Advantage online application for verifying your documents as part of the DBS application process. The option shown will be Post Office, however you can amend this to Organisation if you would prefer Cardiff Met to verify your documents. 

Option 1 - Post Office

To take your original identity documents to an approved Post Office.  A list of Post Office locations can be found on the Sign In page. 

If you choose to verify your documents through the Post Office, as part of the process you will be required to choose the position for which your DBS check needs to be undertaken (e.g. Podiatry Student, PGCE Secondary Student), and your document verification option as explained above

Option 2 - Organisation

Due to the current situation, we are not able to carry out face to face checks at Cardiff Met. If you are not able, or do not wish to visit a Post Office to have your documents verified, you will need to send copies of your chosen documents to dbscertificates@cardiffmet.ac.uk. Once you have done this, a member of the Admissions team will contact you to verify your documents and identity virtually. As part of this process, you will then also be required to produce your documents in person once you arrive on campus. 

Change of Verification Method

If you have chosen one verification method e.g. Post Office and then need to change this e.g. to Organisation, you will need to log back into the First Advantage online system and go to Step 3, where you have the opportunity to change the method chosen.

How much does it cost?

The cost for processing a DBS check is paid for by Cardiff Met so no payment will be made as part of the process.  However for your DBS check to be portable and allow other organisation to accept it, it is recommended that your register for the Update Service, for which there is a fee.  Please refer to the section on the Update Service for further information. 

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

Once your DBS Disclosure certificate has been processed, you will only be contacted if a conviction is indicated.  If this is the case, you will be required to bring/send in your original certificate to the Admissions Office as soon as possible. If you are sending your Certificate in the post, it is recommended you do this via Recorded Delivery. Your certificate will be sent to the relevant School to assess if the conviction bars entry to the course.  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.

Tips for completing the application

When completing your application make sure you:

DO read the Applicant User Guide at the following page Sign In
DO ensure that you have a minimum of 3 identity documents.  To see a full list, visit the Disclosure and Barring Service Check page.
DO have a full address history for the last five years.
DO have dates of any names changes.
DO make a note of your mothers maiden name.
DO take as much time as needed.  The system allows users to undertake the process in their own time and return to the form as often as needed to complete the process.
DO make sure you keep your DBS certificate in a safe place as DBS do not issue replacements.      

 use documents to prove your identity that you do not have as originals, only original documents can be used to prove your identity at either the Post Office or Cardiff Met.
DON'T leave the process too late so that it delays your enrolment at Cardiff Met.  Also DON'T delay sending in your DBS disclosure to Admissions if a criminal conviction is indicated.
DON'T choose to contact a verifier from the list you will be provided with at the end of your online application process. 
DON'T provide Cardiff Met with your Update Service ID Number as this is for your use only to access your account.

How long do the checks normally take?

In order to ensure checks are as recent as possible we will not send information before May in the year that you are due to start at Cardiff Metropolitan University (when commencing your programme in September). For non-September intakes, DBS information will be sent with your offer information. 

The DBS check itself takes around two weeks. Once the check has been completed you will receive a copy of your disclosure which you should keep safe for future reference.  You will only need to provide this disclosure to Cardiff Met if a conviction is indicated.  You can track your application through the First Advantage system and from the DBS website which is under the section on tracking progress.

Any queries about your application can be referred to First Advantage.

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?

First Advantage will automatically investigate with the DBS if your Disclosure Certificate is not received after two months. 

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 need to be kept safe so that they can be requested to be seen when undertaking placements etc., or if a conviction is indicated.

If a conviction is indicated, local applicants are encouraged to bring in their DBS certificate to the i-zone at either campus of Cardiff Met, Llandaff or Cyncoed (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.​​