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 Know Your People, which is an online electronic disclosure service.

Full guidance is provided in the “Applicant User Guide” on the First Advantage Know Your People 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 activation email will provide you with some details regarding the nature of the requested check, along with the activation link itself.

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
  • Dates of any name changes

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.

After following the link, you will need to first confirm your username (which will be your email address), then you will need to create your own personal password before the account can be generated. Guidance for password creation can be found by clicking the information (i) button on the Know Your People website.

Once the account has been activated, you will be prompted to log in using your newly confirmed details.

The ‘Login Here’ button will take you to the main login page directly.

With the account login details entered and confirmed, you will be able to access your profile and complete the application form as requested.

How can I get my documents verified?

Cardiff Met provides several options within the First Advantage online application for verifying your documents as part of the DBS application process.

Option 1 – Post Office Verification

Another option is to continue your application without the digital ID verification apps and your documents will be manually verified in person, after you have uploaded copies to the First Advantage – Know Your People website. You can get your documents verified at select Post Offices. You will need to find a Post Office that offers the In Branch Verification service.

Option 2 – Organisation

If you live near our Cyncoed or Llandaff campuses and you are not able to set up your digital ID account, you can bring your original documents to our Student Services i-zone and someone will be able to verify them for you there.

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 organisations to accept it, it is recommended that you register for the Update Service, for which there is a fee. Please refer to the section on the Update Service for further information.

Cardiff Met is charged for the DBS check as soon as the account is activated on the system. If you make an error during the application process, e.g., incorrect personal and identity information, this will result in another check needing to be activated, which you will need to pay for.

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 name changes.

DO make a note of your mother’s 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.


DON’T 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 – Know Your People.

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:


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 cannot 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.

Applicants Who Have Resided Overseas including the European Union

Any applicant who has resided in another country will be expected to provide a criminal check carried out by that country. The DBS cannot currently access overseas criminal records or other relevant information as part of its disclosure service. For information in relation to overseas procedures please refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at www.gov.uk/fco which lists the websites of all embassies and High Commissions where information on the current practices for applying can be found.

Applicants should endeavour to obtain the following (at the applicant’s cost):

  • A ‘certificate of good conduct’ (police records check) from the relevant authorities confirming that the applicant has no criminal record from their home country.
  • Obtain verification of the ‘certificate of good conduct’ by the relevant Consulate for that country within the UK (at the applicant’s cost).

All documents obtained from abroad must be translated (at the applicant’s cost) from the relevant language into English. Applicants should contact the relevant foreign embassy for further information regarding the verification of documents.

In order to fulfil admission requirements overseas applicants who have never resided in the UK, will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check once they have moved to the UK, and have a UK address due to the DBS being unable to undertake a check unless a UK address is provided.

Applicants who are Overseas but have resided in the UK

The University places the onus on applicants who have been resident in the UK for a limited period of time, to provide details of their criminal records history from their home country as well as undertaking a DBS check for their time spent in the UK.


How long do I have to complete my DBS application form?

The one time password in your welcome email expires after 30 days.

Will I get email reminders if I don’t have time to complete the application when I first get the invitation to start the process?

Yes, you​ should receive a reminder three days after the application was initiated.

I’ve registered with First Advantage, but I haven’t received an activation email.

If you haven’t received your activation email, please contact gdpr@firstadvantage.com​. If your profile has been set up, the First Advantage support team will provide you with an activation link. The link will take you to a page where you can create your account or sign in (if your account is already active). You’ll also be able to reset your password if you’ve forgotten it.