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 principles at all times as highlighted within the GDPR and our internal Data Protection Policies and Procedures.  For further information on both our Data Protection and Openness Policies please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/DataProtection or contact DataProtection@cardiffmet.ac.uk


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 course 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.  Application for DBS checks are made through an electronic system owned by First Advantage who hold and destroy information in accordance with Data Protection Principles and GDPR, as well the DBS Code of Practice.  Paper based information 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 knowingly 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 course concerned, i.e. courses 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 course.  Applicants for these courses 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 course 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 course and the circumstances and background of your offence/s. 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 course 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 more than 12 months in the last 10 years as an adult (18+) 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

Cardiff Metropolitan University processes information relating to 'relevant criminal convictions' in order to ensure that a safe learning and working environment for our students, staff and visitors is provided.  In order to minimise risk to health and wellbeing and maximise student experience, applicants and current students are asked to disclose information which may increase this risk.  When obtaining any relevant criminal conviction data from you, Cardiff Metropolitan University are lawful in processing this information in accordance with Article 6.1(f) of the General Data Protection Regulations (2018).  The University is committed to the principles of the Data Protection Act (2018) and further information on our lawful basis for processing criminal convictions data is available within the Universities Data Protection Policy.  This is available on request by contacting DataProtection@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Safeguarding Policy for the Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Please see the Safeguarding Policy and the Flow Diagram relating to the admittance of students onto programmes which require DBS clearance.