Study>Advice for Applicants>Disclosure & Barring Service Checks

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Checks

As you will appreciate, there is a need to be particularly careful about the character and background of anyone whose work or training will bring them into contact with the vulnerable. Cardiff Metropolitan University offers a number of courses, during which, students will spend a considerable amount of time working with children or vulnerable people. As a result, applicants who receive an offer for one of these programmes (and intend to take up the place) are required to undergo a criminal records check prior to the start of their programme.

The Disclosure and Barring Service processes requests and issues criminal record and barring checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.  For more information on the DBS please refer to, and read the information provided below for you:​​

Why do I need to do a criminal records check?

If your course involves you coming into contact with children and young or vulnerable people, you will be asked to carry out a criminal records check.

Applicants who will be studying in the areas of Education, Healthcare Science, Housing, Complementary Healthcare, Dietetics, Podiatry, Social Work, Forensic Psychology and Speech & Language Therapy will be asked to do a check as standard.

What is a relevant criminal conviction?

Relevant criminal offences include convictions, cautions, admonitions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar involving one or more of the following:

  • Any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm or offences which resulted in actual bodily harm

  • Offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003

  • The unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the offence concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking

  • Offences involving firearms

  • Offences involving arson

  • Offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006

Warnings, penalty notices for disorder (PNDs), anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) or violent offender orders (VOOs) are not classed as convictions for the purpose of this section, unless you have contested a PND or breached the terms of an ASBO or VOO and this has resulted in a criminal conviction.

If your conviction involved an offence similar to those set out above, but was made by a court outside of Great Britain, and that conviction would not be considered as spent under the Rehabilitations of Offenders Act 1974, you should indicate a conviction.

How does Cardiff Metropolitan University carry out its criminal records checks?

Cardiff Metropolitan University uses the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to carry out its criminal records checks so that it can be informed of any relevant convictions, i.e. those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking (as detailed above).

Applicants who receive an offer, and who reply Firm, are sent instructions on how to undertake and complete an electronic DBS check through First Advantage Online Disclosures.

Having a conviction will not automatically exclude you from becoming a student at Cardiff Met, but additional information will be required to undertake procedures to make a decision on an applicants suitability for their chosen course.

Criminal records checks for applicants who have resided outside of the UK

Applicants who have resided in another country for more than 12 months in the last 10 years as an adult (18+) 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 which lists the websites of all embassies and High Commissions where information on the current practices for applying can be found.

Please also refer to the Criminal records check for overseas applicants for further guidance on how to obtain the required certificate or letter of authority.

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 (including EU) 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 criminal records check for their time spent in the UK.

Do I need to undertake a DBS check if I have lived or worked abroad?

If you have resided in another country for work or holiday purposes for a period of more than 12 months in the last 10 years as an adult (18+), you would be expected to undertake a police check in the country in which you have resided.

For those residing in the UK, an Enhanced DBS check is required, and for those who reside outside the UK, please refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at which lists the websites of all embassies and High Commissions where information on the current practices for police checks can be found.

Please also refer to the Criminal records check for overseas applicants for further guidance on how to obtain the required certificate or letter of authority.
Additional information can be found in the drop down heading criminal record check for applicants who originate from outside of the UK above.

Applicants accepted with a criminal conviction

An applicant may be given a place on a course with a criminal conviction, however, this may impact on placements available throughout the degree and professional registrations after graduation. Applicants are advised to undertake research, prior to applying, in order to check professional requirements. For those courses where successful completion requires registration with the Health Profession or Education Workforce Council, students will need to apply to the body separately. At that point, the case is reviewed and a decision made in relation to acceptance for registration.

What if I receive a relevant conviction after I've applied?

If you have committed a relevant criminal offence, as detailed above, after you have made an application to Cardiff Metropolitan University, you must inform Admissions.

How will disclosing a new offence at enrolment affect my studies at the university?

Your enrolment with the university will be allowed to progress temporarily. You will, however, be sent the Student Criminal Conviction(s) Declaration - Proforma, which should be completed and returned to Registry Services within 14 working days of receipt.  For more information, please click here​​.

For students undertaking a course that brings them into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults, as part of this process​, you maybe required to undertake a new DBS Disclosure.

​​Failure to declare a relevant criminal conviction may result in expulsion from the university.

All information concerning criminal convictions will be treated sensitively, confidentially and managed in accordance with the Data Protection principles as highlighted within the GDPR and our internal Data Protection Policies and Procedures.​​​  For information on both our Data Protection and Openness Policies please refer to or contact

What if I receive a relevant criminal conviction during my studies?

If you are convicted of a criminal offence, or are subject to investigation by the Police for committing such an offence,  during your studies you are asked to disclose this to Registry Services as soon as possible.  This is required as the University has a duty of care to all students, staff and visitors, and Student Services would want to ensure that you had the appropriate welfare support.  If you are studying a course for which a DBS check was undertaken, you will have been informed of relevant procedures for disclosing an offence. ​

Should the University subsequently become aware of factual circumstances of a criminal conviction that was not brought to our attention as outlined above, the Student Disciplinary Procedure may be engaged.

Information for Current and Returning Cardiff Met students

It is possible that students studying within other academic areas will be asked to carry out a criminal records check as part of their course, but you should not carry one out unless asked to do so.

Previous or current Cardiff Met students, who have undertaken a DBS check through Cardiff Met for a previous course, will need to contact Admissions at to confirm if a new check is required.

Placements or Dissertations

If you are a current enrolled student and wish to undertake a placement or dissertation, which involves working with children or vulnerable adults, as part of your course, you may require a DBS Check.  Please refer to the Non-standard request for a DBS Check form which needs to be completed and returned to Admissions ( to determine the level of check required .  Alternatively, you are welcome to bring the form to Cardiff Met i-zones which are based in the main reception of either campus.   Please note: this form is not relevant for applicants who are yet to enrol and begin their course. 

Returning From Suspension of Studies

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 any information in relation to undertaking this check though the electronic process please contact Admissions on 029 2041 6010.  

Part Time Students

For those students who undertake a part time course at Cardiff Metropolitan University which requires a DBS check, Cardiff Metropolitan University does not take responsibility for undertaking this, for the majority of its programmes, 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.