This has been an academic year like no other for students across the UK, who are trying to apply for university places on the basis on predicted grades. Every year, the Clearing process helps students who have either not done as well as expected, or who have achieved higher grades and who can now apply to a different course. For all students, applying through Clearing is a rushed process, applying for places in mid-August for a start at the end of September or early October. There’s a lot to organise in a short period of time. This year however, there could be an additional hurdle for students who are applying for courses which need a DBS check.
Do all students need DBS checks?
Nobody needs a criminal records check to attend university, go to lectures and hand in assignments. A criminal records check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) service is therefore not a standard part of University application for most people. However, there are some courses which involve not only classroom learning, but some practical experience too. Students on courses training them to be nurses, dentists, doctors, or physiotherapists need access to real patients, and student teachers need time in the classroom training with real children. As all of these professions require a DBS check for people who have qualified for the role, university students are no exception. Usually, a DBS application is made when the prospective student accepts a place. But if the student is applying through clearing, is there enough time?
Don’t Delay in Application
As soon as you accept a place on a course which requires a DBS check, the University should be in touch with information about what you need to do and what paperwork you should submit. Remember that Universities will be dealing with hundreds of students in your position and will know the process for student applications inside out. If you have any questions, then they are the people to ask.
Completing Your DBS Application
There is no separate way for students to apply for a DBS check, and the application process is the same as for everyone else. Start by filling in the form – usually the university will ask you to do this online but may ask for a paper form instead. Take care when completing the form as any error made at this stage will cause delays when the DBS return your form to you. The sections which catch most people out concern all previous names and your address history. Make sure you are absolutely clear on what is being asked and if you’re not, seek clarification from either your contact at the University, or from the DBS by emailing or calling them.
Your DBS certificate will be sent to you in the post, and not to your university. Check with the university to see how they want the information sent on to them – they may want to see the original of the certificate or might just need the number from it.