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DBS FAQs

DBS Questions

What is a DBS check?

I already have a DBS check. Do I need to complete a new DBS check?

How long does a DBS check take?

What ID do I need to show?

Can you accept photocopies?

I don’t have enough ID, what should I do?

What do you do with photocopies of my ID?

Do I need to write my term time addresses on the application?

I already have a Disclosure from my department or previous employer. Do I need to get another one for Warwick Volunteers?

Who will receive my Disclosure certificate?

Can I challenge the information on my Disclosure if it is incorrect?

How long will my Disclosure be valid?

What will show up on my DBS check?

If I have a criminal record, will I be able to volunteer with Warwick Volunteers?

What if I don't want to get a DBS check? Can I still volunteer?

I’ve lost/damaged my certificate

I haven’t received my certificate yet.

What if I have lived abroad?

Update Service questions

What is the Update Service?

How do I sign up to the Update Service?

Can I use the Update Service instead of completing a new DBS check?

Question still not answered?

What is a DBS check?

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a record of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings and can also include intelligence held by the UK police that relates to that individual and their suitability for a position working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

I already have a DBS check. Do I need to complete a new DBS check?

If you answer YES, to any of the following questions you will need to complete a new DBS check through Warwick Volunteers:

  • Will your check be over 2 years old when your placement finishes and you have not signed up/renewed your Update Service subscription?
  • Was your DBS check issued by an external organisation i.e. not a department at the University of Warwick?
  • Have you lost your Disclosure certificate?
  • Is your current check for a different workforce to your new volunteer role? E.g. you previously volunteered with children and a child workforce check was carried out and your new role is working with vulnerable adults.

If you have joined the Update Service you will need to give Warwick Volunteers permission to perform a status check. Complete our consent form

If your check was not issued through Warwick Volunteers, you will need to bring your certificate and University card to our office for us to check.

How long does a DBS check take?

Once we have received your ID we will process your application. If there are no errors on your application or problems with the ID you have supplied your application will be sent to the the DBS through the Online Disclosure application system.

80% of Online Disclosures’ applications are complete within 5 days and 97% complete within 10 days. Once the check is complete a certificate will be posted to you, which may take a few days.

What ID do I need to show?

Download our DBS document checklist

Can you accept photocopies or online statement?

We cannot accept photocopies or documents printed from your computer, we have to check original documents. If you receive online bank statements, you can ask your bank to stamp and sign a printed statement.

I don’t have enough ID, what should I do?

Get in touch with us and we will help you find a solution.

What do you do with photocopies of my ID?

Photocopies will be used by Warwick Volunteers staff to verify your application. Photocopies will be stored securely in our office until your DBS check is complete, at which time they will be confidentially destroyed.

Do I need to write my term time addresses on the application?

Yes, you will need to write all the addresses you have lived at in the last 5 years on your application form, including your term time addresses. For campus addresses you need to include your residence, block number, flat number and room number.

Example to avoid address errors

DBS advice on writing student addresses

You can find a UK postcode or address be using the Royal Mail's postcode finder: http://www.royalmail.com/find-a-postcode

I already have a Disclosure from my department or previous employer. Do I need to get another one for Warwick Volunteers?

If you have a Disclosure obtained through another University department, which is less than 2 years old, then we may be able to accept it. You should bring your original copy into the WV Office to check, together with your University ID card. If you have a Disclosure obtained through another organisation, you will need to re-apply through Warwick Volunteers.

Who will receive my Disclosure?

You will receive your Disclosure certificate in the post. You should keep your Disclosure in a safe place. Warwick Volunteers receives confirmation if the check it clear or contains information.

Can I challenge the information on my Disclosure if it is incorrect?

Yes. If you think that any information on your Disclosure is incorrect, please contact the Disclosure dispute line on 03000 200 190 immediately. You should also contact the WV Office to inform them which aspect of your Disclosure you are disputing.

How long will my Disclosure be valid?

In general, we will ask you to obtain a new Disclosure every two years, although some projects may have different requirements. If you have joined the Update Service you can give us permission to check your status and will not need to complete a new check if the information is still valid and you are working with the same workforce (children or vulnerable adults).

If I have a criminal record, will I be able to volunteer with Warwick Volunteers?

A decision will be made based on the individual circumstances of the case and the nature of the project. For more information about how this decision will be reached, see our Screening Policy. If a decision is made that a volunteer cannot participate in a particular project, we will endeavour to find another appropriate project for the volunteer.

What if I don't want to get a DBS check? Can I still volunteer?

Yes you can still volunteer, but it will limit the projects you can participate in. In particular, you will not be able to join any projects working with children or vulnerable adults. There will still be some projects you can join (e.g. environmental projects, painting & decorating, and some one-off projects). You should consult with the staff in the WV office for advice.

What will show up on my DBS check?

Any unspent convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands along with any spent convictions and cautions that are not eligible for filtering.

Visit the DBS website to see a list of offences that will never be filtered from a criminal record check.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-list-of-offences-that-will-never-be-filtered-from-a-criminal-record-check

I’ve lost/damaged my certificate

The DBS can’t provide replacements for lost or destroyed certificates.

I haven’t received my certificate yet.

Use the DBS tracking service to see what stage your application is at. If your application has been in Stage 4 for more than 60 days, please get in touch with us and we will call the DBS on 0300 0200 190 and submit an escalation request.

If your certificate has been issued and you haven’t received your certificate within 14 days, you can E-mail the reprint team DBSReprints@dbs.gsi.gov.uk with the following information:

Your forename
Your surname
Your address
Your post code
Your date of birth
Your place of birth

The date the certificate was issued

They can only reissue a certificate to the current address you provided on your application. If your address is incorrect then you will need to submit a new application form.

What if I have lived abroad?

Volunteers who have not been permanently resident in the UK for the last 5 years for a continuous period of 6 months or more you must supply a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ issued by the country or countries in which they have lived during that time in addition to applying for a DBS Enhanced Disclosure. A ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ (CoGC) is a general term given to the check of police records in a volunteer’s home country, or the country in which they have resided. Each country has a different process for checking police records, and give a different name to the checking process.

Update Service

What is the Update Service?

The DBS Update Service is a government service which, allows an individual’s DBS Certificate to be kept up to date for as long as they are subscribed or until new information is added to the Certificate; enabling it to be taken from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same level of check is required.

How do I sign up to the Update Service?

The DBS Update Service is free for volunteers.

An individual can join the DBS Update Service once you have been issued an e-reference number or within 30 days of the DBS Certificate being issued.

Find out more and sign up to the DBS Update Service

Can I use the Update Service instead of completing a new DBS check?

If you have subscribed to the DBS Update Service and you and would like to use the service to replace the need to complete additional DBS applications in the future* you will need to inform Warwick Volunteers by completing a DBS Status Check Authorisation Form

*Providing the new role is for the same workforce and requires the same level of check. You will need to renew your subscription to the Update Service yearly, for your certificate to remain current. If you have lost your Disclosure certificate you will need to complete a new check.

If your check was processed by another University department you will need to bring your Disclosure certificate and University ID in to the Warwick Volunteers office for us to check and complete the authorisation form above.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept DBS checks completed through other organisations, even if you have joined the Update Service.

Question still not answered?

If your question has not been answered, please email volunteers@warwick.ac.uk or call us on 024 7657 2763