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DBS Policy and Procedures

If you have been invited to a DBS checking event as part of your programme, please click here for information regarding which documents you will need to provide.

If you have applied for a programme or are studying a programme which you think requires a DBS check, then please click here for more information.

Reports investigating the abuse of children (e.g. Hunt Report, Clothier Report and the Health Service Circular HSC 1998/212 Children's Safeguards Review: Choosing with Care) have recommended the need for more rigorous selection procedures for both students and staff undertaking roles involving substantial access to children and other vulnerable groups. There is also a need to ensure the selection of applicants who are capable of fulfilling the professional/statutory requirements associated with the respective programmes.

Northumbria University actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential, and welcomes applications from a wide range of applicants including those with criminal records. The University selects all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

In December 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to create the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS is an executive agency of the Home Office, which been set up to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions. By providing access to criminal record information, the DBS will help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors and educational institutions identify candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving contact with children or other vulnerable members of society.

Certain programmes within the University require their students and staff to have been screened by means of a certificate (previously known as a 'disclosure') obtained from the DBS. A Disclosure is an impartial and confidential document that details an individual's criminal record and, where appropriate, details of those who are banned from working with children. The DBS will carry out a criminal record check for an individual drawing on four primary sources of information: Police National Computer (PNC), local Police force (LPF) records, Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills.

According to the nature of the employment or the course and its placement requirements, information will be drawn from the PNC alone or from every source. This defines 'Disclosure' and constitutes a national standard throughout England and Wales.

DBS Policy and Procedures Documents

You can find the Admissions Policy here, and the Procedures document here.

If you have a student query regarding the DBS policy and procedures or your Disclosure, please contact the DBS Co-ordination Team. Email:

Staff DBS applications are administered by HR. For further information please contact: Johanna Turl, Human Resources. Telephone: 0191 227 4518. Email:

More information can be found at Home Office and Direct Gov .

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