Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about the DBS process. Click on the links below to find out more.

If you have any questions that have not been covered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the DBS team at 

I have not yet done my online DBS application: what do I need to do?

a)  If your ID-check was done by the University of Cumbria:-

You must complete the online application without further delay. You need your log-in email for this: this will have been emailed to you from an address ending ‘…’ (the email may have gone into your spam/junk folder). If you are not sure what your login details are, please contact the DBS Team.

Anyone who has not completed this stage of the process by 4 weeks after registration may have to leave the course.

b)  If your ID-check is being done by the Post Office or by a professional local to you:-

You must complete the online application first and then take your ID documents to be verified as soon as possible.

If you do not have your log-in email to complete the online application, this will have been emailed to you from an address ending ‘…’ (the email may have gone into your spam/junk folder). If you are not sure what your login details are, please contact the DBS Team.

Anyone who has not completed this stage of the process and been to have their ID checked by 4 weeks after registration may have to leave the course.

What happens after this?

We send your application electronically to the DBS in Liverpool for processing: this can take anything from a few days to several months.

The process is not complete until you have been issued a DBS certificate. This will be posted by the DBS to the address you used as your current address in the DBS application – it does not come from the University. Please look out for this in the post.

I am still waiting for my DBS certificate: is my place on course at risk?

Your place on course is only at risk if you have not completed, submitted and paid for (if applicable to you) your DBS application. If this is with the DBS and is being processed (i.e. you have done everything you need to do), there is no threat to your place on course.

Students on Health/Social Work courses will not be allowed to go on placement if your DBS certificate has not been issued: you should speak to your tutor in this instance.

For students on teacher training courses, it is at the discretion of the school Head Teacher whether or not you can start placement before your DBS result is issued. In some cases therefore this may delay your placement start.

I am still waiting for my DBS certificate: can I check its progress?

You can log back in to view the progress of your application on our DBS application site using the username given in your original log-in email and the password you created on first activating your account.

You can also track your application online using the DBS’s Tracking Service. We can’t do anything to ‘speed up’ DBS applications until your application has been with the DBS for approximately 9 weeks. At this point you can ‘escalate’ it online yourself on the Tracking Service website. You will see a button ‘Click here to submit Escalation request’ if your application reaches this point. If you do this please let us know by email so that we make a record and follow-up accordingly.

Do I need to show the University my copy of the DBS certificate?

No. We receive electronic notification of your DBS result, unless you have a criminal record, in which case you need to provide us with sight of your original DBS certificate.

In addition, if you have declared offences to us, or if your DBS Disclosure shows offences or information from the police, there is a clearance process that has to be followed that is not instantaneous, so it may take a week or so for your situation to be finalised. Please be patient.

I have recently moved/about to move house: what will happen to my certificate?

The DBS should be able to change your address in their records if your application is still in progress, but you will need to contact them to request this. Please ring their call centre on 0300 0200 190. They will ask some security questions to confirm your identity, including your full name; date of birth; and the address that you gave as part of the application. Please take care when stating this to the DBS: we have had a case of the DBS cancelling an application because the applicant did not state their address in the exact format in which it was submitted within the application (e.g. omitting an optional line of the address). If you are in any doubt how your address may have appeared in the application, please contact the DBS Team before you ring the DBS and we can check this for you. 

You may be required to provide evidence of the change of address, possibly via the University of Cumbria, but the DBS will advise you if this is the case. 

As some DBS applications are completed within a few days and it may not be possible to have your address changed by the DBS quickly enough to ‘intercept’ the posting-out of your certificate, we would still strongly advise you to set-up a mail redirection service by Royal Mail for a period of time: you can do this online here.

Please note that, if you do not take action to change your address with the DBS in a timely manner, or do not put in place redirection of your mail, neither the DBS nor the University can be responsible for any later difficulties you may encounter if you do not have your DBS certificate due to moving house.

My certificate has not arrived in the post: what can I do?

If your DBS certificate has genuinely been lost in the post the DBS may issue you a 'reprint', within a certain timescale (3 months from the date of issue of the certificate). However, this will only be sent to the address you have put as current on your DBS application form, so it may not help you if you have moved house. 

If you have moved house since submitting the DBS application, you must set-up a mail redirection via Royal Mail before requesting a DBS certificate reprint. Please bear in mind that mail redirection does not take effect instantly: you must allow at least 5 working days’ notice for this, so you need this to be in place before you request your certificate reprint. 

The DBS will not issue a reprint for lost or accidentally-destroyed certificates. 

You can find more information about reprints in the DBS’s reprint guide. If you want to request a reprint, please complete the DBS’s reprint form available via this link, and email it to their Reprints Team as instructed in their reprint guide. You will need to contact the University’s DBS Team first to request certain pieces of information which the form requires. 

Once we are more than 3 months (93 days) from the date the DBS certificate was issued, you can not get a reprint under any circumstances.

Can I get a copy of my DBS certificate from you or from the DBS if I lose it?

No - this is a common misunderstanding. The DBS will not issue copies, and nor can the University.

Your DBS certificate is an important document, and you must look after it as you would your passport or driving licence. You would have to pay for a replacement of either of these documents if you lost them, and the same principle applies to your DBS certificate:

  • To get another DBS certificate, you would have to apply again from the very beginning of the process, and pay the DBS fee again (whatever that is at the time). This could take some considerable time so will not help you at short notice.

  • The University can if necessary confirm your DBS details to a placement by email. For teacher training students and those on professional Health courses, this process should be automatic as part of the communications sent by our Placements Team to your placement setting. For other students, if a placement has requested confirmation of your DBS check details, please email the DBS Team from your student account giving your student number; the name of the placement setting; and the contact details (name & work email address) of the relevant person at the placement.

Do I need to bring my DBS certificate to university?

Yes. Your DBS certificate relates to your university course and you therefore need it with you at university. Placements may ask to see it (although strictly speaking this should not happen) or ask for its reference number and you need it with you, but please do look after it carefully and keep it in a safe place.

Do not let a placement retain your DBS certificate: this is your property and they do not have a right to keep it. 

How long does my DBS certificate remain valid for?

DBS certificates do not have any formal period of validity and do not expire. As a student, yours will cover you for the duration of your course unless you intercalate for more than 6 months or have to do a deferred or resit placement after a greater than 6-month break in study. In these events, you would have to apply for a new DBS certificate (via Programme Administration - PAd) before you return, and pay the fee again.

Students in the above groups on professional Health courses would have to pay the DBS fee on applying for their new certificate, because the University incentive only applies to new starters.

If you are involved in any incidents of a criminal nature or that call into question your Fitness to Practise/teach whilst on course, the University reserves the right to ask you to apply and pay for a new DBS certificate.



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