Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure

A DBS disclosure is a record of an individual's convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings and may also include information held by the UK police that relates to an individual's suitability for a position working with children and/or vulnerable adults. 

Some courses at the University of East London require the satisfactory completion of a DBS check for those participating in specific activity with children and/or vulnerable adults. This is a professional body/regulatory requirement.

If the course you are applying to requires a DBS check, this will be detailed on the course webpage. To find out if your course requires a DBS check, please use our course search. Your offer letter will also detail any DBS requirement when you are offered a place.

If you are a current student considering taking a module that requires a DBS check, your School will inform you. 

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess suitability for positions of trust, the University of East London complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for courses fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Who requires a DBS check?

You may be asked to apply for a DBS check as part of the admissions process when you apply to study at the University or you may be asked during your course where your research, placement, or other learning activity involves certain positions with children and/or vulnerable adults.

If you have been asked to apply for a DBS check prior to enrolment, it is usually because your course of study involves registration with a professional body that requires a DBS check. 

If you are asked to apply for a DBS check during the course, it is because you are going to be working in an environment where there are children and/or vulnerable adults on your research, placement, or other learning modules for which a DBS check is required.

DBS Checks for International Students


If you have not been resident in the UK within the last five years for a continuous period of six months or more, you must provide a criminal records check issued by the country/countries in which you have lived (with a certified translation into English, if applicable). Guidance can be found here.

Once received a copy of this document must be sent by email to the Applicant Checks team prior to the start of your course. 

Upon arrival in the UK, you will need to complete a DBS application. This should be done once you have been issued a relevant UK identity document. You will be contacted by the Applicant Checks team to start your DBS application.

DBS application process

The University of East London uses an online DBS provider - First Advantage Online Disclosures. If a DBS check is required prior to your enrolment on your chosen course of study, you will be contacted with details of the process once you accept your offer to study with us.

If you are a current student and you require a DBS check, please request the DBS clearance form from the Hub. You will only need to complete a DBS check if specifically asked to do so by your module leader. 

Once you have confirmed that you need to apply, you will need to complete an online application via our online DBS provider - First Advantage Online Disclosures. You will also receive an email explaining what you need to do. Please read all instructions very carefully before completing the application and use the online help if required.

Occupational Health / Fitness to Teach

It is a legal requirement for teacher training courses that applicants are assessed as fit to teach. Teaching is a demanding activity and there are fitness requirements set by the Department for Education for applicants to teacher training.

Maitland Medical undertakes the screening process for physical and mental fitness to teach. An online questionnaire must be completed and a fee of £65.00 must be paid upon submission. You will need to contact Maitland Medical at mail@maitlandmedical.co.uk or phone +44 (0) 20 8295 8250 if you need a paper questionnaire or guidance on the process. Full submission and payment details are included on the questionnaire.

Maitland Medical will notify UEL when an assessment has been made so that we can update our records. These records will be checked prior to your placements to ensure that you are fully cleared to attend.

Trainee teachers with special needs and/or disabilities are very successful on our courses particularly when they disclose their needs before registration. If you do have a particular need or disability, we strongly encourage you to disclose this as soon as possible so that we can assess the level of support you may need and to which you are entitled.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an enhanced disclosure cost?

The cost of an enhanced DBS check is £56 which includes the cost of issuing the form and postal ID verification service (if applicable for your course).

Do I have to pay for the disclosure?

Yes. However, there are a few exceptions depending on your course. You will be advised whether payment is required when you start your application.

How can I pay the fee?

The fee is payable to the Post Office upon the validation of identity documents.

Where do I present my ID documents for verification?

You can visit any Post Office that offers a 'CRB and ID Verification Service'. You will need to ensure that you have the three selected forms of ID and the ID verification form that you will have printed from the First Advantage Online Disclosure account.

Can I present photocopies of my ID for verification?

No, the ID you present must be a valid, current, and original document. Photocopies and documentation printed from the internet, such as bank statements will not be accepted.

How long does a DBS check take?

As a guide, it takes between two to four weeks from completion of the application process, including ID verification at a Post Office, to receive a certificate. It can take longer if the details given for the check are incorrect or several police forces need to be involved in the check.

I have been notified of my DBS certificate issuance. When will I receive my DBS certificate?

If you do not receive your DBS certificate within 14 days from dispatch by the DBS, you will need to contact DBS in case it has been lost. You may request a DBS certificate reprint within a 93-day window of its issuance if not received. The University does not receive a copy of your certificate.

Who do I need to show my DBS certificate to?

We are notified by First Advantage Online Disclosures when you have been issued with a certificate, so you will not need to show it to University staff unless specifically requested to do so.

What if I have a criminal conviction?

A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being accepted on your chosen course. However, your application and details of your conviction will be reviewed by the University and your suitability for the specific course will be fairly assessed.

What happens if I lose my certificate?

The sole copy of the DBS certificate is posted to the applicant only. If you lose your certificate after receiving it, you will have to pay for a replacement certificate, and it is your responsibility to apply for the replacement.

What is DBS Update Service?

The DBS Update Service allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date, for as long as you subscribe or until new information is added to your certificate. You will need to apply for the service within 30 days of receiving your certificate.

I already have a DBS certificate; can I use it?

We may be able to consider existing DBS certificates where it is registered with the DBS Update Service, Enhanced and for the correct workforce (Child, Adult, or both) for your course. The Applicant Checks team can advise if it is acceptable

Can I claim a refund of the DBS application fee?

No. It is not possible to refund the fee once the form has been paid to the Post Office. Applicants must therefore be confident that they are able to meet any conditions for entry on a course, prior to paying the DBS checks fee.