dbs checks for universities

University placements enable students in higher education to benefit from finding out more about being in the workplace through practical experience. They also offer employers the chance to gain assistance with their tasks and workload. 

However, if you’re planning on offering university placements to students at your place of work, you’ll need to know whether a DBS check is required, and if so, which type is necessary.

Read on to find out about the different levels of DBS checks and how to apply for the correct one.

Which Levels of DBS Checks Exist?

There are three levels of DBS check: basic, standard and enhanced. Which level applies to a university placement depends on the type of organisation the individual student would be working for and the type of work that’s expected to be undertaken.

Any individual over the age of 16 can apply for a basic DBS check, which will provide information on any unspent convictions an applicant may have.  

The standard and enhanced DBS options are only able to be requested by a company, university or organisation on behalf of the applicant. Whether or not one can be arranged will depend upon whether the position the applicant is interested in meets the criteria for a standard or enhanced level DBS check to be carried out.

Which DBS Check Do I Require?

The level of DBS check an applicant needs will depend upon the type of position they wish to undertake. 

An administrative role or a job which centres around technology is most likely to require a basic check. However, if a role involves working with children and/or vulnerable adults, there’s a strong chance that the enhanced level of DBS check may be required. This would usually apply to those who are completing a placement within a school as part of a teacher training qualification.

What is the Process for Applying for DBS Checks?

As the type of check required varies according to the job position, so does the process for obtaining a basic, standard or enhanced DBS check.

Basic checks can be requested by the applicant directly through the DBS for those who live and/or work in England and Wales, or via Disclosure Scotland for those living and/or working in Scotland.

If you’re able to confirm that your placement warrants a standard or enhanced DBS check, then a company or organisation will need to apply for the relevant higher level check on your behalf.

Your university will usually request the DBS rather than the company or organisation where you’re completing the university placement. This is because the placement is considered to be part of your university degree programme or higher education course.

It’s therefore strongly advisable to contact your university directly to find out which check is most relevant to your placement and what information you need to provide as part of the application process.

Next Steps

  1. Confirm whether a basic, standard or enhanced level DBS check is most appropriate for your particular role. If you’re unsure, then contact the DBS for more information.
  • (i) If you require a basic DBS check, please apply directly as an individual or
  • (ii) Contact your university, who can usually apply for either a basic or higher level DBS check on your behalf, depending on which level is needed.

If you’re looking to support a university student in obtaining a DBS check, please contact us today, so we can arrange the appropriate DBS check. Our specialist team will be more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding the process.