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A DBS check is a record of an individual's criminal record, which is then issued in the form of a certificate.  This check is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), an organisation who process the requests for criminal records checks. 

All volunteers working with children and young people must obtain this check. When you have completed the online DBS application form and provided 3 original forms of valid ID your application will be submitted.

Valid forms of ID

You must provide 3 original and valid forms of ID to prove your identity before your application can be submitted.  Please note photocopies and documents downloaded from the internet cannot be accepted.

Most students provide find the following forms of ID the easiest to obtain:-

Birth Certificate (UK)
Driving licence (UK or EU, full or provisional)
Tier 4 Visa
Council Tax exemption letter
Bank Account Opening letter
Bank Statement
Utility Bill (eg gas, electric, water) (mobile phone bills are not accepted)

Please note that one document must show your current address and be dated within 3 months of your application.

European students travelling her on their ID card will need to bring their passport as well

For a full list please refer to
DBS - Documents Applicants must provide



How long do DBS checks take

There are no set guidelines for the time it will take to process your application, but it can typically take several weeks to issue a certificate.  Your certificate will be posted to the address you provided as your 'current address'.  Please note that we have no control over this process

Can I track my application

Once your application has been submitted you can track the progress of your application online.

What do I do when I receive my certificate?

As soon as you receive your certificate you must show it to your school so they can take down the details for their records. You should also email the certificate number and date of issue to Please keep your certificate in a safe place, if you lose it you will not be able to get another without going through the whole process all over again!

Can I use my DBS check for other volunteering?

Your DBS check should be valid for most volunteering roles during your time at the University of Reading. If you are likely to do any volunteering outside the university you may benefit from joining the DBS Update Service. This is free of charge for volunteers and will allow you to take your DBS check to other roles that require the same level and type of check. You can register for this service as soon as your application has been submitted but you must register within 19 days of the certificate being issued. To sign up go to https://www/ As a volunteer there is no charge for the update service.

Please note a volunteer DBS certificate will not be acceptable in any non-volunteer positions.

Overseas Students

Having only recently arrived in the country, overseas students can find it difficult to provide the required forms of ID, particularly one proving their current address.  The recommended option for these students is to provide a copy of a bank document (statement or opening account letter), this cannot be an online printout so please request that your bank send you such a document through the post.

Certificate of Good Conduct for Overseas Students

Volunteering provides an excellent way or overseas students to get the most out of their time in the UK and we recommend that before you leave to come here you obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in your home country.

To find out how to get one in your country you can look at the following guidelines

Getting a Certificate of Good Conduct for Overseas Students




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