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Disclosure & Barring Service Teacher Training

An Enhanced DBS check is a compulsory requirement of any offer to study on courses where trainees may be placed in a position of trust working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Please send any queries or emails relating to your DBS to the following address:

When should I apply for my Enhanced DBS check?

You will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS check through the University no more than 6 months in advance of the start of the programme.

  • If you receive and accept an offer more than six months before the start of the programme in September, further instructions, including details of the Organisation PIN and Secret Word required for your DBS application, will be sent to you via email in April.
  • If you receive and accept an offer after 1st April, further instructions including details of the Organisation PIN and Secret Word required for your DBS application, will be sent to you via email shortly after you have accepted your offer.

As soon as you receive the email from the University, please follow the instructions provided below to apply for your Enhanced DBS check.

If you are an international applicant who requires a visa to enter the UK, please refer to our Guidance for International offer holders

If you have accepted an offer for a Salaried School Direct & or PGCert Early Years Practice - Employment-Based programme, your DBS check will be done by your training school or employer please refer to our Guidance for Salaried School Direct or PGCert Early Years - Employment-based offer holders.

How do I apply for my Enhanced DBS check?

The University of Reading uses an online DBS check service - First Advantage Online Disclosures.

You will need to register for the service using the PIN and Secret Word that has been provided by the university

After you have successfully registered with First Advantage you will need to complete the online application form.   Please read The Applicant User Guide carefully before completing the online form and make sure all information you enter is full and accurate.

Important you must declare all addresses you have lived at in the last five years on your DBS application. This includes UK addresses, overseas addresses, permanent addresses, and temporary addresses (including University addresses)

**Important note re: Contacting verifier instruction**

At the end of your DBS application, the First Advantage Online Disclosures system asks you to contact a verifier from the list provided  PLEASE IGNORE THIS INSTRUCTION. The verifiers listed are based in our central HR department and are not involved with DBS checks for teacher training offer holders Please address any queries and emails to ONLY.

What documents do I need to provide?

As part of the application, you will need to select and provide a minimum of three ID documents for verification.  You may need to provide additional documents if  you have changed your name:

When do I provide my ID documents?

If your interview takes place at the university you will be asked to bring your  ID documents with you to your inteview.  If you are a School Direct student you will be invited to an initial needs assessment session on campus during the spring and summer terms and you will be able to present your documents at that meeting.  Please note that you will need to bring the original plus a photocopy of each document.

If you wish to provide your documents sooner than this or if you are unable to attend any of the sessions, you are welcome to visit the university admissions office to have your documents checked.  Please contact to arrange a convenient time and for directions to the office.

What happens after I have provided my ID documents?

Once the University has verified your ID documents, you will receive an email from First Advantage Online Disclosures with instructions on how to pay for the DBS check (currently £45.20). You can make the payment with a PayPal account or you can select the option to pay with a debit or credit card.

Please be aware that the University receives a high number of DBS applications and we carry out the ID verification process for each DBS application as quickly as we can. You will receive an email from First Advantage with instructions on how to pay for the DBS check as soon as we have verified your ID documents.

What happens after I make the payment for my DBS check?

Once you have made the payment, your DBS application will be processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service.  They will send your Enhanced DBS paper certificate to the address you list as your current address on your DBS application.  Please keep your paper certificate safe as your placement schools can ask to see your paper certificate.  It is not possible to obtain a replacement certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service so if you lose the certificate you will have to apply and pay for a new DBS check.

Do I need to send a copy of my DBS certificate to the university?

You do not need to send a copy of your certificate to us as we will be able to obtain online confirmation of your clearance through First Advantage Online Disclosures.  

How long will it take the Disclosure and Barring Service to complete the check?

The amount of time that a DBS check takes can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the time of year that you apply, where you live or have previously lived, and how many different area police forces are involved in the check. You can monitor the progress of your application through the First Advantage Online Disclosures system. A number of agencies are involved in the checking process and the university cannot influence the amount of time taken to perform the check once it is in progress

My DBS certificate shows details of a previous conviction or caution What should I do?

Please contact as soon as possible for advice and we will explain what you need to do next.

Does the university accept DBS clearance through the update service?

Please refer to our guidance on acceptance of DBS clearance through the update service for further information.

What is the DBS update service and how do I register for it?

You can find further information on the update service at

Safeguarding Policy

You may also like to read the Institute of Education Safeguarding Policy. If you have any questions relating to the process please do not hesitate to contact us at

Things to do before the start of your training
  • Apply for your DBS check
  • Apply for your letter of good conduct (if relevant
  • Complete your health questionnaire and pass it to your doctor
  • Send copies of your qualification certificates to:

(PGCE/School Direct and Early Years)

OR: (BA Primary Education)