Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

What is a DBS check?

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 which processes the requests for criminal records checks.

All volunteers working with children and young people must obtain this check. On completion of your training we will set you up as an online DBS applicant so that you can fill out your application. You will then need to pop into our office to show us three original forms of valid ID so that we can validate it and submit your application.

Valid forms of ID

You must produce 3 original and valid forms of ID so that we can validate your identity before your application can be submitted. Please note photocopies and documents downloaded from the internet cannot be accepted.

Although there are many acceptable forms of ID most students 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) but please not 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 here on their ID card will need to bring their passport as a form of ID to avoid problems.

For a full list of valid forms of ID 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 take several weeks to issue a certificate. Your certificate will be posted to the address you provided as your 'current address'. Please note once your application has been submitted we have no control over the process.

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. 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

As many overseas students will have only recently arrived

 in the country, it can prove 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 or collect a stamped printout in person from the bank.

Certificate of Good Conduct for Overseas Students

Volunteering provides an excellent way for overseas students to get the most out of their time in the UK. As you may want to experience life in the UK through a variety of volunteering opportunities we recommend that before you travel here you obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in your home country.

To find out how to get one in your country please see the following guidelines

Getting a Certificate of Good Conduct for Overseas Students

Things to do now

  • Contact us

Students in Schools

Admissions Office

Miller Building


University of Reading


  • Tel

0118 378 6144

  • email

Students in Schools co-ordinator

Judy MacDevitt
Students in Schools

  • Office Hours

Mon - Thurs
9.30 - 4.00pm





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