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This page has been created as repository for information to help train staff responsible for various aspects of St George’s DBS processes.

Useful websites

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Disclosure and Barring Service

Disclosure and Barring Service website

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was established in 2012 and carries out the functions previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

GBG Online Disclosures

GBG Online Disclosures website

GBG is an umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The criminal record checking process helps employers make safer recruitment decisions, enabling them to undertake appropriate checks on students who may come into contact with children and vulnerable groups. Eligibility for disclosures is underpinned by law. The level of the check required is dependent on the exposure and risk associated with the relationship between the individual and the children and/or vulnerable groups.

GBG provides expert advice and guidance on the regulated activity guidance and eligibility criteria to ensure all checks are legal and proportionate.

GBG have developed Online Disclosures, an online criminal record check application utilising the DBS’s e-Bulk interface, which allows electronic submission of criminal record check applications without the need to fill in a paper application form. It’s a faster, cost effective and more efficient process than paper-based applications. Our online application has been developed to take all the stress and hassle out of the process, enabling you to focus on your core activities.

A screenshot of the DBS website.

There are three types of disclosure: basic, standard and enhanced.

Enhanced checksare for roles that involve regular care, supervision or training for children and vulnerable adults. The enhanced check involves an additional level of check above the Standard check – a check on local police records. Where local police records contain additional information that may be relevant to the post the applicant is being considered for, the Chief Officer of police may release information for inclusion in an enhanced check. ALL St George’s checks are enhanced for students who study on clinical programmes.

All persons applying to study on medical and healthcare programmes are required to undertake an enhanced-level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and must pass this check prior to enrolment.

St George’s uses GBG Online Disclosures to undertake an online criminal record check. All St George’s ID checks are done via an external document certification service at the Post Office. Once the DBS check has been completed, students will receive an original DBS certificate. Students must retain the original DBS certificate. It is the only copy and replacement certificates cannot be issued.

Contact GBG Online Disclosures support team via email or phone 0845 251 5000 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm).

Post Office document certification service

Document certification service (Post Office)

All St George’s ID checks are done via an external validation service (ie the Post Office). Performing checks in-house carries a high level of responsibility and risk for individuals which is why our processes do not allow member of St George’s staff to perform checks. 

A Post Office ID check costs £10.50 which must be paid in cash at the Post Office.

The Online Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) ‘Update Service’

DBS Update Service: employer guide

All new students must register for the Update Servicewithin 30 days of the DBS certificate being issued and must ensure that they pay the annual subscription fee.

Student registration costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only). Students can register for the Update Service using their e-reference number or DBS certificate number. They must do this within 30 days of the certificate being issued and must make sure they pay the annual subscription fee. If students do not renew their subscription before it ends, they will need to apply for a new DBS check and register for the Update Service again. If a student joins with their e-reference number, the application must be received by the DBS within 28 days (not 30) of the subscription being created, or the subscription will fail.

The Update Service allows:

  • applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date

  • employers to check a DBS certificate.

 Staff can check a student’s criminal record status on the Update Service if:

  1. the employer has the individual’s consent

  2. the employer could legally request a new DBS check for the role that the individual is applying for

  3. it is for the same workforce, where the same type and level of criminal record check is required.

Students who are required to attend clinical placements as part of their course can use their original DBS certificate (from when they joined St George’s) alongside the Update Service to take their certificate with them from role to role (if within the same workforce, ie on a St George’s clinical placement).

There are legal requirements for staff checking the Update Service. The employer guide also contains information about how to interpret check results.

Before carrying out a status check, you must be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions. If you answer ‘no’ then you cannot carry out a status check:

  • Have you seen the applicant’s original certificate?

  • Have you checked the applicant’s ID to confirm their identity?

  • Do you have the applicant’s consent?

  • Are you legally entitled to the same level of DBS certificate – enhanced?

  • Does the DBS certificate only contain the exact workforce that you are entitled to know about, for the role you are recruiting for?

Internal processes

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Managing the DBS Enquiries email account

DBS Enquiries is a shared email account that students can email if they have DBS-related queries. Line managers are responsible for ensuring new staff are inducted in DBS processes and using the shared account.

For compliance purposes, every member of staff is responsible for ensuring that they keep up-to-date with changes to DBS legislation and regulation.

Responsibility for monitoring and responding to emails is split between the Admissions Team (six members), Student Conduct and Compliance Team (three members), MBBS Final Year Elective Administrator, Visa Compliance Officer and the Student Centre Manager.

The Students Records Team can access the account but they do not monitor it (the role of Student Records is to help SC&C amend a student record status where the student has made a SITS re-enrolment DBS disclosure in error).

 Managing the DBS Enquiries inbox

Emails to be responded to within 48hrs – KPI.

All responses to be sent from DBS Enquiries account for tracking purposes.

Questions about/requests for GBG pins, passcodes and the Update Service – for applicants and students in Year 1.

Admissions Team

Visa Compliance Officer for all International Students

Questions about/requests for GBG pins, passcodes from students in Year 2 onwards (all courses – but does not include international students, who are managed by the Visa Compliance Officer) who have failed to pay the yearly subscription for the Update Service and now need to apply for a new DBS Check.

Assistant Registrar (Student Services) or Student Centre Advisor

Questions about/requests for GBG pins, passcodes from students in Year 2 onwards who have a change in criminal record status.

SC&C Team

Responding to emails where students disclose a change in criminal record status or ongoing police investigation (mid-year).

SC&C Team

Responding to emails generated by SITS where students disclose a change in criminal record status during online-re-enrolment.

SC&C Team

Questions about how students can access the Update Service for clinical placements.

Assistant Registrar (Student Services) or nominee

Questions about how students can access the Update Service for Final Year MBBS Electives.

MBBS Final Year Administrator

Requests for a letter of good standing for MBBS Final Year Electives (where permitted by external organisation).

MBBS Final Year Administrator

Please note: St George’s is phasing out ‘letters of good standing’ following the introduction of the Update Service. No letters of good standing should be issued after the end of 2019. 

Queries about DBS checks / Update Service for volunteering or for any job.

To be re-directed to the SU, Head of WP or to the future employer.

St George’s has no responsibility. 

Processing international student DBS checks via GBG following receipt of in-country police check (Fresher’s Week Induction until return of DBS certificate)

Visa Compliance Officer

Convening DBS panels for applicants and continuing students with criminal records and communicating DBS panel outcomes to students / course teams /admissions

SC&C Team

 To manage the account we expect that users will:
  • check the inbox on a daily basis

  • respond to emails they are responsible for (see above for breakdown of responsibility)

  • send all email responses from DBS enquiries account, not your personal account so all users can track sent items

  • mark any emails not responded to as ‘unread’ in the inbox so other users will know they still need opening and responding to

  • once an email had been responded to, leave it as ‘read’ in the inbox (so we can track number of queries)

  • never delete anything from the shared account.


Advice on responding to emails and email templates (Word)

When using email templates, please ensure you provide the correct pin and passcode (these are course specific).
Checking the progress or outcome of a student DBS check

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the institutional owner (Level 1) of St George’s GBG Online Disclosure account (Word).

Staff who require access to GBG Online Disclosures in order to process student DBS checks will be allocated access by the Assistant Registrar (Admissions).
What information does St George’s give to students and applicants about DBS processes?
Allocation of other staff responsibilities

Setting new staff up on GBG Disclosures and allocating permission levels (Level 2, 3 or 4)

Assistant Registrar (Admissions)

Sarah De Gatacre

Gaining access to DBS Enquiries inbox

Assistant Registrar (Admissions) or

Head of SC&C

Training staff in DBS process, legal requirements / keeping up to date with DBS changes

Academic Registrar and Line Managers


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