The Best Student Life. Bristol SU


Disclosure and barring service logo

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is neccessary for any student who will be volunteering with children or vulnerable adults. Our checks are valid the entire time you are a studying at the Univeristy of Bristol and will cover all Bristol SU Volunteering projects and most opportunities advertised through us. 

Come to the Bristol SU Offices to have your DBS application checked and completed at the following times:

Wednesdays 3-5pm and Thursdays 10-12pm

You will also need to complete our online safeguarding training module in order to volunteer with children and vulnerable adults, this is free and can be found here.

Step-by-step guide to completing your DBS Check

The DBS check is an important criminal records check you will need to complete in order to volunteer with some of our projects. The following guidelines will help you through the process.

1)   Checking you need a DBS Check

  • Not all Bristol SU projects require volunteers to have a DBS check, please verify this with your project via email before completing the form.
  • You also need to have lived in the UK for at least 5 years. If you haven’t, then we will need to see a police records check from the country you have been living in before you are able to complete a DBS check..

2)  Lived outside the UK in the last 5 years?

  • If you have lived outside the uk in the last 5 years, you will need to also show us a certificate of good conduct / criminal records check from your  country of residence before you proceed with your DBS check. - It is always advisable to obtain this before you arrive in the UK.
  • In most cases a family member can obtain this from your local police station with your permission. If this is not possible click here for more detailed information on how to obtain a check.

3)  Get your form processed by Bristol SU Staff

  • Your form must be checked in person by a member of Bristol SU staff. It cannot be processed by anyone else.
  • You must bring three forms of identification with you (see below)
  • Drop into the Bristol SU office during opening hours (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) to get your form processed 

4)   Track your Form

  • Make sure you have made a note of your Form Reference Number
  • Use this to track your progress on - ‘Track Your DBS Application Process’
  • Registering online will mean being able to use your DBS again! And it’s free for volunteers. Go on the DBS website to find out more! 

5) Completed Checks

  • Your completed check will be returned to the address you stated was your current home address. Bristol SU will not recieve a copy of the certificate. 
  • Please either bring your certificate into the office for us to see or email as a photo/scan of the certificate to This is so we can vouch for you when asked by projects and organisations if you have a clear check. 

Bringing your Identification: The Do's and Dont's

You need to bring 3 forms of identity with you, 1 document from Group 1 and 2 further documents from Group 1 , 2a or 2b; one of which must verify your current address. 

Group 1                                                                                     

  • Any current and valid Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Current driving licence photocard - full or provisional (UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and EEA)
  • Birth Certificate (UK, Isle of Man & Channel Islands)
  • Adoption certificate (UK and Channel Islands)

Group 2a

  • Current Non-UK Photo Driving Licence
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Fire Arms Licence (UK and Channel Islands)
  • ​HM Forces ID (UK)

Group 2b

  • Bank/Building Society Statement (UK or EEA)* 
  • Bank/Building Society Account Opening Confirmation Letter (UK)
  • Credit Card Statement (UK or EEA)*
  • Financial Statement ** - e.g. pension, endowment, ISA (UK)
  • P45/P60 Statement **(UK & Channel Islands)
  • Council Tax Statement (UK & Channel Islands)
  • Work Permit/Visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit)
  • Utility Bill (UK)* – Not Mobile Telephone
  • Benefit Statement* - e.g. Child Allowance, Pension
  • A document from Central/ Local Government/ Government Agency/ Local Authority giving entitlement (UK & Channel Islands)*- e.g. from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service , Customs & Revenue, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus
  • EU National ID Card
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Letter from Head Teacher or College Principal (16/17 year olds in full time education – (only used in exceptional circumstances when all other documents have been exhausted)

 *Less than 3 months old   **Less than 12 months old

If you have any further queries or questions, please visit an applicants guide to completing a DBS Form here. Or alternatively, you can ring the DBS Customer Service Call Centre on 0870 90 90 811.

Tracking your DBS

You are now able to track your DBS check online; this will enable you to reuse your DBS. Better still, the online service is free for volunteers. Click here to find out more.