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Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Checks

In accordance with statutory requirements, certain checks, such as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, are conducted for positions such as a trainee teacher that involve working with vulnerable groups, specifically children and vulnerable adults. The information obtained from these checks is used to help ITT providers safeguard these groups. It will not be used to discriminate unfairly against those trainees with convictions which are considered unrelated to working with vulnerable groups – so having a criminal record will not automatically bar you from training or employment in a school.

If you have any previous convictions that you think may appear on a DBS certificate, we would advise that you speak to your ITT provider confidentially about this before you start your ITT. We always find it’s better to be open and honest and tell ‘your story’ about an offence and / or conviction, rather than an ITT provider finding out later when they see your DBS certificate. The list of offences which will never be filtered from a DBS certificate is available here: If you have any concerns about previous offences / convictions appearing on your DBS certificate, please let your pre-ITT GDA know. For confidential advice, if you have been convicted and / or cautioned in the past, we recommend you contact the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO):

As your ITT course gives you privileged access to children, you are required to disclose all spent convictions and cautions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975 unless it is a “protected” conviction/caution under the amendments made to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975 (in 2013) and, therefore, not subject to disclosure.  This means that you must disclose spent and unspent convictions/cautions on your DBS application, other than those which are “protected”.  This may include any driving offences.  Guidance on the filtering of “protected” convictions/cautions can be accessed on the DBS website here:

Failure to disclose any disclosable criminal convictions could lead to your offer of your place on your ITT course being withdrawn if it is subsequently discovered that you have had any criminal convictions. Note that it is a criminal offence to apply for a position training / working with children if you are excluded from doing so.  

You’ll be asked to show proof of your identification (ID) and address to your ITT provider. The list of documents you must provide is here: Your ITT provider will provide you with an application form to complete. We recommend that you get this process started ASAP because without a DBS certificate you usually won’t be allowed to start your placement in your school in September. Contact your ITT provider for advice and speak to your Pre-ITT Guidance & Development Adviser (GDA) if you have any issues.

If the coronavirus pandemic restrictions are still in place, you will not be able to meet your ITT provider face to face to provide your documentation. The DBS have therefore put in place temporary guidelines about how ID checking will take place:

Your ITT provider may recommend that you register on the DBS annual update service so that your certificate can be kept up to date after it is issued. You’ll need to do this no less than 30 days from the date of issue shown on your certificate. We therefore recommend you register asap after receiving your certificate through the post:

Am I eligible?

Interested in making a career change? Transition to Teach is a free service funded by the Department for Education. We can support career changers who meet our eligibility criteria.