Welcome to our new guide on completing Disclosure application forms! This document is intended to be as comprehensive and detailed as possible, and should supplement the simpler Completion Guide sent out with all deliveries of application forms. If you have any questions which aren't answered by this guide, please get in touch and ask us so we can add it to the site.

This section of the guide is intended to help the individual applicants themselves. A guide for those who are responsible for checking ID and completing sections w and x can be found here.

Too much information? If your problems are straightforward and you don't need much help, try our more concise guide, which is available here.

General Rules

Write in black ink only. At the DBS, the forms will be read by a computer that can only accurately read black ink.
Write in capital letters. We have had numerous errors caused by an applicant writing letters in lower case which were then incorrectly read at the DBS.
Leave a blank box between words. For example, enter "123 MAIN STREET" not "123MAINSTREET".
Do not use correction fluid. If you make a mistake, put a line through the error and write the correct information in the remaining boxes, if there is space. If there isn't space, you can write it as neatly as possible beside or underneath the boxes, or complete a continuation sheet with the correct information. If you make a mistake when crossing a box, then put a cross in the correct box and circle it to indicate that it is the correct one.
If a field does not apply to you, leave it blank. For example, if you are completing Section A and do not have any previous names, you should not write N/A or draw a line through the spaces provided for additional names. Simply leave them blank.

Update Service

If you intend to apply for the Update Service, you will need to know your Form Refernce Number. This number can be found in the top right-hand corner of the front page of the application form, and consists of the letter F followed by ten numbers (e.g. F0012345678). You will need this number to subscribe online at the DBS website.

Section A - Applicant's Details

a1: Title. Please check one box to indicate your title. If you are known by a title other than Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms, enter your title in the space marked "other". Examples of alternative titles include Rev. or Dr. Please note: if you cross the Mrs. box, but you didn't change your name upon marriage or civil partnership, please include a note with your form explaining this. The DBS have been known to query forms on this basis.
a2: Surname. Please enter your current surname.
a3: Forename(s). Please enter your current forenames. You must enter all your forenames, including all your middle names even if you don't normally use them.
a4-a13: Have you ever been known by any other names? If you have never changed your name, cross the "no" box, and carry on to question a14. If you have ever changed your name (for example, due to marriage, civil partnership, divorce, or deed poll) you must cross the "yes" box, and then enter all your previous names in the spaces provided. Just as in questions a2 and a3, you must enter your previous surname and all your forenames in full. You must also enter the dates between which you were known by these names. Please note that the dates should be entered in MM/YYYY format, i.e., a name change that took place in December 2001 would be entered as 122001.These dates must be complete with no gaps, and should stretch from your date of birth to the date you assumed your current name.
     Please note that if you were adopted before the age of 10 and changed your name upon adoption, you do not need to provide your name at birth. This is because the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old, so it is impossible that you would have a criminal record in your birth name. If you were adopted and changed your name after the age of 10, however, you must give your birth name.
     If you are transgendered and do not want your employer to know, you do not need to enter any details of names relating to the gender you were assigned at birth. However, if you leave out any names, you must contact the DBS Sensitive Team to let them know, at sensitive@dbs.gsi.gov.uk
     Some applicants may be simultaneously known by two names - for example, you may have a professional name. If this is the case, you must provide both names. Whichever name you enter in questions a2 and a3 will be the name your Disclosure will be issued in, and it is helpful if this is the name that appears on your important ID such as your passport or driving licence. When giving your alternative current name, enter the date you first assumed it (which may be birth) and the current date.
     You do not need to provide details of informal nicknames. For example, if you are called Thomas Smith but you are generally known as Tom, you do not need to provide "Tom Smith" as a seperate name.

a14: Date of Birth Please enter the date of your birth. Note that this should be in the format DDMMYYYY, so someone who was born on the 19th of January in the year 1972 would enter 19011972.
a15: Gender Please place an X against your gender. Transgender applicants who need advice on completing the form or who are concerned that their completed form or DBS check will reveal details of the gender they were assigned at birth should contact the DBS on 0151 676 1452, or email
a16/17: Place of birth (town)/Place of birth (country) Please enter the town and country in which you were born. If you have a passport or birth certificate, please enter the town as it appears on these documents. Please also note that the form asks for the country, not the county - this is a particularly common error.

a18/a19: Email Address/Contact Telephone Number If you wish to give your contact details, please enter them here. They are not required, but in the event that there is an error on the form, giving your details will allow Life Opportunities or the DBSto get in touch with you to correct it. We do not keep details of applicants' contact details: they are destroyed by shredding along with the rest of the information given on the form after the Disclosure is recieved. If you choose to give an email address, please remember to enter it in capital letters.

a20/21: Do you have a National Insurance Number? If you do not have a National Insurance Number, mark the "no" box and continue to question a22. If you do have a National Insurance Number, you must mark the "yes" box, and you must enter the number in question a21. If you do not give the number, we will be unable to process the form. 
National Insurance Numbers consist of two letters, followed by six numbers, followed by another letter (e.g. AA123456A) The number should fit exactly into the boxes provided.
a22/23: Do you hold a valid UK driving licence? If you do not have a valid UK driving licence, mark the "no" box and continue to question a24. If you do have a valid UK driving licence, you must mark the "yes" box, and you must enter the number in question a23. If you do not give the number, we will be unable to process the form.
Only UK driving licences are accepted - if you only have a driving licence from another country, you should mark the "no" box. Driving licences from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Jersey are accepted. Driving licences from most of these places incorporate the owner's name, gender and date of birth into the format of the licence, as explained
on the directgov website. As part of our form checking system, we check all these details against those embedded in the driving licence number, so if there is any discrepancy between the driving licence and your actual details (e.g. you did not give your middle name when applying for the licence), please include a note to let us know. Note that the final two digits, which appear slightly separated from the main number, are the licence issue number and are not necessary to include on the form.
a24-27: Do you hold a valid passport? If you do not have a valid passport, mark the "no" box and continue to section b. If you do have a valid passport, you must mark the "yes" box, and you must enter the number in question a25 and the nationality and country of issue in questions a26 and a27. If you do not give the number, we will be unable to process the form.
Passports from any country are acceptable for this section. Please check the date of expiry on your passport carefully to ensure it is still valid.
For UK passports, the passport number is comprised of nine numbers; other countries have their own formats.  For question a26, you should enter your nationality as it appears on the passport. For UK passports, this is usually "British Citizen".

a28-28 - Do Not Use. (The question that was previously here was removed after the government changed their plans regarding the vetting and barring service.)

a30-31 If you have a Scottish vetting & barring number, mark the "yes" box and enter it here; otherwise, mark the "no" box.

Section b - Current Address

b32: Address You should enter the details of your current address. This will be the address to which your copy of the Disclosure is sent, and where the DBS will write to you if necessary. Therefore if you are have more than one current address, you should enter the one where you would prefer your Disclosure and any letters to be sent. When entering your other current address in section c and completing the "dates from and to" field, the "date to" should be the month and year in which you are completing the form.
b33: Town/City Enter the town or city where you live.
b34: County Enter the county in which you live. Note that it is not mandatory to provide the county.
b35: UK Postcode If you are currently resident in the UK, you must provide your postcode. If you do not currently live in the UK, you may leave this blank.
b36: Country Enter the country in which you live.
Please make sure not to inadvertently miss this section, as this is a very common error, and the DBS will reject forms where the country has been omitted even if the country is obvious from the rest of the address.
b37: At Address Since
Enter the date when you first moved into this address. Note that the format is MMYYYY, so if you moved in in October 2008, you would enter 102008.

Section c - Other Addresses

c38-49 You must enter all the details of every address you have lived at in the past 5 years. Any application which doesn't cover a full 5 years will be rejected by the DBS, even if it is only short by as little as one month. There must be no gaps whatsoever between dates: again, a gap of even one month will be rejected by the DBS. 
Postcodes must be provided for all UK addresses. If you have forgotten the postcode of a previous address, the Royal Mail website offers a very useful
postcode finder service which should assist you. You can also use it to find other address details which you may have forgotten. 

Complicated Address Histories

Many applicants do not have a simple address history and find it difficult to know what information to supply. If you are uncertain of how to complete this section of the form, please see if your problem is addressed in the following list:

Students: Many students have a permanent home address, usually with their parents, but live in student accomodation in term time. This means that students are likely to have two current addresses. If this is the case, then you should decide where you would prefer your Disclosure and any letters to be sent, and enter that address in section b. When entering your other current address in section c and completing the "dates from and to" field, the "date to" should be the month and year in which you are completing the form.
When you write down your permanent address, please give the date you originally moved into that address, not the date you most recently returned there. Remember that if you moved to your permenant address less than five years ago, you must also give details of all other permenant addresses within the past five years.
Next, give the details of all the student addresses you have lived at in the last five years. The DBS will assume that you returned to your permanent address during any gaps between student addresses. We would appreciate it if you provided a note on a seperate piece of paper explaining which addresses are permanent addresses and which are student addresses, just in case there is any confusion.

Working Away From Home:
You do not need to give details of short stays away from home for work. However, if you have spent months at a time at a single alternate address, or you have two addresses and commute between them, you must give details of both addresses. Put the address you wish the Disclosure to be sent to in section b, and the other address in section c, along with the month and year you first stayed there and the month and year you last stayed there (which may be the current month and year).

Travel: You do not need to give details of short holidays. However, if you have spent months at a time travelling and did not have a fixed home address in that time, you need to provide details of this. If you were travelling abroad, write TRAVELLING in the address field, enter the name of the country where you travelled in the "country" field, and provide the dates between which you were travelling. All other fields should be left blank. If you were travelling within the UK, you should do as above, but also provide the name of the county where you were travelling. If you travelled to multiple countries or multiple counties, you will have to list these as seperate addresses.

Cruise ships/Canal boats/Merchant Vessels etc: Again, normal holidays or journeys by boat do not need to be mentioned. If you have lived, worked or travelled on a ship or boat for months at a time, however, then you would need to list this. You do not need to provide details of all the places you visited: simply give the details of the registered port address or permanent mooring address of the vessel, and the dates during which you lived on board.

No Fixed Abode: If at some point in the past five years you did not have a home, please enter NO FIXED ABODE in the address field. You should include the town or city, county and the country where you were living, and the dates during which you had no fixed abode. If you lived in more than one town or city, you must provide each one as a seperate address in the same format. (Please note that if you currently have no fixed abode, you will need to provide a "care of" address in section b to which the CRB can send your Disclosure, and explain this on a seperate sheet of paper.)

HM Armed Forces: If you currently are or previously were a member of the Armed Forces, you may use your British Forces Post Office number as an address. Enter the number in the address field and leave all other fields blank, except for the dates, which must be completed as normal.

Living Overseas: If you are currently living abroad, you must provide your full address in section b, so that the CRB can write to you there. If you have previously lived overseas, however, you don't need to supply the full address. Write OVERSEAS in the address field, and then enter the country and dates only.

Women's Refuge/Sheltered Accomodation: If you have ever lived at a protected address of this nature, then when you provide it as part of your address history, do not make reference to the nature of the address. For example, instead of writing "Women's Refuge Centre, 123 Apple Street, London" you should just enter the address as "123 Apple Street, London".

Prison: If you have spent time in prison in the last five years, then you need to include this in your five year address history. You should give the dates during which you were there, as well as the name of the prison and the name of the town or city and the country where the prison is located.

Section d - Do Not Complete

Please leave this entire section completely blank.
(The questions that were previously here were removed after the government changed their plans regarding the vetting and barring service.)

Section e - Declaration

e55 - Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or recieved a caution, reprimand or warning? Answer the question, yes or no, by placing a cross in one of the two boxes. Please note that from the 29th May 2013 onwards, this question applies only to unspent convictions and cautions, reprimands or warnings. If you are not sure whether your offence is spent or unspent, please see our page on the filtering rules.
If you have had an offence repealed and recieved confirmation from the police that it has been removed from the Police National Computer, then you should cross the "no" box (unless of course you have other convictions which were not repealed). Repealed convictions will not appear on your Disclosure.
e56 - Declaration by the applicant Read the declaration on the form and sign in the large purple-bordered box. Signing the form confirms that the information you have given is complete and accurate. Please be aware that giving incorrect information may be a criminal offence. All forms must be signed, and unsigned forms will be rejected by the DBS and returned to you for signature.
e57 - Date of signature Please enter the date on which you completed the form.

What Next?

All our client companies have their own ways of dealing with the process of collecting DBS forms, so you should follow whatever instructions they have given you. Generally, you should return the form to the company you are applying to work for, usually to the person who asked you to complete it. When you do, you will need to show them some items of ID so that your identity can be confirmed. They should instruct you on what ID to bring, but if you aren't certain or have forgotten, the list of accepted ID is here.

You may want to keep a note of the Form Reference Number, which you can find in the top right-hand corner of the cover page of the form. This number is unique to your application, and will consist of the letter F followed by ten numbers. Once your form has been submitted to the DBS, you can use this number to track the progress of your application online on the DBS website. Please be aware that your form may take some time to reach the DBS, as the company you have applied to work for may wait before sending the form in to us, and there may be queries with the form which we need to resolve. The DBS also occasionally neglect to update the tracking system. If you are worried because the form has not appeared on the DBS website, we suggest you contact the company you have applied to work with first to ensure the form has been sent out.

Make a Free Website with Yola.