Disclosure Checks and Students

There are over 2.4 million students in the UK, enrolled in both full and part time courses at universities and colleges. For many, their academic year has been cut short. Exams have been cancelled, and many students have returned to their family home. Parents and students alike have months before the next academic year starts in September or October. So how to fill the time? Many students will be looking for work to keep them busy, build a CV and earn some cash to make the next year at Uni a bit easier. Despite many sectors of business shutting down because of coronavirus, there are still jobs out there. What sort of options are out there, and what disclosure checks would students need to get working?

Disclosure Checks for Health Students

Students on courses such as nursing, midwifery, medicine and similar healthcare subjects are in high demand at present. Many final year medical students, midwives and nurses have graduated early and have gone straight to work in the NHS. However, if you’re a student who has only completed one or two years of your training and are at a loose end, you can still make a contribution. Students starting on healthcare related degrees have to submit an enhanced disclosure check with their application for a place. Students can’t start their education or practice on the wards without that certificate in place. Having an enhanced disclosure already makes these students valuable to the NHS. Even if you’re not fully qualified as a physiotherapist, radiographer or midwife, you might still be able to get work quickly as a healthcare assistant, porter or in NHS admin.

Supermarket and Retail Work

The other area of the economy which is desperate for workers at present is in retail. Supermarkets are struggling to keep up with high levels of demand. All of the main chains want to recruit staff for a range of tasks including shelf stacking, serving customers and driving delivery vans. If you’re able bodied and don’t mind hard work, this could be the perfect way to spend your summer. Many supermarket vacancies are overnight, and restricted to students over the age of 18 only. Right to work checks still apply, as supermarkets can’t employ illegal workers. But disclosure checks don’t apply to most roles in a supermarket.

Many supermarkets are so short of staff that they will fast-track your induction process and you can start work almost immediately. Although perhaps not directly related to many degrees, working for a few months in a supermarket allows you to add team work and customer service experience onto your CV too.

Agriculture and DBS Checks

The combination of coronavirus and Brexit means that British farmers have found it very difficult to get people to pick fruit and vegetables. If you’re a student living in a rural area, this could be the ideal way to spend your summer. Working in agricultural roles won’t require a DBS check either. Farmers are particularly looking for students who can work well as part of a team. It’s hard, physical work, and not particularly well-paid. However, if you like the idea of being out in the open air and meeting people from all over Europe, then why not see what’s available locally?

Applying for Disclosure Checks as a Student

Students follow the same process as everyone else to get their disclosure certificates. Employers should be able to give guidance on whether a DBS check is needed, and how to complete the form. There are however a couple of issues which particularly affect students making applications. The main issue is around address history. Students often move address regularly. Living at home during vacations and moving between halls of residence and private accommodation isn’t unusual. All DBS checks require a full 5 year address history and students are often confused about what constitutes a permanent address. If you’re unsure, get advice from your employer or try to contact the Disclosure and Barring Service helpline for advice.

In most cases, employers will pay the cost of a DBS check for their workers. Others will ask you to pay for the check yourself, and then refund the cost in your first pay packet, During the coronavirus outbreak, the DBS has waived fees for people working in the NHS. Check whether this applies to you before making any payment.