Fitness to train requirements

For programmes which involve working with potentially vulnerable adults or children, you will need to fulfil our fitness to train requirements, in addition to academic requirements.

Primary page content

In regards to the Enhanced DBS check through First Advantage (formerly known as GBG), please note that the vast majority of Post Offices are open. Many are located in convenience stores, newsagents or stand-alone branches that are allowed to be open by the government. Therefore, if it is safe for you to do so, you can complete the Enhanced DBS identity check.

We are temporarily accepting health checks without a practice stamp when emailed from your medical practice and you can email your health check to your doctor/medical practice for assessment.

You can find out more about Application Arrangements for 2021 to keep up to date with our plans for this year.

You must fulfil each part of the fitness to train requirements in order to be fully enrolled on your programme. You will not be able to receive funding or start your studies, without satisfying these requirements.

Programmes with fitness to train requirements

What are the fitness to train requirements?

The fitness to train requirements consist of a Suitability Declaration, an Overseas Disclosure/certificate of good conduct (if you have lived outside the UK for more than six months)Health check and Enhanced DBS. The very first thing you need to do is complete the Suitability Declaration form as it will provide you with the instructions needed to complete the fitness to train requirements. If you do not have this form please email our admissions team. 

Please note: The costs associated with meeting the fitness to train requirements will be borne by the applicant. You can only start these checks in March after you have received further instructions.

Suitability declaration

Complete online form which is sent by admissions. If you haven't received this form please email admissions.

Overseas disclosure

For more information on the application process go to the government webpage.

Health check

  1. Complete questionnaire
  2. Take to doctor
  3. Ensure a health check category has been selected by your doctor
  4. Email form

Enhanced DBS

  1. Register with CBG and complete form
  2. Go to post office with ID documents and pay
  3. DBS certificate will then be posted to you

Suitability declaration form

All applicants will be emailed a form from admissions where they must make a self-declaration regarding their suitability to work with children and/or vulnerable adults. Applicants will be required to include all countries lived in since birth. This declaration will also be an opportunity to declare any convictions, cautions or other relevant information which may be relevant. Where a conviction or caution is declared, the Goldsmiths Criminal Declaration by Applicant Policy will become applicable.

Any applicant (except a PGCE applicant) who has lived outside of the UK for more than six months in the last 5 years will need to provide a police check from the country/countries previously resided in. See the 'Overseas Disclosure (Certificate of Good Conduct)' section below for further guidance.

Please note that PGCE programmes require a police check from all the countries you have lived in for six months or more, within the last 7 years.

Overseas Disclosure (Certificate of Good Conduct)

PGCE applicants

If you have previously lived outside the UK for more than six months in the last 7 years (after the age of 18), you will be required to provide a police check (also known as a ‘certificate of good conduct’) from the country or countries that you have lived in outside the United Kingdom. 

All other Fitness to Train applicants

If you have previously lived outside the UK for more than six months in the last 5 years (after the age of 18), you will be required to provide a police check (also known as a ‘certificate of good conduct’) from the country or countries that you have lived in outside the United Kingdom during that period.

For further guidance for your country please refer to the government page on the subject.

To be accepted, the Overseas Disclosure/Police check must be written in English, and issued within the last 12 months. Please bear in mind that you may be charged for the Overseas Police Check, and this will be at your own expense.

Health Check

You need to complete a health check to ensure that:

  • Your health will not be compromised by your profession (e.g. any existing health problems will not become worse)
  • The health and safety of other staff will not be adversely affected by your being unfit to work

Everyone – including people with disabilities – who wants to work in teaching or social work can achieve their potential through reasonable adjustments, if necessary. The College will make adjustments, including making sure that placements are accessible.

Once you have filled out the questionnaire, you will need to take/email it to your doctor. On the basis of your questionnaire, the doctor will classify you in one of three categories:

A. Those who are in good health, or have conditions which are not likely to interfere with efficiency in teaching/social work/etc. profession.
B. Those who are in good health but who suffer from conditions which are likely to interfere to some extent with their efficiency in teaching either all subjects, or certain specified subjects. These conditions are not serious enough to make the candidate unfit for the teaching/social work/etc. profession.
C. Those whose condition would make them unfit for the teaching/social work/etc. profession.

Once the doctor has indicated a category, signed, and stamped the form, you will then need to email a copy to the admissions team at

Download our Health check form (PDF)

Enhanced DBS clearance

As part of the fitness to train process, you will need to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Government's Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This certificate provides details of any criminal offences, cautions, warnings or other issues that might be on your record.

You will receive an email explaining how to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check with our partner Online Disclosures (First Advantage formerly known GBG) once you have completed the Suitability Declaration form – the process is detailed on the Online Disclosures website.

As part of the application, you will need to verify your identity by showing original documents at a Post Office that offers ID checking facilities. You can find a list of these by using the Post Office branch finder. Simply select ‘CRB and ID Verification Service’, and enter your town/postcode. DBS applications cost approximately £52:

  • Enhanced DBS check @ £40 Government fee
  • First Advantage (formerly known as GBG) admin fee @ £5.00 plus vat
  • Post Office ID Verification fee @ £5.00 plus vat

The cost of the DBS and associated costs will be borne by the applicant.

Please note that if you are currently living outside of the UK, you can start the Enhanced DBS Check, but you will only be able to complete the verification stage when you arrive in the UK, and have a UK address.

The process of disclosure and fitness to train is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. As such, no convictions, cautions or other relevant information is ever considered spent.

Some old or minor convictions and cautions may be exempt from disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended). This means that under the filtering rules, applicants don’t need to declare certain old and minor convictions or cautions when completing a DBS application form, as they will not appear on the DBS disclosure certificate, and the college cannot take these into account in their decisions. This process is referred to as the "filtering" of convictions and more information can be found via DBS filtering guidance.

The College has a responsibility not to admit students who would be debarred from undertaking work-based placements. Please note that fulfilling your fitness to train will not in itself guarantee that a potential employer will take the same view of a conviction.

Sensitive DBS applications process

If you require a DBS check, then you have the option of using the Sensitive Applications Process.

The law does require that you disclose all of your previous names and addresses to the DBS so that they can correctly process your application. However, the Sensitive Applications Process means you can disclose your previous gender/name to the DBS only and not reveal this on the application form (or to Goldsmiths or your placement provider).

If you wish to apply via this process, you should contact the DBS’s Sensitive Application’s Team before submitting your application to First Advantage. They can be contacted at:

Contacting the DBS’s Sensitive Application’s Team will ensure that your previous gender/name is not released on your certificate without your permission. A member of the team will be able to answer all of your questions about completing the application form and will record your details so that they can track your application when it arrives. Once it arrives at the DBS, the team will monitor your application and check the content of your certificate before it is issued.

Declaring criminal offences

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to access applicants' suitability for positions of trust, Goldsmiths complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. Goldsmiths is committed to the fair treatment of its students, potential students or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for defendants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Where a disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants to declare their criminal offence(s) early in the application process. Once declared we will ask that applicants complete a Criminal Declaration by Applicants form and return either a character reference and/or a probation report. To declare a criminal record please email - enclosing your full name, student reference number, date of birth and programme(s) applied for.

If we determine that you do not fulfil the fitness to train conditions, then any offer of a place or provisional enrolment will be withdrawn by the College. If you wish to appeal a withdrawal, please contact the Admissions office at

All information provided will be treated confidentially. For more information please see our written policy on the Criminal Declaration By Applicants Process (CDAP).

Information for applicants outside the UK

If you hold an offer for a programme with Fitness to Train requirements and you currently reside outside the UK you can fully complete the Suitability declaration, Health, and Overseas background checks before you arrive in the UK.

However, you can only register with Online Disclosures (First Advantage formerly known as GBG) for the UK Enhanced DBS and you cannot complete the verification stage until you have a UK address.