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.
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Please Note: If you are an offer holder, you will be provided with details of how to meet each of the Fitness to Train requirements from March onwards (ie. If you have been made an offer for September 2024, you will receive the necessary forms in March 2024). This is because our checks must be made no more than 6 months before the start of the programme.
If you are a current student and require a DBS for your 2nd or 3rd year, you will make these arrangements via your academic department rather than via Admissions.
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
- BA Social Science, Community Development & Youth Work
- BA Social Work
- MA Applied Anthropology & Community and Youth Work
- MA Applied Anthropology & Community Development
- MA Applied Anthropology & Community Arts
- MA Art Psychotherapy
- MA Counselling
- MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy
- MA Social Work
- MSc/PGDip Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- MSc Forensic Psychology (required for placement with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust only)
- PGCE (all subjects and age ranges)
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 contact the 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.
Complete the online form which is sent by admissions. If you haven't received this form please contact the admissions team.
For more information on the application process go to the government webpage.
- Complete questionnaire
- Take to doctor
- Ensure a health check category has been selected by your doctor
- Email form
- Register with First Advantage and complete form
- Go to post office with ID documents and pay
- DBS certificate will then be posted to you
Alongside your offer letter, all applicants will be emailed a link to a form where they must make a self-declaration regarding their suitability to work with children and/or vulnerable adults. For any applicants who were made an offer prior to March 2022, the link to the form will be sent out in March, this is to ensure that all conditions are met within 6 months of the start of the programme. 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.
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.
You will 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 one of the careers that require these checks can achieve their potential through reasonable adjustments, if necessary. The College will make adjustments, including making sure that placements are accessible wherever possible.
Once you have filled out the questionnaire, you will need to take or 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 that are not likely to interfere with efficiency in teaching / social work / etc.
b) Those who are in good health but who suffer from conditions that are likely to interfere to some extent with their efficiency on their placement, though these conditions are not serious enough to make the candidate unfit for the placement.
c) Those whose condition would make them unfit for their placement
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 admissionsconfidential(@gold.ac.uk).
Please complete the Health Check form (PDF) before sending it to admissions.
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. Applicants who have not yet begun the DBS check process by the 31 August conditions deadline will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to request alternative arrangements are made as the process will change from this date.
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 £50. As of March 2023 the costs are as follows:
- Enhanced DBS check (£40 Government fee)
- First Advantage (formerly known as GBG) admin fee (£5.00 +VAT)
- Post Office ID Verification fee (£5.00 +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.
If you are an international or EU student and are living in the UK under a visa or permission that does not include a physical visa document (ie. you have a Share Code rather than a BRP or visa vignette) you will need to visit one of the Admissions campus drop-in sessions to complete your DBS application. Please start the application process as normal, but select ‘Organisation’ as the verifier rather than Post Office, then book a session to visit the team or email us at email@example.com so that we can verify your documents.
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.
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:
- 0151 676 1452
- Sensitive applications team
PO Box 165
Liverpool L69 3JD
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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 email@example.com
All information provided will be treated confidentially. For more information please visit our Declaration of Criminal Convictions page and see our written Criminal Declaration by Applicants (CDAP) Policy (PDF).
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.
Once you have completed the Suitability declaration, Health and Overseas background checks, please contact the Admissions team. We can then update your offer to unconditional to assist with your CAS and visa application, you will then need to apply for your DBS as soon as you arrive in the UK and before August 31 2022.