How to get an Enhanced DBS Check

You can apply through our partnership with The Tutor's Association

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

How to get an Enhanced DBS check

If you are in the UK and intend to tutor students through Spires, then you must obtain an Enhanced DBS check before you can contact students.

If you are not in the UK, you will need to obtain your own local equivalent criminal record or background check.

Through our partnership with The Tutors Association (TTA), we have developed the steps detailed in this article for UK-based tutors to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check.

Please ensure you READ this article carefully. If you do not follow the instructions in the article, your application will be delayed and it will not be up to the Spires team or the TTA to correct your application, it is up to you to ensure that you have followed the instructions carefully.

How much does an Enhanced DBS check cost?

An Enhanced DBS check costs approximately £55 and it is made up of two parts:

  1. £47.50 for the Enhanced DBS certificate to be provided through checksdirect, the current provider for this service.

  2. £15 for the administration fee payable to the TTA for processing the ID checks as part of the application. This is paid to the TTA here.

Please note: tutors who are already members of the TTA will not need to pay for an administration fee. Further benefits of joining the TTA can be found here.

Step one - ID Documents

It would be best to get your documents in order before starting the DBS application online.

Ensure you are sending copies of valid documents, and any pictures should have legible text. If the documents cannot be read, or they are out of date, or they do not match your name, date of birth or address, they will be declined, which will delay your application.

You will need three documents, and one must be your valid passport. Non-UK passport holders should provide a Biometric Residency permit or government document showing proof to live/work in the UK.

The TTA have told us the best supporting documents are a Photo Driving Licence (current & valid), then a document bearing the current address which the applicant entered on the Checks Direct website. This can be a Bank, Building Society, Credit Card or Utility statement which is NOT more than 3 months old.

When 3 such documents have been identified and certified, an application will go through smoothly and relatively quickly.

If the documents do not match the applicant’s input on their application, there will be delays so it’s crucial to check that the certified ID documents are correct at the outset.

If, for any reason, one of the above documents can’t be found, the more comprehensive list of accepted ID documents is listed below:

  1. Passport (any CURRENT and VALID passport) - Non-UK passport holders to provide a Biometric Residency permit or government document showing proof of living/work in the UK

  2. Photo Driving Licence (UK or EEA)

  3. Mortgage statement issued in the last 12 months (UK or EEA)

  4. Utility bill issued within three months of application (UK – not a mobile telephone bill)

  5. Council tax statement issued in the last 12 months (UK and Channel Islands)

  6. Bank or building society statement issued within three months of application (UK and Channel Islands or EEA)

  7. Bank or building society statement issued within three months of application

  8. Credit card statement issued within three months of application (UK or EEA)

  9. Financial statement, for example pension or endowment, issued in the last 12 months (UK)

  10. P45 or P60 issued in the last 12 months (UK and Channel Islands)

  11. Birth or adoption certificate (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) May not be Certifiable by The Post Office)

  12. Marriage/civil partnership certificate (UK and Channel Islands) May not be Certifiable by The Post Office)

  13. HM Forces ID card

Please note that one of the documents must show your date of birth and one must show the current address, which you entered into the DBS system when beginning your application. Please ensure that each document is signed, certified and dated before being scanned and emailed to us.


Copies of the identity documents will need to be certified. Documents can be certified by a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary or another qualified professional.

Certified ID should be scanned and emailed to [email protected].

Step 2 - Completing the application form

To begin an application, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit

  2. Click ‘Register with us’ to set up your user information

  3. Complete the applicant registration form with forename, surname, date of birth, and email address and enter the PIN Code: 60866

  4. Press proceed

  5. Enter the passphrase: thetutors

  6. Create your password (at least eight characters including 1 Upper Case, one lower case, a number and a special character). This will allow you to log back in, if you need to find a document or amend what you have entered, before finalising your application.

Please complete as many details requested as possible, i.e. middle name/s if they have any, especially in the form that they appear on the documents. Information entered on the application must match the documents. Any discrepancies will result in the application being delayed.

Note: Applicants have 6 months to complete their DBS application once started. After this time, the company will cancel the application without a refund.

Step 3 - Send your ID Documents to the TTA

Once you have completed the application form, please email [email protected] and CC [email protected], sending copies of your certified identity documents. In the email write that you are a Spires tutor applying for an Enhanced DBS.

Please note: The images you send should be of a sensible size and the text must be easily legible.

Once the correct, certified documents are received, their details will be entered into your initial application and an email will be sent to you confirming that the application has been approved for process.

Step 4 - Getting your certificate

Once the DBS have completely approved your application, they will contact the TTA with your certificate number and issue date. The TTA will then forward this information to you in a final email.

Certificates are posted directly from the DBS body by second-class post. Please note that the tutor has only a 30-day window from the date of issue to apply for the update service. If they need to request a copy of their certificate, due to not receiving it, they must call The DBS directly on 0300 0200 190 – when prompted to select a number option, choose ‘2’ each time.

If you do not hear anything back, then contact the TTA at [email protected] and send them your long reference number. They can then try and help you from there.

Step 5 - Once you receive your DBS check

You can upload your certificate to your profile page. Ensure the entire front page is uploaded without anything missing, including the address at the top. We will then need to manually check this, and we check for new uploads each morning of the work week. For further details see the article on background checks.

Upon receiving your Enhanced DBS you can use this link to join the renewal service, which must be completed within 30 days of receiving the email confirming your DBS check has been completed. Tutors must sign up for the renewal service, as it is far more straightforward than getting a new DBS done. It costs about £19 per year, and your check remains up to date all the time.

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