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Suitability to train to teach

All PGCE applicants are required to undertake a 'suitability to train to teach' assessment before they are permitted to register onto their PGCE programme. This assessment includes the following checks:

All PGCE applicants are required to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check prior to starting the course.  Details on how to complete the relevant forms will be sent to applicants by the Admissions DBS team, at the point an applicant completes their self-declaration form.  We ask you to respond to requests from this team regarding the DBS process promptly as it is important that we have a satisfactory enhanced disclosure for you before you go into a school setting.

Applicants who have lived outside the United Kingdom (UK) for a period of more than 12 months within the last 10 years while aged 18 or over will also be required to provide a police check from that country to cover the period of residence.

Applicants who have never lived in the UK will be required to provide an international police check, in addition, they will be required to apply for an Enhanced DBS check upon arrival at the University.

Further details can be found on our fitness to practise webpages   

All correspondence in relation to Police Checks and DBS need to be directed to our Admissions DBS Team at

All PGCE applicants are required to complete an online self-declaration form. Details on how to complete this form will be sent to offer holders by the Admissions DBS team at the point they firmly accept their offer.  Included in this form will be questions descigned to check your eligibility for the PGCE course.  You will be asked to declare any criminal convictions or cautions, any disciplinary sanctions from a professional or regulatory body or employer and any bars, partial bars or warnings in relation to working with children or vulnerable adults.  It will also ask you to declare it you have previously been registered on a programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status which you did not complete.

Primary PGCE (including School Direct) applicants only:  As part of the self-declaration form, Primary PGCE applicants have to confirm that they have read the information provided regarding the Disqualification under the Childcare Act and do not fall under the criteria for disqualification. See Childcare Disqualification Regulations‌ for more information‌.

Note: if you answer yes to any of the questions included in the self-declaration form, this does not automatically mean you become ineligible to start the course but you may be asked to provide further information.  In rare cases, we may not be able to proceed with our offer, in which case the reasons for this would be communicated to you.

All correspondence in relation to the self-declaration need to be directed to our Admissions DBS Team at

All PGCE applicants are required to undergo a fitness to teach assessment with the University’s Occupational Health assessment provider. Details on how to complete an online Occupational Health Assessment form will be sent to applicants upon firmly accepting their offer.  Applicants will be required to access the Exeter Occupational Health Service portal and complete a medical questionnaire.  Depending on your answers, the Occupational Health team may need to contact you for a telephone appointment or may require you to attend an appointment with an Occupational Health Practitioner.  Please respond to any requests for information promptly.

The contents of the assessment form and all medical information obtained is stored securely and will remain confidential to the Exeter Occupational Health Service and will not be disclosed without your consent. 

In addition, all PGCE applicants will also be asked by the Occupational Health Service team to complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment questionnaire in order to determine their Covid-19 risk category.  Where an applicant is at high or very high risk from Covid-19 we will discuss this with you before the course starts so that the appropriate risk assessments can be carried out and suitable adjustments, where needed, can be made.

When completing the online assessment forms, if you have any queries or issues please contact the Occupational Health team directly on +44 1392 405800 or via email at