What Causes DBS Check Delays and How Can You Avoid Them?

Since the creation of the Disclosure and Barring Service in 2012, an incredible number of applications have been submitted. This amount of DBS checks has made the process very smooth, with the vast majority of applicants experiencing no delays. Some DBS certificates are sent out as soon as 24-48 hours after the application has been processed.

However, as with any other public service, sometimes delays can occur. When this happens, it can be disconcerting for the parties involved. However, these delays don’t necessarily mean that there’s an issue with the individual's application. If you're wondering why your DBS check is taking longer than expected, continue reading this blog post from Online DBS Checks.

How Do DBS Checking Services Work?

As you’d probably expect, the first step of the DBS process is to complete a DBS online application. During this phase, you will need to provide all relevant information as specified in your application so that the appropriate parties can complete your disclosure review. Once the DBS application has been submitted, a reference number will be generated.

At this point, your application will go through several stages, the amount of which depends on the level of DBS check that you’ve chosen; the three options available are BasicStandard and Enhanced DBS checks.

Once these stages have been completed, a DBS certificate will be issued to the address provided by the applicant.

5 DBS Check Delays That Can Occur

The likelihood of experiencing a DBS check delay partly depends on the type of check you choose. Delays to Basic and Standard DBS checks are less common than those to Enhanced checks, primarily due to the holdups caused by local police forces (if you find a DBS check is stuck at Stage 4, refer to our specific guide).

However, DBS delays can be the result of numerous other factors, of which we’ve outlined five of the most common.

If you’re interested in learning about common reasons for delays before applying for a DBS check online, Online DBS Checks have outlined some of them below.

 1. Incorrect Applicant Details

Whilst you may think that the easiest part of this process for the applicant to control is entering their details at the beginning of an application, errors at this point are one of the leading reasons for delayed DBS checks.

Mistakes that cause delays include misspelt names, failure to disclose a recent name change and inaccurate address details. The only way you can avoid delays caused by this is to double-check that you have all required forms of ID on your person before starting your application. Furthermore, get someone else to double-check the spelling is all correct.

2. Undisclosed Convictions

One of the most critical parts of any successful DBS check is disclosing all relevant convictions. If you fail to disclose any relevant convictions, existing employees and customers of the business could be put at risk, and the check will likely be delayed or rejected.

3. Further Checks

Many applicants don’t know that a certain percentage of DBS checks undergo random inspections and reviews. This step is undertaken to ensure that the whole application and disclosure process is working correctly. It’s rare but your DBS check could face the same fate if internal delays slow down these reviews.

4. Disclosure and Barring Service Delays

Similarly to the previous point, it’s important to remember that the Disclosure and Barring Service is a non-departmental public body. As with other public services, occasional delays can occur seemingly spur of the moment. During peak periods, the DBS may not be able to efficiently process all of the applications that come their way, leading to the development of a backlog.

5. Certificate Distribution

Once all review processes have been completed, the DBS always aims to print and distribute certificates within 24 hours of application approval. However, it’s important to note that DBS certificates can take up to 14 days to arrive and are subject to postal delays. If you haven’t received your certificate within two weeks, you can request a reprint.

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