How Long does a DBS Check Take?

Waiting for vital documentation such as a DBS Check can be frustrating, especially when the commencement of employment is imminent.

In the following blog, we’ll look at the key aspects of the DBS application process and give you some valuable advice on how to speed up the DBS tracking process. Our valuable insight will hopefully ease any concerns you may have about how long a DBS check takes to come back.

DBS Check Timings

At Online DBS Checks, we aim to process all applications for Basic and Enhanced DBS Checks within five to ten days of receiving them.

Basic DBS Check Timings

 

For Basic DBS Checks, a certificate is sent directly to the applicant upon completion of the check. Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks are completed by the Disclosure and Barring Service and the police.

Standard & Enhanced DBS Check Timings

How to Avoid Unnecessary Delays

By taking steps to ensure that your application will be processed as quickly as possible, you might save more time than you realise. Several factors can cause DBS checks to take longer than expected, as we will explore in more detail. Here are some key tips to avoid delays and speed up your DBS check:

Apply for DBS Checks Online

Check and Double-Check (and Double-Check Again)

By taking steps to ensure that your application will be processed as quickly as possible, you might save more time than you realise. Several factors can cause DBS checks to take longer than expected, as we will explore in more detail. Here are some key tips to avoid delays and speed up your DBS check:

Choose a Company That Can Countersign and Query Applications Quickly

Sign up to the DBS Update Service

This yearly subscription service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up-to-date and allows employers to check DBS certificates. A DBS check can be registered online once an application reference number has been received. The service costs £13.00 per month.

DBS Check Delays

Here are some of the most common causes for delays in the DBS process:

Stage 4

Tying in with the previous point, stage 4 of the DBS online application is when your DBS check is sent to your local police force and is compared against your criminal record. Any relevant information that requires disclosure will be included in the certificate. Some police forces are dealing with backlogs due to limited staffing, which can mean your DBS check may not be seen for several days, sometimes even a week.

Form Errors

Individuals and employers should always ensure the details on any DBS application form are accurate and up-to-date. Any errors on the form will need to be corrected, which can lead to delays in the processing time. Common examples include missing middle names, not declaring previous names or addresses, or requests for extra clarification from the applicant.

Police Forces

From the moment local police forces are sent a DBS check application, there is an expected amount of processing time that the force needs to verify the details on the application. Turnaround times can vary (you can view the average turnaround times for DBS checks at each police force here), and performance can depend on staffing within the force, system or process changes and any variations in demand for DBS checks at a particular time of the year.

Paper Application Forms

One decision that will impact how long a DBS check takes is how it is submitted. It’s increasingly common to complete a DBS check online, but some applications are still submitted by paper. DBS paper application forms will, as expected, take longer to process. Not just because of the time taken to post the DBS application, but a form with queries or discrepancies would have to be returned via post to be corrected before any countersigning can be done, which would cause further delays.

How Long Does a DBS Take?

As per our FAQs, we aim to process Basic DBS checks within 5-10 working days after they have been submitted, with the certificate being sent via post. Standard DBS checks are completed by the police and the DBS, who will issue certificates directly to the applicant, with the expected turnaround time of 48 hours once submitted. Enhanced DBS checks are also completed by the police and the DBS but because these checks are more detailed, the average turnaround time is also 5-10 working days.

Please not we cannot guarantee a definite turnaround time for any DBS checks.

If you are applying for an online DBS check, here is our very simple submission process to guide you:

  1. Select DBS check option.
  2. Make payment.
  3. Complete form.
  4. Verify ID.
  5. Receive results.

Should you need further information or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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