How Long Does a DBS Check Take?
A DBS Check is an independent check which requires time to complete. It’s virtually unheard of to receive a fully-verified DBS application within a few hours. Depending on the level of the check (whether a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS check), as well as the role that’s being applied for, checks can take several working days to complete. This is particularly true if an Enhanced DBS application is facing delays due to a local police force dealing with a backlog.
Why is my DBS Taking so Long?
Due to the COVID-19 situation, employers are having to regularly adapt to vet prospective employees, so it’s fair to say that DBS checks might not be as quick as they would normally be.
At the moment, here at Online DBS Checks, we cannot offer guarantees, but we aim to process all DBS checks within 5 to 10 working days, although this could take longer due to the ongoing COVID restrictions.
Added to this, the results for all of our online DBS checks can also depend on how common your name is, whether you have changed names, as well as if you have prior convictions or more than one address.
Can You Make DBS Applications Come Back Faster?
For certain industries, there are Fast Track DBS check options. These options help employers administer and oversee successful DBS applications, which are rarely (if ever) delayed. Applicants who go through a Fast Track process can have their DBS application completed and verified very quickly.
Examples of these are NHS workers and/or volunteers and key workers who have been specifically appointed to deliver pandemic-related treatment, care or services. As of March 2020, the fees for Standard and Enhanced DBS checks (for healthcare and social care workers in eligible roles) were waived by the Home Office and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
While any delays to DBS applications are often out of applicants’ hands, sometimes there are things people do (without realising it) which cause delays. From the start of the application process, people should take care when applying, as you may be unknowingly preparing yourself for a long wait. Here are some tips to help you ensure your application is processed as fast as possible.
1. Use an online system
Instead of posting your forms, applying for your DBS check online can significantly speed up the process, avoiding delays (and potential losses) in the postal system. Also, when a postal form arrives at the DBS, it has to be scanned so it can be read digitally, for the process to begin. All of this adds time to your application.
2. Prepare information ahead of completing the form
It will save you time completing the form if you have all your documents and details to hand before you start the process. These are:
- Your National Insurance number
- Your address history for the last five years (including dates moved in and out of each address)
- Details of previous names and the dates they were changed
3. Use a system that checks the form as you complete it
If you send your application form to the DBS with mistakes or missing information, the DBS would have to raise a query, which will delay your application. A system that checks your information as you fill it in will not let you submit the form until all the information is correct and complete.
4. Use a company that submits applications quickly for you and offers DBS check tracking
Online DBS Checks can fast-track you through to completion. You can also track your application to find out which stage of the process your form is at.
5. Sign up to the DBS Update Service
The DBS Update Service is for Standard and Enhanced checks only and allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date. You pay £13 a year (free if it’s for a voluntary post) and register through the gov.uk website. If you already have a certificate, you need to register for the Update Service within 30 days of it being issued, and if you are in the process of getting a check, the DBS must receive your application form within 28 days.
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