DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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What Can Cause A DBS To Be Delayed?

When it comes to applying for a DBS, regardless of the level of check being applied for, any delays in the process can result in a postponement of a new role, leading to frustration. Therefore, it is important to limit the likelihood of a DBS being delayed. So, what are the most common reasons for a delay in DBS clearance and how can you avoid them?


How long does a DBS check take in 2020?

In 2020, on average, 90% of Basic Disclosures and Standard DBS Checks are cleared within one day with Enhanced DBS Checks taking anywhere between 24 hours and 5 days, depending on the individual. However, if delayed at any of the stages of the process, this can increase substantially. 


The 5 Stages of an Enhanced DBS Check

Once an employer has saved all of the applicant’s information and approved an application, it will be immediately transferred to the team at Care Check who will  review the application and check for any amendments. We will then countersign the application.

The application will then be queued for transfer to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on the next available transfer slot, which takes place daily at 10am, 12pm and 6pm. For Basic DBS Checks, there are only two daily transfer times of 10am and 4pm. Once received, the application will go through the following stages:

  • Stage 1: The application form is received and validated by the DBS.
  • Stage 2: The application is sent to the Police National Computer (PNC) which consists of several databases which gives access to information of national and local significance from law enforcement agencies from across the UK.
  • Stage 3: If applying for an Enhanced DBS Check, when required, the applicant will be checked for their eligibility to work with vulnerable groups in regulated activity. Examples of roles where this would be applicable include: care assistants, nurses and teachers to name a few.It will check against the Adults’ barred list, the Children’s barred list or both. If an individual is checked against the children’s barred lists, then there will be a search to see if there is a match on the List 99 register. The List 99 register is a list of men and women who are barred from working by the Department of Education and Skills (DfES)
  • Stage 4: The application is now in process with the Police. Exact timescales cannot be given due to every application being dissimilar.
  • Stage 5: The certificate is in the final stage of printing and will be routinely distributed to applicants the following day. It is important to note that a certificate can take up to 14 days to reach an applicant address. 

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Most Common Reasons For a DBS to be Delayed

As mentioned above, the level of check being applied for will affect the amount of time taken for clearance due to the depth of criminal record history and check points required. While a Basic Disclosure needs to go through just 3 stages of check, an Enhanced DBS Check requires 5 stages of check (when applicable) depending on if the role requires regular activity with children or vulnerable adults. 


ID Verification : Previous Names and Addresses

Ensuring you have all of the required forms of ID before starting your application is essential, as applying for these at the time of application can result in weeks of delays. Also, a common reason for delays in the DBS process is applicant previous names or previous addresses not being disclosed, not matching previous DBS certificates or not matching ID. This also includes misspells and date of birth errors. 

While easily done, it is important to ensure information supplied correctly matches any previous applications and forms of ID to ensure a smooth application process. 


Undisclosed Convictions 

Disclosing all relevant convictions is an essential element of all DBS and Criminal Record Check applications. Failure to disclose can result in delays and can lead to an application being rejected, if it is found that an applicant has not disclosed a conviction which could put those working within them at risk. It is in stage 4 of the DBS process that these errors will be highlighted and result in further queries. 


Disclosure and Barring Service Delays

During peak periods, there may be a backlog of applications waiting to be processed through the DBS. This backlog can also occur within the police checking stage of the process. While this rarely results in significant delays, it may have an affect on the overall application process.


Certificate Distribution

While the DBS aims to distribute certificates within 24 hours of application approval, certificates can take up to 14 days to arrive and are subject to postal delays. If you do not receive your certificate, call the DBS directly on 03000 200 190 and they will be able to organise a reprint for you.


What can I do if my DBS is delayed?

If your DBS is delayed and has been in process with the police for longer than 60 days, we automatically contact the DBS to raise an escalation on the application. This process can take up to 14 days.

However, if after 14 days there has still been no progress, we then periodically write to the police force that it is being held with to determine the cause of the delay. Care Check ensures that an application is chased until completed.

If you have any questions or are looking to track your DBS, Care Check is on-hand to help. Contact Care Check today for all of your DBS related queries or register your organisation. Individuals looking for a DBS check can apply for a Basic Individual DBS Check here.

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