Between 2002, when the DBS, or CRB as it was called then was introduced, and 2009 all applications for disclosure were submitted and processed via paper. It was only in 2009, when e-Bulk DBS checks commenced, that organisations were given the choice as to how they submit their checks, via the original paper process or via e-bulk online electronic applications.

If an organisation wants to submit their applications online, they will generally use a DBS Umbrella Body. Some very large organisations who recruit huge amounts of staff may possibly invest in having their own system built to submit checks directly to the DBS, however this is expensive and time consuming. The advantages of using an Umbrella Body to process applications online is that accounts can be set up extremely quickly meaning an organisation can sign up and then be processing online applications within a few minutes.  

For an organisation to have their own e-Bulk system directly with the DBS, they must be processing more than 2000 applications per annum. They would also have to go through months of build time and testing before they could go live. This is why in a lot of cases large organisations processing more than 2000 applications a year will use an Umbrella Body. Even with the admin costs being paid to the Umbrella, it works out much more cost effective especially if that umbrella Body is competitively priced.

What are the advantages of using an online system?

Speed

There are many advantages to using an electronic e-bulk system. The first and possibly most important is speed. If an organisation is processing applications via paper, it can take several weeks for an application to be completed and DBS clearance to be given.. The form has to be posted, dealt with by the DBS and issued. However, this  process can take less than 24 hours via an online e-Bulk application. This results in the applicant being able to start in their position much more quickly meaning a smoother recruitment process and where an organisation is short staffed the lack of a requirement for costly agency staff to fill gaps.

Error elimination

The second advantage is error elimination. On paper forms there is a lot of room for applicants to make mistakes. They can miss out important information such as addresses, previous names and other vital information that is required to process a DBS Check. If the employer picks up on this, it can add a couple of days to the initial process, and if the employer misses it and it is sent off to the DBS it can add a couple of weeks by the time it has been returned for amendment. The online system does not allow an applicant to miss information out on their application meaning it is perfect on the first attempt.

Results communicated with Employers quickly

The third advantage is the result. When someone submits via paper the employer does not get a result, there is simply a paper certificate sent to the applicant and the employer has to wait for the applicant to tell them the check is completed and bring it in. With online e-Bulk applications, the employer knows the minute the application is complete. An employer will receive a result email and asks them to log in to the secure system to view the result, the certificate and the issue date. If the result is clear the applicant can start work immediately. If it isn’t,  the employer knows that the applicant is going to have a conviction history and that the applicant will  need to provide  their certificate to see what those convictions are in order for the employer to  make an informed recruitment decision. 

The above three main benefits of using an online system make a smoother, faster hassle free process and the system adds many more benefits like reporting, reminders and secure access to the organisations information.

How much does the e-bulk service cost?

When using an umbrella body to process the DBS applications online, they will charge an administration fee to each check they process. This fee pays for the use of the system, administration of the checks and any guidance and legislation advice the organisation may need. For example, the administration fees for Care Check range from £4 to £10 depending on how many applications an organisation is processing per annum. These fees are added to the DBS fees of £40 for Enhanced, £23 for Standard and Basic and finally £25 for Disclosure Scotland.

If you would like further information on e-Bulk electronic online DBS Checks please contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 or email info@carecheck.co.uk Care check get over 60% of Enhanced DBS checks back in less than 24 hours, and 85% within 5 days. 90% of Basic DBS checks are returned in less than 24 hours.