How to withdraw a DBS application

How to withdraw a DBS application

In addition to carrying out the relevant background checks on candidates and employees, you must also ensure that you store these confidential documents safely and securely and don’t keep them any longer than you should. 

There will be circumstances when you will no longer need a DBS certificate to be issued. For example, a candidate may pull out of the recruitment process, which means you lose the legal right to access their background information.

In situations like this, it is your and the applicant’s responsibility to make sure the application is withdrawn.

What if there is a mistake on a DBS form?

There may be occasions where a DBS comes back with incorrect information, such as a spelling mistake. Unfortunately, in these circumstances there is no way to change this other than to withdraw the application and submit a new one. 

Some circumstances are a little more complicated, such as an offence listed on a DBS certificate that a candidate specifies isn’t true. This is referred to as a data source dispute and would need to be challenged.

The resolution to this involves your candidate visiting their local police station and having their fingerprints taken and compared to the evidence collected at the crime scene. If these come back different, a new DBS will be issued. 

Can I cancel a DBS application?

If you do need to withdraw your DBS application, there are a few avenues you can go down. The route you choose depends on what will be the easiest for you and the applicant. 

You can withdraw a DBS application so long as you make the request before the application reaches the printing stage of the process; however, please bear in mind that you will not receive a refund.

Withdrawal requests can be made via email, in writing or by informing your local police force:

How to withdraw a DBS application

Whichever method you choose to inform the DBS that you are no longer eligible to access the DBS information that has been applied for, you must have the following information at hand to aid the process:

If you’re the applicantIf you’re the registered body
Your full nameThe applicant’s full name
The application reference numberThe application reference number
Your full addressThe date the application was made
The date the application was madeA countersignatory number
Your signature (unless going down the email route)A matching countersignatory’s signature (unless going down the email route)
The applicant’s full address (if possible)
The applicant’s date of birth (if possible)

In some instances, there may not be enough information provided for a withdrawal to be completed. When this happens, the Withdrawals department will send a pro-forma letter asking for additional information required to complete the withdrawal process.

You can find email and address information on the gov.uk website.

What happens when you tell the relevant local police force that you need to withdraw a DBS application?

Once you have spoken to your local police force, they will communicate with the DBS on your behalf. From here, the Withdrawal team will send a pro-forma letter or email to the registered body or applicant to ask for confirmation of the request in writing. When this has been confirmed, the team will withdraw the application and send a confirmation via email or letter. 

While the DBS Withdrawal team awaits a response, they will suspend the application temporarily. However, if the registered body or applicant doesn’t respond, the application will still be withdrawn; therefore, if things change in the meantime, you must get in touch with them to let them know. 

At CareCheck, we process more than 130,000 DBS checks every year and can help you manage the background checks for your potential and current employees. Whether you need a basic, standard or enhanced check, please get in touch to see how we can help.