How Long Do You Need To Wait For A DBS Check?
DBS checks are a common way for employers and organisations to check the criminal background of potential employers. This is especially true for jobs that involve working directly with children or vulnerable adults, such as teaching, social work, doctors, and nurses, etc.
If you have applied for a job that requires a DBS check, you may be wondering how long you’ll have to wait before you can start in the role. In other words, how long will it take to get your DBS certificate after submitting an application?
The answer isn’t entirely straightforward as it depends on a lot of factors.
What is the average wait time for a DBS check?
The overall average time for DBS checks to be processed and a certificate issued is four weeks. This is an average however, so some may be returned much sooner, or much later. In fact, in some areas where there is no backlog, the DBS check may be processed within 24 to 48 hours.
Common causes of delay
Although there are dozens of reasons for your DBS check to be delayed, some reasons are more common than others. These include:
- Mistakes such as typos or illegible handwriting
- Incorrect personal details, especially for previous addresses
- Detection of multiple entries using the same name, but different details
- More information is requested
Make sure that you try to avoid any of the above mistakes when you apply for a DBS check, otherwise your application may be delayed for a while.
Another factor that can cause a delay is if the application needs to be checked by various police forces around the country. The DBS application asks for your previous addresses going back five years. You need to list all your previous addresses, then the DBS will check your criminal record with the relevant police force for each area.
Adult First Check
An Adult First Check is a DBS check that allows the employer to request a search of the adult barred list before processing the Enhanced DBS Check. The barred list check result is returned within two days.
The reason for this is that it allows the applicant to start work a bit sooner than they would if they waited for the DBS certificate. The applicant will usually be allowed to start in a limited capacity if the result of the barred list is negative.
The most common jobs that use the adult first check service are in care homes or nursing homes.
Don’t panic if the barred list check throws up a possible match. It could just be someone with the same name and similar details, which happens from time to time. If this is the case, the DBS will investigate more thoroughly.
Are there ways to accelerate the process?
The best thing to do is wait for four weeks after submitting the DBS check application. After four-weeks have elapsed and you still don’t have your certificate, then you should contact the DBS to ask for an explanation.
One thing you can do if your DBS check is really delayed, i.e. longer than four weeks, is to contact the police force or forces and file a request for an escalation to expedite the process. Be warned that the police explanation can take up to 14 days.
Apply for a DBS check online
If you recently applied for a job and you’re waiting for the DBS certificate to be issued, you’re probably desperate to get it so you can start work.
As long as the application or certificate didn’t get lost in the post, then you can probably help to speed things up by getting in touch with the DBS or local police force.
The best way to get a DBS check done is to apply online as it’s more likely to go smoothly. If you’d like to discover more about DBS checks or ask us any questions, then get in touch today.