How Long Does It Take To Get a DBS Check?
DBS Checks are criminal background checks that involve searching through the police national computer for convictions. We are often asked how long the process takes in total and what can slow it down.
In this article, we’ll explain how DBS Checks work and the timescales involved, as well as giving you tips on how to speed up the process.
Which is faster – a paper or online application?
Applicants for DBS Checks can choose between filling in a paper application form and dropping it in the post or submitting the application via an online service like ours. You can fill out your online application form here.
Although most people prefer to apply online these days, there are still a large number applied for by post. In 2018, almost 17% of DBS Check applications were still done on paper.
One of the main downsides of submitting a paper application is the increased waiting time compared to online applications. The length of time taken depends on the postal system, which can add several days to the process. Also, if there is a mistake on the form that needs to be corrected, it needs to be returned to the sender, amended, then posted back which can take weeks.
An online application, by comparison, is usually processed within 24 hours of submitting it. You can see the result in the online dashboard and you will usually receive your DBS certificate within 2 weeks.
Umbrella bodies – what are they and what do they do?
A registered umbrella body is a third party that has been registered by the DBS to process applications. Their main tasks are to verify the application (particularly the ID documents), check the individual’s details, make sure the correct level of check is being applied for, and countersign the form.
We are a registered umbrella body and we are permitted to check and countersign DBS applications. This speeds up the process as you can submit your application using our online portal and we will verify everything for you before sending it to the DBS.
The importance of avoiding errors
Mistakes and errors are known to add a lot of time to any DBS Check application. If you are applying on paper, the countersignatory should check the form to make sure that no errors are present before submitting it in the post.
If you apply through an online portal, such as ours, you will fill in a digital form that has automatic checks built-in to it. Our countersignatory staff will also check to make sure your personal details are all filled in correctly and that everything matches with the ID documentation you provide.
Accuracy is very important when it comes to DBS Checks as it can slow the process down by weeks. Our online service helps you to achieve a high level of accuracy.
Some common errors that we see are incorrect or missing middle names, incomplete address history, and omissions, such as previous names. Make sure you double-check your application form before submitting, whether that’s on paper or online.
Summary of DBS Check timeframes
The length of time that it takes to process and issue a DBS certificate varies depending on a few different factors.
One of the main things you can do to speed up your DBS Check application is to request it online rather than paper.
Before using an online DBS Check service, make sure that they are a registered umbrella body that is recognised by the DBS. You should also make sure that when you complete the online form you do it as accurately and fully as possible.
If you want to find out more about DBS Check timescale or applying for a DBS Check online using our service, then contact us today.