Why is my DBS Check taking so long?

Why is my DBS Check taking so long?

26 Mar 2024


How long does a DBS check take and why is my DBS check taking so long?

Every year, thousands and thousands of applications are submitted to the Disclosure and Barring Service for Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks. The DBS Service runs checks on parents joining the Board of Governors or spending time reading with children. Sports clubs all over the country make sure that their vulnerable club members, both children and adults, are safeguarded. Alongside the new teachers that enter the profession, other professionals, like accountants, barristers, police officers and care staff, will all need a DBS check run.

There are target turnaround times that the DBS works to but that length of time depends on the level of DBS check required. You could be surprised to discover that some DBS checks are run with a DBS certificate issued with 24 hours within submission of the application form.

At MyVetting, our DBS application process is entirely online with check requests issued to your DBS applicants in seconds from your DBS portal. Digital reports are sent to the easy-to-use Dashboard on your DBS portal, with the paper DBS certificate sent directly to your applicant.

Why are there DBS delays?

As you can see from onboarding applicants, certain times of the year bring thousands of applications as new school years begin – along with the sports seasons for many sports. The summer months and the run up to Christmas can also bring a slew of DBS applications as businesses and organisations bring on seasonal staff. DBS applications may take longer at peak times.

The DBS process requires that the application is checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service, which is a public service and follows a rigorous list of checks before a certificate can be issued.

There may be backlogs of applications due to the sheer number of live DBS applications. Or, DBS delays could be caused by the applicant’s individual DBS check.

Can I See What’s Causing the Delay?

With MyVetting’s online DBS system and DBS portal, you can use our DBS tracking function to see where your DBS is. You’ll be able to see if a DBS check is stuck. To

understand what might be slowing down a DBS check, contact the DBS service directly on the DBS Helpline, 03000 200 190.

How Does the DBS Check System Work?

DBS checks can be carried out on your behalf by an umbrella body, like MyVetting. As a MyVetting client, you will get instant access to your DBS portal, where you can send check alerts straight to your applicants from your dashboard in seconds.

Your DBS check request will go straight to your applicant’s email inbox and they’ll be able to go to their own DBS portal and dashboard, where they can complete a DBS online application and start their checks in minutes – by laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Applicants can continue their application by uploading the documentary evidence required and submit their application for review by the DBS. When the DBS application has been submitted by the applicant, they will receive a DBS reference number.

You will be able to track their application through the process and see when they’ve submitted the relevant information required.

It’s clear to see that MyVetting’s online DBS system will speed up the process dramatically, removing the need to meet in person for evidence checking. This is all now carried out digitally between the applicant and the DBS service.

The DBS check will then go through a number of stages, depending on what level of DBS check is required – Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS checks.

DBS Check Delays – What Can Happen?

  1. Delays with the Disclosure and Barring Service

As a public service, the DBS will have operational delivery standards set but may not get additional resource to support high numbers of DBS applications during peak periods. This means that there may be backlogs of applications due to DBS staffing levels.   

  1. The Level of DBS Check

Basic and Standard DBS checks often have quicker turnaround times, due to the nature of the information that is checked. Enhanced checks required additional checks by local police forces, with stage 4 records held by the police.   

  1. Random DBS Quality Assurance Checks

It is critical that the DBS process is working as it should and the integrity of all checks is assured. The DBS will pull a certain number of checks from processing to run inspections and reviews on the checks. Rather than an additional check of the applicant, this is a check of the DBS process to ensure that the system is working as it should. There is always a chance that you check could be one of the random selected for review and this could slow your check’s progress.  

  1. Incorrect Applicant Details

MyVetting’s DBS application process is straightforward and easy for the applicant to follow. However, applications can be delayed by errors made from the applicant when completing their information. Typical errors made include: 

  • Mis-typed or misspelt names 
  • Incorrect address details 
  • Omitting a recent name change  

The applicant can help to ensure that errors are kept to a minimum by having all the information they need – including checking that they’ve noted old addresses correctly – before they start the check. This will help to prevent unwanted delays.  

  1. Undisclosed Convictions

It is really important for applicants to disclose all relevant convictions at the point of DBS application. If an applicant does not disclose all relevant convictions – either accidentally or purposefully – it may lead to a delay on the check being returned. It could also lead to the DBS check being rejected.  

  1. Getting the Hard Copy DBS Certificate 

When a DBS check has been completed and the application approved, the Disclosure and Barring Service targets a 24 turnaround for printing and posting certificates. This could be impacted by peak period delays within the DBS. It is important to note that, even if the DBS service gets your DBS certificate in the post, it can take up to 14 days to arrive and could be subject to delays within the postal service. If your DBS certificate has not arrived 14 days after it was issued, you can request a reprint.   

To get your DBS checks underway, just hit our Buy Now button at the top of the page. 

UK police offers giving a police caution. But how long does a police caution last?How long does a police caution last in the UK?
Person doing DBS Check online with their mobile phone How can an employer DBS Check online?