Lots of companies across the UK decide to outsource their DBS checks to an external provider rather than run all the checks in-house. There are lots of reasons for doing this, so is it something you should be thinking about doing for your own organisation?
Perhaps the main advantage for any organisation is that outsourcing DBS checks will save time. Running all of the administration and paperwork around disclosure checks within the company can be time consuming, and if you have several checks to do each month, it can eat up a huge chunk of staff time. If you outsource this part of the recruitment process to someone else, your staff can concentrate on other aspects of their work. Another related advantage is the cost saving; usually companies will charge on the basis of each disclosure check completed, irrespective of how long it takes, or how complicated the applicant’s circumstances are.
Of equal importance to cost savings is the ability to be able to access the expertise of people who spend their entire working lives processing DBS checks. However unusual the situation, someone in an external company will have come across it before and know what to do. This can cut down on delays too. An external provider can also be a useful sounding board if you’re not sure who needs a DBS check or whether the work under consideration does meet the criteria for regulated activity. Small business owners, or HR officers in a larger business can’t be expected to be experts in everything. Sometimes it’s better to pay for expertise instead.
As external organisations process DBS checks every day of the week, they have honed the process considerably. They know all of the pitfalls which applicants can fall into, and can help provide concrete information about how to complete each field of the form to avoid any delays caused by incomplete information. Once the form is complete and has been submitted to the DBS they are unable to make the wheels turn more quickly at the Disclosure and Barring Service, but can minimise delay elsewhere in the system.
Rules and processes for disclosure checking change regularly, and if you’re not up to speed with the latest changes this can mean your applications get returned to you. Small business owners are bombarded with so much legislation and changes that it can be impossible to keep up with it all, and things get missed. Using external experts can neatly sidestep this problem by giving you access to someone whose only job is to keep up to date, and let you know about changes.
Many companies are reluctant to consider the possibility of outsourcing DBS checks because of the cost aspect. In addition to paying for the basic cost of the check, you’re paying extra on top for someone to do the work for you. However, this cost should be balanced against all the savings listed above. It’s hardly surprising that so many companies think it’s worth the expense.