The Disclosure and Barring Service has made no secret of the fact that it wants to embrace changing technology and make things easier for anyone applying for a disclosure check. The latest upgrade in their services was announced at the start of November 2019, when they announced a new Twitter account for the service. At present, the DBS is not active on other social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.
One of the main issues with being late to the party on social media is that many of the most obvious user names have already been taken. @DBS, for example, is the personal account of a cat loving blogger from Massachusetts. Several other companies offering disclosure checks or operating as umbrella bodies have snapped up the other more memorable Twitter handles too. The Disclosure and Barring Service have opted for the @DBSgovuk handle. They have also highlighted several hashtags which they will be using to share information, such as #disclosureandbarringservice or #dbscheck. These aren’t exclusive to the official DBS channels, but can be good sources of information and links for anyone interested in the system in general.
It’s still early days in social media use by the DBS, but social media offers them the chance to pass on key information in bite-size pieces which people are more likely to read. So far, the organisation has tweeted basic “did you know” information about aspects of the system, and has linked to more in-depth articles about applying for your disclosure certificate.
Twitter users can also tweet directly to the DBS to get answers to queries about the system in general, or a more specific problem they have encountered. The DBS will respond to these sorts of messages but it’s probably not the most efficient way of getting in touch. Calling the helpline is more likely to get an immediate response, or use the dedicated email address before submitting your application. The DBS warns users not to share any personal information through Tweets which are openly available for everyone to read.
Although not well advertised, the Disclosure and Barring Service also has a YouTube channel. If you are interested in social media or the DBS checking process it’s probably worth following them there too and subscribing to their feed. They have not uploaded much content to the site yet, but there are some useful guides about what the service does and how to work through the application.
If you are thinking of applying for a DBS check at some point in the near future, then it’s important to keep up to date with changes in the system. A wholescale overhaul is unlikely, but small tweaks can still catch applicants out. For example, recent changes in rules about providing address and name history have resulted in applications being rejected, and applicants forfeiting the application fee too. Follow DBS on Twitter, and get into the habit of checking the feed every month or so to ensure you know what they expect from you.