Every so often a press article appears detailing issues with backlogs in the DBS checking system in certain parts of the country. It’s certainly true that some areas perform far better than others; although the government sets a target of 85% of applications turned around within 14 days, several regions are regularly missing this target. Performance in London has been consistently poor, with waits of up to 100 days not uncommon. Depending on the role, workers may not be allowed to start work until their paperwork is received, remaining in limbo for months while they wait for their checks to be done. So, if you’re in the position of applying for a job as a carer or teaching assistant in Yorkshire or London, what can you do speed up your DBS checks?

Fast Track Service

Unlike applying for a passport, there is no option to pay a bit extra for your DBS check to have it fast tracked through the system. There are companies which offer a checking service, and this can be worth paying for, especially when English is not your first language. An experienced checker can check the form over to ensure all relevant sections have been completed and that there are no spelling mistakes or other discrepancies which might cause confusion and slow progress through the system. Even if you’re not paying for a checking service get someone else to check over the information you’ve submitted to make sure you’ve answered all of the questions, included important data such as postcodes and previous surnames and not made other errors.

Organise Yourself First

It can be tempting to think the quickest way of completing the form is just to start filling it in right away. This is often not the case though, as you might find you then have to stop to hunt down your National Insurance number, or find out the postcode of the place you lived three years ago. Having all of this information to hand before you start will make the form filling much easier. Look on old payslips, P60 forms or correspondence from the Benefits office if you are struggling to remember your National Insurance number. If you’ve changed your name at any point on marriage, divorce or by deed poll, you’ll also need to have a note of the dates on which you started using your new name.

Get Online

Many of the delays encountered in the DBS checking service are down to people using the traditional pen and paper method for their application. Postal delays are not unusual, and even using first class mail for sending your form off and receiving the certificate will add a couple of days to the turnaround time. Minimise the time by getting online and complete forms digitally – then as soon as you hit the “submit” button, you’ll know it has been received. You should also opt to receive your check digitally too if there is the option to do so.