There are lots of different occupations which require the employee to undergo a DBS check. The problem with the process is that it can be quite lengthy, and involves the employee filling in a form listing their personal details, the employer verifying their personal identification documents, then the form being sent off to the DBS for the police checks to be done. On average, this process can take 8 weeks. If someone has changed their name a lot and has moved house dozens of times, the checking may take even longer. There is no way around this process and no way of speeding things up – there is no option to pay extra for an “express service”. Bear in mind that it may take several weeks for a DBS check to be returned when you apply for a new position, and always complete forms as a matter of urgency to keep the process moving as smoothly as possible. There are however some options for both employer and employee while waiting for a DBS check to be completed.

Most Common Errors

The government’s own website about the DBS lists the most common errors which the DBS comes across when processing applications. Any errors on the form will delay the process, so be aware of these most common mistakes and try to avoid them. Make sure that the applicant has listed their full five year address history, and given the dates in the correct format. Ensure that the counter signatory has dated the form in the correct way. Make sure that the applicant’s identity has been verified, and that the evidence checker has verified the information. Use the guidance on the website to ensure you are completing all of the correct boxes – anything left blank, or any discrepancies in dates will result in the form being returned, and further delays. You can also track a DBS application online to see where in the process it is.

Can I Start Work While I’m Waiting?

Depending on the type of job you have applied for, the employer may be happy to let you start work pending on the type of work and your specific role within the organisation. By law, some organisations are not able to do this and if this is the case, it should be explained at interview. If the employer is happy to allow you to start, this might be under some restrictions such as being more closely supervised, or only being able to do part of the full role. Each employer has their own policy on people starting work before a DBS check is complete, so always check at interview or with the organisation’s HR department.

Speeding Up A DBS

Once the form is in the system there isn’t much you can do to speed things up, but you can make things run more smoothly. Always read the form thoroughly and make sure you’re filling in the right boxes, in the correct format. Do not omit any information you might consider irrelevant if it is asked for. Ensure your employer signs and verifies your DBS form and sends it off the same day to minimise waits.