If you’ve recently applied for a job and have been told that you must go through a process of Disclosure, the main concern is usually how quickly the process can be completed. Applications for Disclosure checking, also sometimes known under its previous name of CRB checking, is done through the Disclosure and Barring Service in England and Wales, Disclosure Scotland or Access Northern Ireland, depending on where you live and where the prospective job will be based. Each organisation has different service standards and guarantees about how long checks will take to come back. Each employer will have their own policies about whether employees can start work while their police check is pending, and this is something which should be clarified at interview stage. Many employers can arrange alternative duties for staff while they wait for certificates to be issued.

Factors Which Slow Checking

The Disclosure and Barring Service in England and Wales aims to complete 90% of Disclosure checks within four weeks, and 100% within 60 days. There are some things within the applicant’s control which can help speed the process up. Always complete the form correctly, checking and double checking that you have filled in all of the relevant sections, given full addresses including postcodes and any other relevant information. Get guidance from the DBS if you are not sure about how to complete the form rather than guessing and having the form returned to you. Checks can also be slower for people who have moved around the country and have several previous addresses, as checks will have to be made on all previous addresses and this obviously takes longer than checking a single address. People who have a very common name such as Jane Smith or John Brown may also have to wait longer, as the DBS have to make sure they are looking at records for the correct person. Applicants can track the progress of their application online, and it is the applicant who must get in touch with the DBS to find out why the process is delayed if it takes more than 60 days.

People Who Have Lived Abroad

The DBS system in the UK can only deal with offences which have taken place in the UK. If a worker has lived outside the UK – whether they are a foreign or UK worker – then the employer may ask them to produce a Certificate of Good Character or similar document from the relevant police force. Processes vary hugely across the world, and there is detailed guidance on the government’s website for each country in the world for both applicants and employers. It is fair to say that the process can be speedier in some countries than in others, and it can be even slower if certificates are produced in languages other than English and then have to be officially translated. The first port of call when trying to source a police check for someone who has lived overseas is the embassy of the country concerned.