Along with your name and date of birth, your address is one of the key pieces of information which you need for a DBS check. Recent changes in the rules about your address history make it more important than ever to get the address history correct. So, what exactly do you need to know about your address?
Police Records Checks
One of the most important reasons the DBS need a full five years of addresses for you is to check into your criminal record. People move around the UK all of the time, and someone living in Preston could easily be arrested and charged in Penzance or Perth. The DBS has to make sure that they look at information for people with your name in all the locations where you’ve been living over the last five years, not just at your current address.
Knowing where you live could also avoid getting you mixed up with someone else’s records if you have a relatively common name. The police can quickly and simply filter out any records belonging to someone with the same name but living in a completely different part of the country.
Sending out Certificate
The other main reason why you need to give your address for a DBS check is for the despatch of your certificate. This is always sent out in the post to the address listed on the form, and can’t be downloaded or sent to an employer. The advantage of this is that you get a chance to look over the certificate before your employer sees it.
Permanent Addresses Only
There’s lots of guidance online about how to complete the address section of the form. There is also a DBS helpline which is useful if you have an unusual address history, have moved between the UK and another country, or are a student with dozens of addresses over a five-year period. The key is to remember that you only have to list permanent addresses, not places you stayed on extended holidays or short-term work postings overseas. If you are in any doubt, seek advice. Recent changes which affect the address history section could cost you both time and money.
The DBS has recently clamped down on people who make mistakes in the address history section, or don’t give all the details needed. Previously, the DBS would contact applicants and ask for the missing information before passing the form on for records checking. This all took time and staff effort in chasing up errors. As of the beginning od August, the DBS changed its policy and announced that they would no longer be chasing up applicants who had made mistakes. Instead, applications will be rejected outright. Not only will applicants have to complete the form again and go through the process of proving their identity again, but any fee they have paid for their check will be lost too. It’s most important than ever to get your address history right. If in doubt, check.