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DBS Check Delays - Why?

September 12, 2020 posted by Steve Brownstein

Here are some of the most common causes for delays in the DBS process:
Paper application forms. One decision that will impact how long a DBS check takes is how it is submitted. It’s increasingly common to complete a DBS check online, but there are some applications which are still submitted by paper. DBS paper application forms will, as expected, take longer to process. Not just because of the time taken to post the DBS application, but a form with queries or discrepancies would have to be returned via post to be corrected before any countersigning can be done, which would cause further delays.
Form errors. Individuals and employers should always make sure the details on any DBS application form are correct, accurate and up-to-date. Any errors on the form will need to be corrected, which can lead to delays in the processing time. Common examples include missing middle names, not declaring previous names or addresses, or requests for extra clarification from the applicant.
Police forces. From the time local police forces are sent a DBS check application, there is an expected amount of processing time that the force needs to verify the details on the application. Turnaround times can vary (you can view the average turnaround times for DBS checks at each police force here), and performance can depend on staffing within the force, system or process changes and any variations in demand for DBS checks at a particular time of the year.
Stage 4. Tying in with the previous point, at stage 4 of the DBS online application, this is when your DBS check is sent to your local police force and is compared against your criminal record. Any relevant information that requires disclosure will be included in the certificate. Some police forces are dealing with backlogs due to limited staffing, which can mean your DBS check may not be seen for several days, sometimes even weeks.

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