We specialise in UK DBS checks
How long does a DBS check take?
The time taken for a DBS check varies depending upon the level of check and the time of year as the service is subject to seasonal variations.
The fastest results come through for applicants who have only ever had one name and the same address for a long time.
The more name and address changes you have had, the longer the check takes.
A basic or standard DBS check will take on average 24-48 hours although these times have extended during the pandemic.
In our experience, an enhanced check, due to the more involved nature of the information gathered takes 24 hours to 7 days.
The most comprehensive check, the enhanced DBS with list can take around 8 weeks to complete although this time is very much dependent upon a large number of factors and so you need to be aware that it could take longer.
If you need to get a DBS check completed quickly then call us and we will help.
How long does a DBS check last?
Officially there is no expiry date on a DBS certificate but this leaves employers with a problem.
The DBS check only shows convictions up to the date it was produced, so if an employee is convicted after that date then it naturally will not be included.
This means that every employer needs to decide how often it requires ‘refresher’ checks to be done so that the gap between now and the last certificate is closed.
Each organisation needs to assess the risk for a particular position and decide what frequency of rechecking is appropriate. For lower-risk roles, many employers choose to check every two or three years. Very high-risk positions may require checking every six months.
If you work in a regulated environment like healthcare, residential care, teaching or security then your trade or professional body may have a specific frequency that they require you to use when updating DBS certificates.
What are the 4 types of DBS checks?
There are four types of DBS checks available.
The employer or organisation running the check should establish the level of check required by considering the applicant’s job role and the people they will come into contact with, for example, children or vulnerable adults.
DBS check applicants must be 16 or over.
The types of DBS checks are:
This is the only type of DBS check you can perform on yourself.
This gives the least amount of detail of the 3 different DBS checks.
Anyone can pay for this report and it only details your unspent criminal record. By “spent” we mean criminal offences that are no longer viewable. You can find out more about spent offences and filtering here.
While serious offences never get spent, minor offences that happened when people were young can disappear from reports like this within a few years
People working in financial services, the courts, or other roles of responsibility typically need to get this check done. Needless to say, this is a more detailed check than the basic DBS.
The standard DBS check will look at spent as well as unspent convictions as long as they are not filtered out and will include any reprimands or cautions on the central Police National Computer.
An Enhanced DBS check is the most detailed DBS check and includes all relevant convictions and cautions on the police systems as well as any locally held police intelligence.
It makes sense that people working in the most sensitive jobs undergo the most rigorous checks and so the enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or vulnerable adults, employees in the gambling industry or when applying for a taxi licence.
It comes as a surprise to many people that intelligence about people isn’t always held at a national level. Somebody who had been in the frame for multiple robberies but who was never convicted due to a lack of evidence might have this information held by a local force and this would be included if they were applying for a job as a locksmith.
The important point is that the intelligence needs to be relevant to the role applied for.
Enhanced DBS with List
An Enhanced DBS with list shows the same as an Enhanced DBS check, and will also include a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service’s children and adults barred lists – as the name implies this is the list of individuals barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
This check is only allowed where the position the applicant is applying for involves engaging in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.
This check takes the longest to perform given that it is the most detailed and as with all check apart from the basic, this can only be applied for by an authorised organisation.
If you are an employer, remember that you can always ask us to help with your hiring process including obtaining a DBS check for your potential hires – just fill in the Request A Callback form at the top of this page or call us on 0144281 6333 and one of our expert staff will be delighted to help you.
We regularly post information for employers concerning background checking and vetting.Check out our blog for helpful posts and information