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How Long Does a DBS Check Take?

How Long Do DBS Checks Take?

Here at uCheck, one of the most common questions we’re asked is: how long does a DBS Check take?

For many companies, their recruitment decisions may rely on the return of a DBS certificate, so, understandably, processing time is a key issue for employers and applicants.

To address that issue, we’ve come up with a guide to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) vetting process so that employers can be clear about the process itself, why applications can take longer to process, and how employers can help speed applications up.

How long does it take for a DBS Check?

The level of check you request for an applicant will affect the vetting process, and also the average time taken for the check to complete. The main three DBS Checks that are conducted are:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Enhanced

How long does a basic DBS Check take?

A basic DBS Check is usually slightly quicker than other DBS Checks. On average, a Basic DBS Check takes 24 hours with uCheck.

How long do standard DBS Checks take?

Standard DBS Checks take an average of 48 hours with uCheck. The application will go through the following vetting stages:

  • Stage 1 – DBS application received and validated
  • Stage 2 – Police National Computer search
  • Stage 3 – Certificate printing

How long do enhanced DBS Checks take?

Enhanced DBS Checks typically take around 48 hours to complete on average with uCheck, and it will go through the following stages:

  • Stage 1 – DBS application received and validated
  • Stage 2 – Police National Computer search
  • Stage 3 – Children’s and adults’ barred lists searches (if applicable)
  • Stage 4 – Local police authority search
  • Stage 5 – Certificate printing

What can impact the time it takes to complete a DBS Check?

Paper vs. Online Applications

One of the key decisions that will likely affect how long a DBS Check takes is the method that is used to apply for one. By this, we mean whether it is requested online or via a paper form.

Paper forms, by their nature, tend to have a longer waiting time as they take longer to process.

This is largely the result of postal delays, which means an application takes longer to start vetting compared to if it was submitted online. Furthermore, if there are any queries with the application before countersigning then the form would have to be returned by post to correct it, delaying the process further.

The role of the registered body in processing applications

Registered umbrella bodies of the DBS who process the applications also play a crucial role in how long a DBS Check will take. All DBS Checks need to be countersigned, which means they are looked at by a registered countersignatory to ensure the correct check is being requested.

Signing up with a registered body that processes applications online, as well as countersigns checks accurately and quickly, can help speed up the DBS Check process. Here at uCheck, we aim to countersign or query applications within an hour of receiving them during normal business hours.

Avoiding errors on the application form

A final key step that can help to make sure DBS Check processing times are kept to a minimum is to avoid errors on the application form. Whilst checks are made by a countersignatory to ensure the eligibility of an application, applicants and employers should make sure all the personal details included are accurate and complete.

Common errors that can delay DBS processing times include:

  • Incorrect information – One of the most common reasons for application delays is incorrect information being submitted. This often means that the DBS has to query the information submitted, which will cause delays in the process.
  • Local police delays – Sometimes the delay can be caused by the local police authorities which Enhanced DBS Checks are sent to for Stage 4. Some local police forces have a backlog of applications, which can cause delays in the process. Fortunately, this is not usually an issue, but it’s worth bearing in mind and can help explain why some applications take longer than others.
  • No clear reason -Sometimes a check can be delayed for no apparent reason. This is likely due to delays in searches, or further investigation that’s needed. But it’s important to note that a delayed application doesn’t necessarily mean there will be anything disclosed on the DBS certificate.

Get speedy DBS Checks with uCheck

Now you’re more clued up on how long a DBS Check takes, why not choose uCheck for your organisation’s DBS Checks and receive your results in 48 hours on average? With our online system, your DBS Check is likely to be processed quickly.

We provide numerous levels of DBS Checks including Basic, Standard and Enhanced. And with our simple pay-as-you-go billing, you only pay for what you need.

With uCheck, you get:

  • Rapid turnaround – 24/48 hours on average
  • Trusted by over 30,000 happy customers
  • Secure, Home Office approved system

Simply get in touch with us if you have any more questions – we’d be more than happy to help.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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