How long does a DBS check take in UK?

dbs check

Disclosure and Barring Service Check – Complete Guidance with Verification Procedure

The need to get a DBS check when applying for employment is something you may have encountered while job-hunting. These checks assist companies in determining whether or not you have any past criminal convictions that could be a source of worry for the company. However, the amount of time required for a DBS check might vary depending on the necessary kind of check and other considerations, and delays are not uncommon.

In this post, we will answer the question “How long do DBS checks take?” an exploration of the many kinds of checks and an explanation of some typical causes for delays.

What is a DBS check, and how does it work?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a governmental organization sponsored by the Home Office and abbreviated as DBS. Employers and recruiters may use this service to make more informed hiring choices, and it is provided free of charge. You may also be familiar with the Criminal Records Bureau, which was the DBS’s previous name before it was renamed. There are many forms of DBS checks, and each type consists of a certificate stating that you have been subjected to a criminal background check.

Following the guidelines provided by the government, there are four main kinds of DBS checks:

  • Basic check.
  • A regular check is performed.
  • A more thorough investigation.
  • A more thorough examination using prohibited lists.

The varied forms of DBS checks are simply designed to meet the demands of different people, and they are discussed in further depth later in this article. Despite the fact that employers have the right to be aware of any prior criminal convictions you may have, they may not always be permitted to discriminate against you based on this information. This is because the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 prohibits discrimination against potential workers who are covered under the Act’s provisions.

What is a DBS check, and how does it work

You can request a basic DBS Check here –

What you’ll need To Apply for a Basic DBS check

To Apply for a Basic DBS check you’ll need:

  • all your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there
  • your National Insurance number
  • your passport
  • your driving license

How long does it take for DBS checks to be completed?

When it comes to DBS checks, there is some difference in the length of time it might take, depending on the kind of check requested and certain other considerations. As a result, it’s impossible to provide a specific period or date for issuing a DBS check, although they typically take between 2 to 10 days.

After you’ve filed your application, you should get a basic disclosure from the DBS within five to ten business days of doing so. In most cases, the DBS certificate is sent by second class post the same day as the system has finished the checks. Once the checks are finished, you will also get an email message from us.

Both the DBS and the police work together to complete the standard disclosure, with the certificate being provided directly to the individual who submitted the application. They normally complete a standard disclosure within two days after receiving a submission and processing information via their system.

What you’ll need To Apply for a Basic DBS check

The police and the DBS also conduct an enhanced DBS check, which takes longer to complete and is issued in certain cases. Typically, this takes between 5 to 10 days. Depending on whatever procedures create delays, they may take longer than the estimated time.

The phases of the DBS verification procedure

The process of obtaining a DBS check might consist of up to five phases, depending on the kind of check requested:

Stage 1: The application has been received and is being verified. Applicants may submit their applications either online or via a paper form, following which they will be examined for mistakes and returned within 24 hours (or withdrawn) if they do not pass the test.

Stage 2: A search is conducted on the Police National Computer (PNC). The information on the form is verified in the PNC to see whether there is a match, and the police may take your fingerprints to verify your identification.

Stage 3: is comprised of the Barred Lists. The information included in the application is cross-referenced against the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists, respectively.

Stage 4: a search of police records is conducted. The check is transmitted electronically to the police department so that they may check their records, and the police department also verifies your information against their own records.

Stage 5: The DBS certificate is awarded at the end of the fifth stage. It is then printed on a DBS certificate and mailed to the applicant, who may subsequently present it to the company that requested it.

Causes of delays and how to prevent them?

An estimate of the time it takes for a DBS check to be completed is provided in the range of two to ten days. The following are the most prevalent causes, as well as some suggestions for avoiding them:

Physical Application Forms are Available

The phases of the DBS verification procedure

When submitting a paper application form, it may take longer than when submitting one online. This is due to the fact that mailing anything by mail takes longer than submitting an online application and because there is a greater possibility for mistakes when physically completing a form than when submitting an online application. In addition, when forms are written by hand, there is a greater chance of discrepancies or incorrect information being entered, which may require the form to be returned. Therefore, if at all feasible, submit your DBS application online to prevent this kind of unnecessarily lengthy wait.

Formal Grammatical and Spelling Errors & Omissions

The possibility of making a mistake exists even if you deliver your document through electronic means. Each applicant’s DBS application must include complete and accurate information that is currently accurate. Identifying and correcting any problems must be completed before the procedure may proceed to the second step. This takes time and may result in an unnecessarily long pause. Before sending the form, double-check that it has been carefully proofread and verified for errors. If at all feasible, double-check your work more than once.

Stage 4

This is the procedure step in which the police examine their previous records. If your local police department is experiencing personnel shortages or other challenges, this might create a delay in responding to calls. In addition, if there is a considerable backlog of DBS forms, it is possible that yours may not be processed for many days, if not weeks. As a result, the fourth stage is one of the most often experienced phases of delay.


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