How long does a DBS check take in the UK?

How long does a DBS check take in the UK?

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A DBS check can be an important part of job applications and other processes. The time it takes to complete a DBS clearance can vary according to a few different factors. It’s important to take this into account, so you can avoid problems caused by a delayed DBS check.


Three types of DBS check

At the start of the process, it’s essential to know what level of DBS check you require.


There are three levels, and they each have different uses:


Basic DBS check

A basic DBS check shows your unspent convictions and conditional cautions. This is the most common type of DBS check, used in applications for most jobs. This level of DBS check is available to anyone who requests it.


Standard DBS check

Only employers can request a standard DBS check, and only for particular roles. It is common, for example, in the world of finance, where applications need to be vetted thoroughly. This shows a deeper level of information than a basic check. It will also reveal spent convictions, as well as cautions, final warnings, and reprimands.


Enhanced DBS check

An enhanced DBS check is only available in particular fields, such as education or healthcare. An enhanced check contains all the information you’ll find on a standard DBS check, as well as any other information that local police consider relevant. This may include, for example, a suspicious activity that has not led to a criminal conviction.


How long does each type of DBS check take?

A basic DBS check is generally the fastest type. Turnaround time can be as little as two days. In fact, at DBS Check Online, we have 40% of checks returned in less than 48 hours.


Standard and enhanced DBS checks can take longer. In general, DBS checks are expected to take from two to ten days to process. However, they can be subject to delays.


What causes a DBS check delay?


Watch out for these factors, which commonly lead to a check taking longer than expected:


Applying on paper

You will always get a faster result by applying online than by sending a physical application form. If you send an application through the post, it can take days to arrive, and any errors will lead to it being returned. To avoid this, it’s best to use a service like DBS Check Online.


Mistakes and omissions

When completing a DBS application, make sure that all your details are correct and up-to-date. Any errors will lead to a delay. A DBS check needs to be as accurate as possible, and the details will be checked thoroughly.


Police delays

This type of delay is unavoidable and is particularly common with enhanced DBS checks. Local police will go through their records to find any information of interest relating to the applicant. This may take some time, depending on how much of a backlog has built up. If you have moved house, then multiple local police forces will be involved, which can lead to more delays.


Although a police delay cannot be helped, the risk of delay can be minimized by using an online service like DBS Check Online and ensuring that your details are correct.

To find out more about our services, visit our DBS Check Online website.

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