What happens when your criminal record check arrives at the DBS?

You may already be aware of the quick and efficient process we run here at Personnel Checks and if you’ve carried out DBS Checks (formally known as a CRB check) before on for yourself or your employees, you may also know that the longest stage in the process can often be when the check is at the Disclosure & Barring Service, but why does it take so long? And what happens there?

Why does a DBS check take so long?

The DBS process around 4 million checks a year and each one of those needs to go through a thorough process before the applicant receives their certificate. This is the reason why it sometimes takes longer than expected! These stages make a DBS check accurate and secure which therefore makes your recruitment process a lot safer…

What happens when my DBS check is recieved?

Step one: The DBS receive the application and validate.

Your application form is checked for errors or omissions. Within 24 hours of receipt, the form is either scanned onto the DBS computer system or returned for correction to your counter signatory. (Personnel Checks)

Step two: The DBS search the Police National Computer

A search is carried out on the whole national computer database to check your criminal record for any Cautions, Warnings, Reprimands or Convictions you may have.

Step three: Children & Adults barred lists search- (if applicable)

Your DBS Application will only undergo this process if you are applying for an enhanced criminal record check and your role involves working with children or vulnerable adults. This step checks whether you’re on the barred lists from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Step four: Records held by local police checked.

The length of time it takes to complete this step depends on your previous address history, as your application is sent off in secure and electronic means to local police forces to check their records. So the more previous addresses you have held, the longer this could take.

Step five: The applicants’ DBS certificate is printed and posted.

All the disclosed information will then be printed onto a certificate and posted to your home address

Types of check available:

Organisations can ask successful job applicants to apply for one of the following types of check depending on the job role:

  • Standard check - details of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings recorded on police central records and includes both ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions.
  • Enhanced check - the same details as a standard check, together with any information held locally by police forces that may be considered relevant to the post applied for.
  • Enhanced with a barred list check-

This is the same as the normal Enhanced check but also includes:

Searches the children's barred list information is only available for those individuals engaged in regulated activity with children and a small number of posts as listed in the Police Act regulations, for example prospective adoptive parents

Searches the adult barred list is only available for those individuals engaged in regulated activity with adults and a small number of posts as listed in the Police Act regulations

child and adult barred list is only available for those individuals engaged in regulated activity with both vulnerable groups including children and a small number of posts as listed in the Police Act regulations

  • Adult first Check - an individual can be checked against the DBS adult barred list while waiting for the full criminal record check to be completed. This service is only available for the Care Industry working with adults.

To read the Personnel Checks A-Z of DBS Checks, click here!

For more information either on the DBS process or which levels of check are available for you, call one of our advisors on 01254 355688


Alan Kennedy
My company have stated my application form shows some content what does this mean
4/11/2018 6:45:01 AM
In response to Alan Kennedy; I believe they mean that there have found some history on you when receiving the dbs. You can always request a copy and view the content yourself . If you have the reference and certificate id you'd be able to view it online.
4/19/2018 2:11:25 PM
N ahmed
I have been offered a new job at a steel manufacturing industry and I have been asked to submit an application for standard DBS check and I haven't done this before. However, I had a benefit fraud problem 11 years ago and I have been given 100 community services hrs, will this show on my DBS records and will this affect me getting the job that have been offered
6/21/2018 2:37:00 PM
Lindsey Lawal
I checked my application online and it say dispatched and then say do not employ until certificate been received just wanted to know why it say that or is it normal
10/8/2018 3:20:37 PM
Chri Lerou
I just found out my name is on CIFAS database after requesting an Enhanced DBS. Pease confirm if CIFAS entries appear in DBS printouts?
10/11/2018 2:33:18 AM
I applied through local taxi licence issuing authority it was just 7 working days since I applied. The current status is stage 5. I'm surprised they took less time.
10/12/2019 8:40:39 PM

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