Why is my DBS Check taking so long at stage 4?

Last week over half of the DBS Checks (formally known as CRB checks) we processed were complete in less than 5 working days, and a quarter of those were complete in less than a day, so why is it that some DBS Checks take considerably longer than that? To answer this question, we first have to understand the process when a DBS Check has been submitted to the DBS.

The 5 Stages of the DBS Process

DBS Check Received

Stage 1- The DBS application form is received and validated

DBS Check Searched by Police 

Stage 2 - The Police National Computer database (PNC) is searched

Children and Adult Barred List 

Stage 3 - The application is checked against the children and adults barred lists (if requested)

DBS Check held by Police 

Stage 4 - The application arrives with the Police local authorities and is checked against their record

DBS Check Certificate Printer 

Stage 5 -The DBS Check process is complete, and the certificate is printing

*This process only applies for Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks. 

Why is my DBS Check delayed?

There are a range of contributing factors to what slows down a DBS Check, these can be anything from, a change of address to a change of name but more often than not delays occur at stage 4.

Stage 4 of the DBS Process

At stage 4 your DBS Check is sent to your local police authority and is compared against your criminal record, the purpose of this is to see if there's any relevant information that requires disclosure, if there is, it will be disclosed on your certificate.

Some police forces have back logs of applications due to limited staffing or internal limitations and because of this it can lead to your DBS Check not being seen to for a number of days sometimes weeks.

What can you do if your DBS Check is stuck at stage 4?

If your DBS Check is stuck at stage 4 for over 60 days, Personnel Checks can contact the DBS who will raise an Escalation with the relevant police force.

What can Personnel Checks do to help speed up the process?

When the application has been in stage 4 for 60 days, Personnel Checks can then contact the DBS to raise an escalation with the police force. Once the police force has received the escalation, they'll aim to get their searches complete within 10 working days. We can only do this if you've ordered your DBS Check through us. 

What happens if 10 working days have passed since the escalation?

If after 10 working days your application is still stuck in stage 4, Personnel Checks then have the authority to contact the DBS to obtain the contact details of the police force to contact directly until the application is complete.

What stage is my DBS Check currently in?

To see which stage your application is currently in, Visit and enter the required details of the applicant.

For more information regarding your DBS Check or if you're still unsure about anything regarding stage 4, don't hesitate to give us a call on 01254 355688