The process of DBS checks for business: The need-to-know info

Are you a new business owner or a fresh recruit to a human resources team? Then we’re sure you’ll need to run multiple DBS checks very soon. They’re an essential part of staff recruitment after all. But, where do you start?

Here we explain the DBS check process and how you can submit multiple applications for DBS checks in one go.

Registering an organisation

The first step in the DBS check process is to register your organisation with the Disclosure and Barring Service. You can do this directly with the DBS or through an independent criminal background check service provider.

There are some prerequisites for qualifying for these checks. These are as follows:

  • You must submit at least 100 DBS disclosure applications a year.
  • You must be entitled to ask exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • You must comply with the code of practice.
  • You must be able to pay the associated fees.

To register your company you will have to provide up-to-date information on your organisation status, the nature of your business and the job roles you wish to do checks for. You’ll also need counter signatures, with one person agreeing to take a lead role.

The DBS charge £300 for registering as an organisation and £5 for each countersignatory. The DBS will check the information you provide and run a number of checks before inviting your organisation to register.

Submitting a disclosure

Once you have registered your company you can then submit check applications. This can be done on an individual basis, or if you will be handling these in large volumes there is an e-bulk option available to you.

To submit an application on behalf of a volunteer or prospective employee you must provide the candidate with a DBS application form. You can find a guide to filling in this form here.

As an organisation it is your responsibility to check that all fields are filled in with accurate information. Otherwise, the application may get returned and the process delayed.

The e-bulk system is available to any organisation who submits a minimum of 1,500 applications per year. This is an electronic process done by computer which saves time, compared to the paper method adopted by the DBS for individual checks (note: some independent companies do all checks online).

No matter how many applications you are submitting, all disclosures require a counter signatory. This is a person within your organisation who is registered with the DBS to prove the position is eligible for the check requested.

Once complete, the application should be paid for and the form should be sent by post (or digitally if using an independent firm) to:

DBS customer services
PO Box 3961
Royal Wootton Bassett

The cost of the check will vary depending on the level of check, the number of checks being submitted and whether you are applying through an umbrella agency or directly.

Receiving the certificate

The length of time required for a check will depend on a number of factors, such as the level of check and how the application is submitted. However, assuming there are no errors on the application, a certificate should be received within 28 days of the DBS receiving the application.

Though it is important to note, certain independent DBS check providers can get your certificate back within 48 hours should you need a check in a hurry.

Once you have the results, it is then up to you whether you take on the individuals or not. Do they have a criminal background or is their past clear?

Are you looking for a quick, yet reliable, way of doing DBS checks? CB Screening is one of the most respected criminal background check providers in the country and guarantees to process your application in days, not weeks. Find out more here.

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