DBS Advice About Avoiding Common Mistakes

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Recruitment hasn’t stopped during the recent Covid-19 pandemic. In some sectors recruitment may be slowing, but other sectors, such as healthcare, have never been busier. If you’re applying for a new job or have been asked to re-apply for your DBS check, then a recent press release from the DBS should guide you in the right direction. Their list of the most common mistakes made on DBS forms should help guide your form-filling and stop you from falling into many of the same traps.


Address History

Right at the top of the list of common mistakes is a failure to provide a 5-year address history. For most people this is straightforward. Just list all the places you have lived permanently for the period, with dates, full addresses, and postcodes. If you have moved around a lot, then you may need to use a continuation sheet on a paper form. If you’ve been a student moving between home and term-time accommodation, or lived overseas, check how to record your exact address history. It’s really important to get this right. If you omit key details in this section, your application risks being rejected outright.


Countersignature Date

Another more surprising reason for rejection is issues with the counter signature on your form, whether paper or online. The date must be completed using the dd/mm/yy format and can’t be left blank. If your countersignatory doesn’t date the form, doesn’t sign it or makes some other mistake, the DBS will reject the application.



A volunteer doesn’t pay for a DBS check, but the form has to be completed in the right way to inform the DBS. Cross the correct box to show that the application is for a volunteer. The DBS regularly receives applications where people have ticked both boxes – saying that the applicant is both a volunteer, and not a volunteer. Another error is to tick the box saying that the application is being sent for a voluntary position, yet still sending payment.



This is the other section of the form where you have to be really careful about what you are completing and ensure that you give all the information. Write legibly, as the DBS say they will reject any forms which can’t be deciphered. Completing the form digitally is a better option but check carefully for typos. Enter the dates when your name changed. If in any doubt about what to fill in and where, contact the DBS and ask for advice rather than just trying to guess.



If you’ve ticked the box on the form to say that you’re British and hold a UK passport, you must them go on to complete the section of the form asking for your passport details. If you don’t remember to do this, or fill in the wrong details, then the form will be rejected. If you have ticked a box saying that you don’t hold a passport, or hold a passport from another country, obviously leave this section blank.