Strategy documents are, on the whole, somewhat dull. Sometimes however, having a look at a strategy document gives clues about where an organisation might be headed over the next few years. This is certainly the case with the DBS strategy document recently released which lays out the organisation’s plans for the next five years, running up to 2025. In among the buzzwords and broad mission statements, there are some phrases and paragraphs which give big clues as to what employers and applicants can expect in the next few years of DBS checks.
Right at the start of the document, the DBS lays out its “strategic priorities”. The first one mentioned is quality, with a commitment to providing high quality, consistent and timely services for customers. It seems clear that the DBS is acknowledging that in the past there have been significant problems with getting DBS checks turned around within the target period. Although things have been improving over recent years, the Covid 19 pandemic and prioritising of NHS applications has meant other applicants wait longer. Quality being mentioned right at the top of strategic priorities is good news for applicants, as it should mean a focus on streamlining the process even further.
The other main priority listed in the DBS document is raising their profile. This is an area the DBS has struggled with in recent years. As a government department, their services are poorly understood by the public in general, and the DBS usually only gets a mention in the press when something has gone wrong. Often too it’s not something which has gone wrong at the DBS; it’s an employer not bothering to do the right checks. An information campaign should help workers and their employers to understand the full range of services which the DBS offers, and perhaps explain some of the many changes which the organisation has gone through over the years. This could also mean more advertising and promotion around the Update service, which offers quicker DBS checking for a wide range of workers. However, there is no mention of IT upgrades, which experts agree are needed before the Update infrastructure can cope with an increased number of people logging on to check their disclosure status.
The final priority might not directly apply to people getting their disclosure certificates through the DBS, as it is more about their approach to recruiting and training their own staff. However, having a firm commitment to recruiting the right people to work in the DBS, and ensuring their staff have the right training and skills to do their job should make the entire process run more smoothly for everyone involved.
There is lots more in the strategy document which runs to 28 pages and which is available on the Disclosure and Barring Service’s website. Most of it won’t be of any interest to the public, but if you have a role working in HR, or help others processing their DBS checks, then it might be worth a look.