If you are an employer or running a voluntary service which submits a large volume of DBS checks every year, then the E-Bulk system operated by the DBS could be of enormous benefit. E-Bulk is designed to allow registered organisations submit large quantities of applications electronically and receive certificates electronically too.
Advantages of Using E-Bulk
You might think that your current method for submitting DBS applications and receiving certificates is working well, but if you are starting to become overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of applications, here are some of the advantages to enrolling in E-Bulk:
- Faster processing times compared with traditional ways of applying.
- Fewer forms to complete as the DBS forms can be incorporated into other recruitment processes.
- Cost savings on staff time and stationery.
- Customer and employee satisfaction.
Becoming a Registered Body
If you wish to use the E-Bulk system for your DBS applications then there are a few requirements to meet first, as the system isn’t suitable for every user. You might be able to register for the E-Bulk service if:
- You have submitted over 1500 applications over a 12-month period.
- You pay for your DBS checks using a payment on account facility.
- You have, or are willing to invest in, the right IT systems for electronic submission of applications.
- Authorisation from the Lead Counter signatory within the organisation.
If you meet the criteria and wish to set up an E-Bulk facility, contact Customer Services at the DBS and they will help you through the process.
Companies considering enrolling in the E-Bulk system may also need to set up a separate process for identity checking as this is still a requirement when submitting applications electronically. There is lots of advice online about how best to go about this, and again, the DBS Customer Services team can help with any particular enquiries which you may have.
Processing Time and Paper Forms
After you submit a DBS application using the E-Bulk system, an acknowledgement is usually received within two working days. The acknowledgement will contain a tracking reference to allow you – or the applicant – to keep an eye on the progress of their case. As soon as this tracking reference is issued, no changes can be made to application details, and should an applicant want to make alterations, they would have to apply again from the beginning. Applicants can still choose to submit paper applications, but the drawback of this is that a paper certificate will be sent out rather than allowing the information to be accessed electronically.
One good option for customers who meet the requirements of E-Bulk but don’t want the hassle or expense of setting up their own IT infrastructure is to use a broker, who will handle the interface and IT side for them. The DBS holds a list of approved brokers as a starting point for any organisation thinking of taking advantage of the E-Bulk system for submitting their DBS application forms.