If you’re not sure whether you’ve heard of DBS Update or not, you’re not alone. The system has been plagued by computer problems since it started, and a project to modernise the entire system is running years over schedule. Despite the problems, there are several features of the Update system which make it very useful for some people applying for DBS checks.
Update – The Basic Idea
The basic idea behind DBS Update was to move the disclosure system online. Update was supposed to provide a database for applicants, rather than relying on the old-fashioned method of sending in application forms then receiving a paper certificate in the post. It was designed to cut out delays, and help people swap jobs more quickly. Update also means that any new information about an existing member of the scheme will be added onto the database right away.
Advantages of DBS Update
The most important advantage of DBS Update is that the database is always current. With the old system, there was the theoretical possibility of someone committing a serious crime the week after their DBS certificate was issued and their employer being none the wiser until they decided to renew it. With Update, new offences and cautions would be added automatically. Employers and individuals could just log in at any time to see up to date records. The other main advantage is time saving. No more filling in forms, showing your identification and waiting for a certificate when you apply for a new job. Just log into the website or share your log in with your employer, and instantly get access to your file.
Disadvantages to DBS Update
Although this all sounds great, there are several drawbacks to the Update service which means it isn’t for everyone. Firstly, there’s the cost. Being a member of DBS Update carries an annual subscription in addition to the cost of the initial DBS check. If you’re expecting to need another disclosure in the space of a year or two, then it’s worth the expense. If not, being a member will be more expensive than just applying for a new disclosure check. If however you work in healthcare, childcare or other professions when you change employers frequently, then it can be money well spent.
The second main disadvantage is that you can only be a member at one “level” of disclosure. If, for example, you get an enhanced disclosure check and join DBS Update, you can only use the service for further enhanced disclosures. If you switch into a different type of job which needs a basic or standard disclosure, you’ll still have to go through the whole process again.
Future of DBS Update
We’ve all seen a general move into online services by the government; we can now renew our passport online, do tax returns online or tax a car online. It’s fair to say that something similar to DBS Update is here to stay. However, ongoing IT problems could see several changes in the system in the near future before the government settles on the best process.