One of the most common queries handled by companies involved in organising DBS checks for staff is what to do when someone loses their DBS certificate copy. In many other cases, getting a copy of a certificate just means writing to the awarding body, and potentially paying the cost for a replacement. DBS certificates are a different matter though and getting a replacement certificate is far trickier.
Loss After Receipt
The DBS is clear about your responsibility in terms of your DBS certificate once it has been received at your address. If you lose it or damage it, or if it gets lost three months or later after you have had it sent to you, then the DBS won’t send out a replacement. If you find yourself in this position with a DBS check which was initially processed several months ago, then the only option is to apply for a new DBS certificate and go through the process again from the start. If however your DBS certificate gets lost in the post, or is destroyed or lost within three months of you receiving it, then you can contact DBS and ask them to send out a replacement. Copies should be sent out from the DBS within five working days, but processing times can be longer at peak times. Always speak to your employer and the DBS to keep them updated about what is going on.
New DBS Application
If it has been longer than three months since you first applied for your DBS certificate, then getting a replacement isn’t an option. All that applicants can do is to submit the form again. However, is this really necessary? In most cases, employers will only want to see a DBS certificate once and won’t then need to refer to it again until they decide it needs to be renewed, or the applicant moves into another position. Often, your employer will just tell you to stop worrying about your DBS check and won’t put you through the process of applying again.
If you do need to apply for a new DBS certificate, then the process has to be followed again from the start, however long it is since you previously applied. The one thing to bear in mind is that you probably won’t be able to reuse some of the documents which you used for your lost DBS certificate, as the rules require bank statements or utility bills to be dated within the last three months.
One way around this is to enrol in the DBS Update service which gives users access to an online database for their DBS check rather than applying for a new certificate each time it is needed. There is a small additional charge for being a member of the Update system, but if you’re finding that you are frequently applying for a new DBS checks, or constantly losing certificates then it could be a wise investment which pays off in the long run.