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Top Tips for Speeding Up your DBS Check

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Every so often, backlogs in the DBS checking system hit the headlines, usually accompanied by a picture of an unfortunate job applicant who has lost a job because it’s taken so long to get their paperwork back from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Unlike other official paperwork, there’s no “fast track” service for DBS checks whereby you can pay a bit more for an express service to get your paperwork back within a week. At times of high demand, you’ll just have to join the back of the queue and wait with everyone else. There are however five key things you can do to make sure your DBS check is not held up at the processing stage.


Get Online

Postal delays are entirely avoidable. Using first class post doesn’t always guarantee that your forms will arrive the next working day, and even after your envelope is delivered at the DBS office, there may be further delays getting it onto the right person’s desk. Using websites – whether the DBS portal or a high-quality third party website – will deliver your form instantly to the DBS and cut down on delays at the very start of the process.


Gather Your Information

Before you start typing your details in the boxes on the form, read it right through to the end. You’re going to have to provide information such as your addresses over the past five years, including postcodes, and information about former names and when the change took place. If you need to look up postcodes and confirm which months or years you moved, make a note of these before starting the form.



Even the most experienced form fillers can make errors. Even a simple error such as misspelling your surname or leaving out a previous address can mean that your form is returned to you before the checking even starts. If you’re not good at catching your own mistakes, ask a trusted friend to check your form over before hitting “submit”. Alternatively, use a third party website to help you with your DBS checking, as they offer proof reading as part of the service.


Consider the Update Service

One way of eliminating any future delays is to consider signing up for the DBS Update service. This is an online service, which gives you a user name and password to log into the system and view your DBS information in real-time. So if you switch job, or take on another voluntary position, then you can share your information instantly. No need for more form filling and waiting for another form to be processed.


Know What ID You Need

The first part of the DBS application is to have your identity verified. You’ll need to show the organisation you’ll be working with a number of documents to prove both who you are, and your address. There are lots of lists online of accepted documentations so read through the lists and gather together your documents, remembering you’ll need originals, and recent utility or bank statements.