There’s lots of terminology and jargon associated with DBS checks. One of the terms you’ll come across most often is umbrella body. This is a term used in connection with the application process, rather than having anything to do with the printing of the certificate. If you’re applying for a police records check through an umbrella body, you won’t see much different to applying directly through your employer. In fact, applying through an umbrella body could have advantages as processing DBS checks as quickly and efficiently as possible is all that they ever do.
What is an Umbrella Body?
Umbrella bodies are a concept which come into play when applying for enhanced or standard disclosures. Individuals can apply for a basic disclosure on themselves, so a third party isn’t required. However, when applying for a standard or enhanced disclosure, this has to be done through an approved organisation. Some smaller companies offer jobs which require enhanced or standard disclosure checks, but don’t want the hassle or expense of registering to administer the checks themselves. So they subcontract it out to a third party company. Umbrella bodies may also apply in some sporting organisations who are recruiting staff or volunteers. Local swimming clubs might be affiliated to Swim England, a running club might be part of British Athletics and so on. These organisations operate as umbrella bodies and help individual clubs with DBS checks on staff and volunteers.
Dealing with An Umbrella Body
When you’re applying for a DBS check at standard or enhanced level there’s no difference in the application process whether you’re dealing directly with your employer or with an umbrella boy. You will still have to complete the application form either on paper or online, and then show a range of documentation to prove your identity and address. Someone at the umbrella body will then check over your application form before submitting it to the DBS. After the police run their checks and print off your certificate, it will be sent out to you in the post. Many third party bodies have their own website which you can use to log in and see how your application is progressing. Some might also offer additional service such as reminders letting you know when your DBS might need renewed, or help with signing up for the DBS Update service.
Advantages of Using Umbrella Bodies
From an employer’s point of view, outsourcing DBS checks to another organisation makes a lot of sense. It removes some of the workload from existing members of staff and leaves them free to concentrate on other issues. Perhaps more importantly, people working for third party umbrella organisations spend their days doing nothing else but checking DBS applications. This makes them the experts in the field and means that often they are quicker to spot mistakes. They have also dealt with nearly every possible combination of circumstances, so can give as good advice and guidance as you would get direct from the DBS helpline.