July 2022


The time taken for an Enhanced DBS check

Employers in the UK that need to get background checks carried out for prospective employees can choose between three kinds of checks also referred to as CRB or DBS checks. Basic, Standard and Enhanced checks.

Of the three types, the Enhanced DBS check is the most comprehensive available with detailed info for employers. An enhanced check is only done if the post involves working with children or vulnerable adults. It is now legally essential for professionals like healthcare workers, teachers, foster care assistants and social workers among others.

In enhanced checks there 2 kinds of checks. The first type provides detailed police records of the prospective applicant and the other features the barred list (a list of individuals that are restricted from working with children and vulnerable adults). The kind of enhanced check asked for will depend on the requirements of the employer for the post.

Enhanced checks are mostly called for in the healthcare and education sectors, although other sectors are now also requesting this as part of their employment process. Some of the other sectors that are using enhanced checks include security, entertainment, retail, logistics and technology etc.

What details are part of an enhanced DBS check?

As with all three criminal record checks or DBS checks it contains personal information including their date of birth, previous addresses, legal name etc. Before applying for the checks, the employer will verify the id documents of the applicant after which the form is sent to the DBS.

The following information forms part of an enhanced DBS check:

  • Spent and unspent convictions
  • Cautions
  • Conditional cautions
  • Reprimands
  • Final warnings
  • Check if the applicant’s name is on any of the barred lists
  • Any other relevant information in the records of the local police authorities

If there is no criminal record of the applicant, the DBS certificate will feature no record found under every section.  As with other DBS Checks, an enhanced check does not make the final decision of whether to hire the employee as that is the prerogative of the employer. It is up to the employer that after scrutinising the DBS certificate and find something to decide if he will employ the applicant or not.

What is the period in which an enhanced check will be completed?

The normal completion period for an enhanced check ranges between 24 hours to a fortnight. Receiving the certificate can be anywhere between 4-8 weeks. However, in certain situations, it can take longer than that.  There is a multitude of reasons for a delay in DBS certification. One of the most common is the excessive backlog of applications at the local police station. Some of the other reasons can be incorrect information provided by the applicant/employer or quality inspections etc.  There are some employers in certain sectors that carry our enhanced DBS checks for regulatory purposes every year. If an employee has been employed for 12 months or more in the same job, the DBS check process will still take the same time to come through.

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