DBS Check Delays at the Metropolitan Police Force (MET)

October 2nd, 2015 by Jonathan Bazely

The 5 stages to a DBS check

Requests for Discosure information sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) go through a 5 stage process as outlined below. For more information on tracking DBS applications please read our Where is my DBS/CRB Check and why is it taking so long?’ webpage:

Stage 1 – Application received and validated

Stage 2 – Searches of the Police National Computer

Stage 3 – Applicable Barred Lists searched

Stage 4 – Local Police Force(s) searches

Stage 5 – Certificate printed and posted to the applicant

The first 3 stages are normally very quick as they are done through database searches, and other sources that are more easily available to the DBS. It is most common for delays to occur at Stage 4 in the process where the application is being processed by the Local Police Force(s).

Delays at the MET

A lot of applications are sent to the Metropolitan Police Force due to the geographical size of the area they cover, and the population serviced by the Force. This Force is currently experiencing a backlog of applications and they are not meeting their Service Level Agreement of 60 days, with some applications even taking 100 days to be returned.

The DBS have been working very closely with this Force to reduce this backlog and improve the response rates. To date they have generated a recovery plan with the aim of introducing an additional 30 staff  to process the applications in the coming months, and another 20 staff being trained for evening work to increase resilience.

Given the nature of the work that they do it may be some time before these staff are fully trained and able to speed up the response times. Accordingly the DBS have issued a notice that the backlog may increase up until December, before reducing considerably to normal operating speeds.

What does this mean for DDC Clients?

As always DDC will track DBS applications that have been submitted, to calculate the point that we can Escalate the application and find out which Local Police Force (LPF) hold it. Unfortunately the MET are the only Force that will not allow us to contact them directly and request that they prioritise the application, on the applicant’s behalf. As such we will contact the applicant directly and inform them how they can contact the MET, if we discover that they are holding it. All this information will be recorded in the ‘Applicant Overview’ section so Clients can veiw this progress.

Given the timescales that the DBS have released we would strongly recommend that anyone who is living in the London area  (or has done in the last 5 years) submits their application as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you require a DBS check to work or continue work in your current role.


To view the full article please go the DBS website.

One Response to “DBS Check Delays at the Metropolitan Police Force (MET)”

  1. December 08, 2015 at 12:45 pm, DBS News November 2015 said:

    […] October, an article was published to inform Clients of the significant delays with the Metropolitan Police Force (MET). These delays have resulted in some applications taking up to 120 days before stage 4 of the […]