DBS News July 2015

August 18th, 2015 by Jonathan Bazely

The DBS News is back!

It has been quite a break since the general news article was published by the Disclosure and Barring Service, in December 2014 / January 2015. It would appear they are now looking at producing this quarterly, in a new format. Below is a summary of some of the key points raised in this quarter’s DBS News.

The Journey to a Centre of Excellence

The DBS have set themselves a target of becoming a Centre of Excellence by 2017, with the aim of being better at everything they do. This includes quicker services, reduced errors and improved customer service. To achieve this target, they have been working to reduce processing times by focusing on the Local Police Forces (LPFs) where the applications tend to be held up. Their Quality Support teams have been cross-referencing their standards against ISO9001 (this is a Quality Management Standard currently held by DDC). Through Customer Surveys they have been able to identify several key areas for improvement, with 89% those surveyed confirming they thought the DBS were providing a valuable service.

Digital Transformation

Many government services and public bodies are moving to a ‘digital by default’ environment. A good example of this would be the change to the online tax disc services used by the DVLA, as opposed to the paper tax discs previously issued. The DBS are also looking to make this move in the future with the change from paper applications to their online portal, which will work in conjunction with the eBulk system currently used by eRBs such as DDC Ltd.

Improving Police Performance

As many of our Clients may be aware, if there is a DBS check delay it is normally at stage 4 of the 5 stage process, that is to say it is with the Local Police Force (LPF). The DBS have been working closely with the Police Disclosure Units (PDUs) to improve turnaround times and have reported the following improvements:

  • Out of the 5 under performing PDUs, 3 have now met their agreed service levels or are on track to recover by the end of this quarter

  • Complaints relating to poor police performance have reduced by 55% in just 3 months

  • They are funding an additional 7 full time employees for one of the under performing PDUs. During March, this PDU closed 3110 applications above their expected output levels

To further improve the performance of the LPFs, the DBS have also taken measures to:

  • Improve existing staff training, recruitment and retention, as well as training staff from other forces, to provide contingency and support with reducing the backlog

  • Streamline PDU systems and processes to ensure a swift, efficient and quality output – and introducing pilot schemes to assess outcomes, before rolling out to all forces

  • Escalate issues to Chief Constables, where necessary

The DBS Fraud Team

The Fraud Team at the DBS have been working to ensure that DBS Certificates are reliable credible and usable tools for employers. As with most documents the Certificates are open to abuse by skilled fraudsters, determined to circumvent the systems in place to ensure a robust system. This team has been working with agencies across the UK to bring fraudsters to justice. Some success stories the DBS have reported include:

  • In April, one of our RBs alerted us to a bogus locum doctor who was working in a hospital with a tampered DBS certificate. We took immediate action to help secure an arrest, working in conjunction with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the Police and General Medical Council (GMC). He’s since been found guilty of fraud, with 21 charges against him, and is awaiting sentence.

  • More recently, in June, officers advised us of 10 fraud charges made against an applicant who had made multiple applications using a counterfeit French passport and National Insurance card. He was working as a carer in the London area and is due back in Court in July.

The Top 3 DBS Queries

Here are the top 3 queries as published by the DBS this month;

  1. Is an overseas applicant required to have a DBS check? – Not in all cases. The pre-employment checks should be requested in line with the employer’s HR policies, which may be supported by regulation or a governing body. It is possible to ask an applicant to obtain their own criminal record check from overseas or obtain a ‘Certificate of Good Character’.
  2. I have recently dismissed one of my employees from regulated activity. I have notified the local authority safeguarding team. Do I need to do anything else? – YES – you should also make a safeguarding referral to the DBS to allow them to consider the information. For more information on this please see the section of the DDC website about referrals.

  3. I work for a Registered Body (not the applicant’s employer) and you have recently written to me for further information about a DBS application. Can I ask the employer to respond to you as they hold all the information?  – NO. Only registered Countersignatories can deal with DBS queries. For Clients of DDC we have a team of professional and friendly Countersignatories who can assist with the query. Generally we will be made aware if there is a query and if we hold the information will deal with it for you. If you are a Client of DDC and would like assistance with responding to a query, please contact one of the team at DDC.


To read the full DBS news please click on this link.