DDC Response to Covid-19 outbreak
March 18th, 2020 by Jonathan Bazely
We have received several queries from clients and applicants relating to the services that DDC will be providing during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Management Team are constantly reviewing the situation and taking guidance from Government. The company is committed to the health and safety of our employees, and supporting clients and applicants during this turbulent time. Below are the responses to some of the questions raised so far:
Will DDC be closing?
At the time of writing our intention is to stay open for as long as possible, to support clients with their safeguarding and pre-employment requirements. We have numerous clients in the health and social care industry who rely on our services to check staff members, before they can support their service users. Should the Government indicate that all but essential work should stop, we will mirror the decision of the DBS in relation to processing applications.
Will there be any drop in support available?
We are constantly monitoring the situation based upon staffing levels and the requirement for support. At the time of writing we are fully staffed and there has been no drop in the calls, emails and messages we have received. The Customer Service Team are fully committed to maintaining our standards of support, however should anything change we will notify clients via this News Feed. A common concern relates to the closing of schools/nurseries and the effect on our workforce. The Management Team are formulating a plan with staff members to maintain support for clients, in relation to the demand for our services and several other factors.
What can DDC do to provide additional support to clients and applicants during this time?
As a flexible service provider we can undertake more of the process for clients where required. One of the services on offer relates to original identity documents being sent to the DDC offices for checking, as an alternative to being provided to a client user for online verification. This may be a useful service if client document checkers are working from home or self-isolating during this time. With this service we process and post back 99.99% of applications on the same day we receive them, using Royal Mail ‘Tracked Delivery’, however we can offer to upgrade this to Royal Mail ‘Special Delivery’ if preferred. If any client would be interested in this service please contact one of the team on 0845 644 3298 or 0116 260 3055 to discuss your options. Applicants can choose to upgrade their postal return, as always, following the guidance on our postage webpage.
The team have obtained guidance from Royal Mail about the risk of infection/transmission of Covid-19 through the postal system, and there is no known risk at this time, based upon previous corona-type viruses. https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus
If an applicant has posted their identity documents to DDC, when will they be returned should DDC be forced to reduce support?
At the time of writing we are well within our service levels with 100% of original documents processed the same day they are received at the DDC offices. We have put in place processes to ensure that original identity documents sent to the DDC offices will be one of the core activities that we will maintain in response to an advised shutdown. If there is any change to this, and we are at risk of breaching our 48 hour processing commitment then details will be listed on the main DDC website.
Do DDC have a plan to deal with any downtime or changes in Government guidance that may close the office?
DDC have detailed Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) plans that outline the business’s response to incidents of this nature. The working group has tested the plans based upon several scenarios that may occur, in relation to a Covid-19 outbreak in the area or within the DDC offices. At this time we have outlined the base staffing level and time required to provide a basic service.