e-Bulk is the name of the system ‘e’ Registered Bodies use to submit applications to the DBS (formerly CRB) electronically. At present, we submit over 99% of our DBS applications via eBulk, including those submitted to DDC on a paper form.
e-Bulk is available to Registered Bodies who submit more than 1,500 applications or more in any rolling 12 month period in the last 18 months; have a payment on account facility with the DBS; have authorisation from the lead countersignatory and are willing to develop or already have sufficient IT infrastructure to be able to securely send applications electronically to the DBS.
All e-bulk systems are required to undergo a comprehensive series of tests and assessments before going live. This guarantees the accuracy of the data being submitted to the DBS and the security of the connection. All data is passed through a mutually encrypted connection, using industry-standard SSL technology. Data is sent to the DBS in short busts, so the connection is only activated when required. Data is only stored on a dedicated, secure server and is never retained for longer than necessary. The flow diagram below illustrates a typical e-bulk process:
Since the introduction of e-Bulk, application rejections and the average Disclosure lead time have been significantly reduced. Currently, DDC receives Standard Disclosures in an average of 3 working days and Enhanced Disclosures in an average of 8 calendar days. As an illustration, it has been known for an application to be initiated by the client in the morning, completed online by the applicant and documents checked online by noon, submitted to the DBS in the morning transfer and the (clear) Disclosure received in the afternoon transfer.
Also, since June 2013 when the DBS stopped issuing a copy of the Disclosure to the Registered Body, only RB’s submitting applications via eBulk will receive notification from the DBS when the document is issued to the applicant. This notification states whether the Disclosure is “clear”, so only those with content need to be obtained from the applicant for physical checking.