Form Completion

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2 Blackden Close


DE56 0DL


07896 640840

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Questions about DBS Checks

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Why so precise?

The DBS allows no variation in the matter of valid documents. We have no discretion to accept any documents other than those appearing on the list, nor to accept documents older than as stipulated.

In their guidance the DBS stresses the need for careful completion of application forms and checking of documents.

In their words “Failure to do this may... introduce risk into your recruitment or licensing arrangements”.

What they mean is you could get a “clear” result when in fact a person actually has convictions.

Please read Checking for Fraud.

Expiry dates; repeat checks

DBS Checks do not have an expiry date. In a sense they are out of date the minute they arrive.

Unless an outside organisation (such as the CQC or Department of Education) requires, it is up to you whether you undertake repeat checks.

Repeat checks can be worth doing. In addition there may be other checks that you ought to undertake on a regular basis, for example: membership of professional bodies such as the NMC and GMC.

See also 'DBS Update Service' below.


The DBS makes the following charges:

  • Standard: £26.00
  • Enhanced: £44.00

In addition GP Systems charges £9.00 for each application.

Visits to your practice

If you want us to visit your organisation to complete DBS applications, we are able to do this.

This could be beneficial to you if you have a few applications to complete at the same time.

Depending upon distance, there might be a fee, purely to cover the cost of petrol.

Levels of disclosure and eligibility

Before you consider asking a person to apply for a criminal record check, you are legally responsible for ensuring that they are entitled to submit an application for the job role.

This means that you must satisfy GP Systems (who will countersign the application) that the position is eligible under current legal provisions. Further information can be obtained here.

You can also speak to Peter McKeown (07896 640840) or the DBS (0300 020 0190).

Enhanced Checks

Jobs that involve caring for, supervising or being in sole charge of children or adults require an enhanced DBS check (previously called an enhanced CRB check).

This includes checking whether someone is included in one or both of the two DBS ‘barred lists’ of individuals who are unsuitable for working with children and/or adults.

DBS Adult First Checks

These used to be called POVA First Checks.

DBS Adult First is a service that can be used in cases where, exceptionally, and in accordance with the terms of Department of Health guidance, a person is permitted to start work with adults before a DBS Certificate has been obtained. This applies to adult services such as care homes, domiciliary care agencies and adult placement schemes where DBS Certificates are required by law.

DBS adult first is a service available to organisations who can request a check of the DBS adults’ barred list. Depending on the result, a person can be permitted to start work, under supervision, with vulnerable adults before a DBS certificate has been obtained.

DBS Adult First is not a substitute for a DBS Certificate and providers must take care when making recruitment decisions prior to receiving a full DBS Certificate. DBS Adult First checks should be used only in exceptional circumstances and when absolutely necessary.

A DBS Adult First check is not appropriate where a person intends to work with both children and adults. Those working with both groups will need to wait for the DBS Certificate to be returned to find out whether a person is barred from working with children. There is no equivalent quick check of the children's barred list.

'Care Of' addresses

If you are currently living abroad and are applying for a DBS check, you can, with the organisation’s agreement, use the correspondence address of your employer or the Registered Body processing the check as your main address on the application form at section b.

You must also enter the address where you currently live in section c on the application form, with the current month as the closing date.

Registered Bodies/Employers are not entitled to open the envelope containing the certificate without the consent of the applicant.

If you were adopted

If you were adopted before the age of 10 you do not have to provide your surname at birth in section A of the application form. You should give your adoptive name in this section.

If you were adopted after the age of 10 the DBS requires full details of your previous name(s).

If you use two surnames

If you are using two names concurrently, e.g. for professional purposes, you should enter your primary name in a2/3 and your secondary name in a5, including forenames, and enter the current date in the 'date to' field, in the format MMYYYY.

Track the progress of an application

If you follow this link, input the Form Reference Number and the applicant's date of birth, you will be able to track progress of the application.

Time taken to process applications

When we send an application to the DBS, at the same time we send the employer and the applicant an email explaining how to check progress on the DBS website. This is the link included in the email:

The application should appear on the DBS website in a few days.

On average, according to our data, it takes less than ten days from our sending off the application to the DBS to the DBS actually posting out the certificate.

Handling the certificate

When the applicant receives the disclosure certificate it should be shown to the employer/licensing authority.

The certificate is the property of the applicant and if the Update Service has been utilised it is essential that the applicant keeps it safe.

The employer can record certain data from the certificate such as the date, disclosure number, level of check etc.

If any convictions are disclosed these must not be recorded. If there are no convictions this fact also must not be recorded.

Photocopies may be taken and kept for a short time if a decision whether or not to recruit cannot be made on the spot. Photocopies must be destroyed as soon as a decision has been made and in any event not later than 6 months from the date first seen.

If you click on 'DBS Checks Log' to the left, you will download a spreadsheet I have devised to assist in this.

If the certificate does not reach the applicant

Applicants and organisations should maintain a check of progress of the application via the online tracking service. If the certificate does not reach the applicant within fourteen days of being dispatched the applicant can request a reprint by emailing the DBS. Click here for details. If this is left too long the right to a duplicate might be lost.

Requesting duplicates

Apart from a certificate not reaching you, there is no right to obtaining a duplicate certificate.

DBS Update Service

If you wish, you (the applicant) can avail yourself of the DBS Update Service. So long as you pay the DBS £13.00 per year, you are able to offer a prospective new employer the ability to check your certificate online. This should save a lot of time. It could save money.

You can join the update service as soon as you have your application form reference number. If you put your email address on the application form we will send you the necessary details. Otherwise your employer will be able to give you the information.

You can also join the update service with your certificate number when you receive your DBS certificate. You must do so within 19 calendar days of the date of issue printed on the certificate.

To make use of the Update Service, you would give a prospective employer permission to perform a status check. Follow this link to find out how.

Previous Convictions

When signing the DBS application at section e55, you are asked if you have any convictions etc.

Before signing the form you should read the filtering rules which are available here.


The DBS makes no charge for volunteers.

In order to qualify for a volunteer DBS check a person must not:

  • Receive any payment (except for approved out–of-pocket expenses)
  • Be on a placement or secondment
  • Be on a course that requires them to do the job role
  • Be in a trainee position that will lead to a full-time role or qualification

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GP Systems

2 Blackden Close


DE56 0DL

07896 640840

Registered with the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Registration reference ZA145077.