You may be aware that as part of the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) process, checks have to be reviewed by the applicants’ local police forces, where searches are done against the applicant to highlight any records held by the police.
This step is known as stage 4 of the DBS checking process. Your application is sent by secure, electronic means to a police force for an additional check of their local records. (See more about what happens when your check is with your local police force here). The applicants ‘certificate is then printed and then sent back to their home address.
The DBS process approximately 4.4 million checks every year, 5.2% of these are sent to and reviewed by the Met Police.
You may be aware of the unfortunate backlog the Met police have been experiencing since October 2015. The DBS have released a number of updates regarding the backlog, and have been working tirelessly alongside the Met, in a bid to reduce the processing times. The latest update can be found here.
The reason for delays lies in the increased number of applications the Met police have faced over the last couple of years which was also accompanied by difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff who deal with and process the applications.
Following this, the Met has recruited police and agency staff within the Disclosure Unit whose duty is to recuperate the process and help reduce the outstanding caseload.
In April 2016 the Met had 83,000 cases outstanding, now they have nearly halved this to 43,435!
To prevent this issue reoccurring, the Met have introduced an on-going training plan with recruitment and productivity measures to ensure a resilient team is built within the Disclosure Unit.
The DBS and the Met are expecting further improvements over the coming months, however some applications that are currently in progress will unfortunately still experience delays.
As per previous updates, the Met will continue to address the backlog of applications which have reached their 60 day service level target. Which, as stated in the previous update, are now being automatically escalated. Once the escalation has been raised, the police force will aim to complete their searches after 10 working days.
Please note, there are other reasons why your application may be experiencing delays such as queries with the information provided on the application form, or internal queries within the DBS.
Both the DBS and the Met Disclosure Unit apologise for the delays and will continue to work together to try and resolve these extended processing times for DBS applications.
If you have applied for a DBS check through Personnel Checks and have a question about these delays, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team today.
If you have processed your application through Personnel Checks and it has been escalated but still hasn’t returned after 10 working days, please get in touch and we will contact the Police for you.