New Customer?  Registration is FREE and under NO obligation.  To get started, Register Here.

 Click here for FAQ's relating to the DBS Single Certificate (Applicant only and new 

DBS Update system introduced in June 2013.

We communicate latest DBS News and DBS Updates to our customers via a regular email newsletter.  

Click here to access our previous newsletters.

General FAQ's 

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Q.1: What Types of Criminal Record Checks are there and what is the eligibility criteria?

There are 4 levels of Criminal Record Checks available:  

  1. Basic Disclosure
  2. Standard DBS Check (previously known as Standard CRB Check) - roles included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and / or and in Police Act Regulations.
  3. Enhanced DBS Check - excluding barred list check  (previously known as Enhanced CRB Check) - roles included in Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (pre-September 2012).
  4. Enhanced DBS Check - including barred list check (previously known as Enhanced CRB Check) - These are roles which are classified as "Regulated Activity" under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act and Protection updated by the Freedoms Act (POFA) September 2012.

To be eligible for a a DBS check the position/role of an applicant must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and / or and in Police Act Regulations.

We have summarised this criteria in an easy to read DBS eligibility guide. Click here to access our easy to read DBS eligibility guide.

Links to the legislation named above is available for reference through our Customer Resources/Links section.

Further information on the eligibility criteria for DBS checks, can also be found on the DBS website . 



Q.2:  How do I get started?

Register with us to start using our our DBS/CRB Application system straight away! - Registration is free and under no obligation. 



Q.3:  What Roles are eligible for a DBS/CRB Check and what level of check do I need?

Click here for further information on types of checks available and eligibility criteria.


 

Q.4:  How long do DBS/CRB checks take?

We recommend using our online DBS/CRB Application system as the average time to complete online DBS/CRB Applications is 8 days.  By comparison, the average time taken for DBS/CRB checks to be processed using the paper-based application system is 1-2 weeks for Standard Checks and an average of 4-6 weeks for Enhanced Checks.

The average timeframe to complete Basic Disclosure checks is 13-16 working days.

NB:  These are averages, due to the individual nature of the checks the time-frame to complete them cannot be guaranteed.  Whilst the figures for Standard Checks are consistent across all applications, the spread for Enhanced Checks is much wider with the odd one taking up to 6 months.


 

Q.5:  How / Who pays for the Applications?

Payment is due when an application form is submitted to Mayflower, unless otherwise agreed with Mayflower.  Credit agreements can be arranged, subject to credit check.  Please contact us for further information.

We can accept payment by PayPal, debit or credit cards via our website (Pay Online) ; cheque, postal orders or bank transfers.  Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ‘Mayflower Disclosure Services Ltd.’

NB:  Personal cheques will not be accepted.  Applications will not be processed until cheques have been cleared by our bank.  This could add further delay to the receipt of CRB / Disclosure certificates.  This can be avoided by paying by bank transfer. 



Q.6:  How long is a DBS/CRB certificate valid for?

Each certificate will display an issue date, so the older it is, the less reliable it is. However, there is no expiry date.  Organisations should re-new DBS (CRB) checks for their staff in a reasonable time-frame (every 1-3 years recommended).  The renewal time-frame may also be stipulated by your contract provider.

 

 

Q.7:  Is a DBS/CRB certificate transferable (i.e. to another employer)? What is the DBS Update Service?

If the applicant is a member of the "DBS Update Service" they need to show you their original hard-copy DBS certificate.  You need to check that it is the:

  1. correct level (Standard or Enhanced), 
  2. correct workforce (adult or child workforce) and ....
  3. that the barred list checks were carried out (if you need them).
 
The applicant must also need to provide you with their unique "DBS Update Subscription Number", so that you can check if their have been any changes to their DBS certificate.
 
To do this please go to the DBS website and follow the on-screen instructions.
 

If the applicant is not a member of the DBS Update Service, there are a number of factors you should take into consideration before accepting a DBS certificate issued by a different employer.  

Please refer to the DBS guidelines on accepting a previously issued certificate which can be found on their website.

The DBS Update Service is managed solely by the DBS.  If you have any problems or queries regarding the DBS Update Service, please contact the DBS by telephone: 0870 90 90 811 or email: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk.

 

Q.8:  Is a “Fast-Track” check available?  DBS Adult First


There is no "Fast Track" service available for the processing of DBS checks; however a DBS Adult First check can be requested in exceptional circumstances

A “DBS Adult First” check (previously called an ISA Adult First or Pova check) is available in the exceptional circumstance that there is a real danger that your staffing levels will fall below statutory obligations, fore example:  Care Roles or for staff in Care Homes.

 

A DBS Adult First (previously called an ISA Adult First or PoVa First) check will check if the applicant's name is on the barred list for working with Vulnerable Adults, whilst the DBS Application is being processed and confirm this by email.


The email result provided by the DBS will have 2 outcomes:

1.  "No match exists for this person on the DBS Adults Barred list" - this means the applicant's name is not on the barred list and they can start work, before their DBS check has been completed, as long as they’re supervised

2.  "Please wait for the DBS Certificate before making a recruitment decision regarding this applicant" - this means the DBS are not able to confirm if the applicant is on the barred list or not - you should wait for the result of the DBS check before this applicant starts work.  This result is not conclusive.  It does not mean the applicant is barred from working with vulnerable adults; in fact in our experience it is very rare for this to be the case.

Please note, a DBS Adult First check does incur additional charges, see our price list.

Please refer to the DBS Adult First website link in the "Website Links" section of our Customer Resources/Links page for more information.


Q.9:  What is the definition of a Volunteer for DBS/CRB purposes?  What is the eligibility criteria for Volunteer DBS Applications?

The DBS defines a volunteer to be ‘a person who performs any activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travelling and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit someone (individuals or groups) other than or in addition to close relatives’.  Work Experience, Student Trainee’s, Student Placements and Student Teachers do NOT fall within the DBS definition of “Volunteer”.

The applicant must NOT:

  • receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
  • be on a work placement
  • be on a course that requires them to do this job role
  • be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification
Click here for further information of DBS volunteer eligibility.

Examples of eligible and ineligible volunteer roles:


Position applied for

Volunteer eligibility

DBS Reasoning

Parent helpers in schools

Eligible

This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed   at providing a service to a third party

Scout/Guide

Eligible

This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed   at providing a service to a third party

Adoptive parents and other household members over 18 years old

Eligible

This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed   at providing a service to a third party

Foster carers and members of the same household over 18 years old

Ineligible

Foster carers usually receive payments for these activities therefore the DBS deem that neither foster carers nor other members of the household over 18 years old are entitled for Volunteer DBS Checks

Individuals working abroad on volunteering projects

Ineligible

These persons usually receive payment of a local salary, and lump sum payments, above and beyond what could be described as “travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses”.  Therefore the DBS deem that these roles are not entitled for Volunteer DBS Checks

Medical/teaching/social work student on work placement, as part of training

Ineligible

This activity is a mandatory course requirement, is usually paid and is primarily undertaken to benefit the student

 



Q.10:  What should I do when I see the applicant's DBS/CRB Disclosure certificate?

Check the DBS certificate content is in line with your Legal obligations and your policy for Recruitment of Ex-Offenders.  Please see Customer Resources section for sample policy.

 

You can retain a copy of their DBS Certificate with the applicants' permission. If you do, you must store this copy in line with the DBS policy on Storage and Retention of Disclosure information and the Data Protection Act. See the sample policy on the storage of Disclosures in the Customer Resources/Links section of our website. 



Q.11:  What if the applicant has a criminal record?

This is not necessarily a bar to employment and is not always a valid reason for rejection of a job candidate.  Refer to your Organisation’s policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders.  Please see Customer Resources section for sample policy. 



Q.12: I am an individual - Can I get a DBS/CRB check?

We also provide DBS (CRB) Checks for for activity providers/recruiting organisations requiring a single / 1 x DBS Check.  For more information, please go to our sister website:  www.dbsapplication.co.uk.  

This website is dedicated towards helping providers obtain a single DBS(CRB) certificate, and if you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply for DBS Check from here. 

 

 

Q.13: What Identity documents need to be verified for each applicant?


The identity of DBS/CRB Applicants and Basic Disclosure Applicants must be verified by Application Managers/ID Checkers.

In order for their Application to be submitted for processing, applicants must show their Application Manager/ID Checker some original ID documents that meets the list of Acceptable ID.

Please note:  the list of Acceptable ID is different for DBS checks and Basic Disclosure Checks

 


Q.14: What does "Waiting Countersignatory Auth" mean on the on-line application system?

 

This means you have successfully submitted the application to us for processing.  We will now countersign your application and begin to process your application and you will see it move through the different sections of the grey boxes on your Application Manager Dashboard as it progresses through the different stages of the checks.

When the checks are completed, the certificate will be issued, and an email notification will be sent to the Primary Application Manager/Primary Contact to let you know. 



Q.15: The DBS result has come through - What does "certificate contains no info" mean?

 

Effective for 17th June 2013, the DBS are no longer issuing DBS certificates to Employers.  A clear notification will fall in to one of the three categories below once completed;

  • Any clear certificate previously on the system (issued before Monday 17th) will still have a certificate attached and will be viewable until this is archived after 180 days.
  • Any application that was submitted to the DBS prior to the 17th but not completed until the 17th onwards will also still say ‘Clear’ but the attached certificate is blank is this is no longer produced.
  • Any application submitted from 17th onwards, when the result comes back this will be displayed as ‘Certificate contains no information’ (this means it is “clear”) and have no attachment at all

For further detail about this change please click here. 



Q.16:  I am trying to complete the ID Check for an application, but the system will not accept the Driving Licence Number, Why?

 

The driving licence number is coded so it matches the individuals' names and Date of Birth.  The system cross-checks this against the information entered on the application form.  If there is a mis-match the system will not accept it.

Please check the driving licence details against the information entered on the DBS Application form.  If the applicants' names or Date of Birth is different please email us and we will amend the application form on your behalf.  You will then be able to complete the ID check for this application. 

Q.17:  How do I set-up another Application Manager (ID Checker)?

To set  up another user, please ask them to compete and return the changes form, available to download here

On receipt of their form, we will create a user account for them and send them instructions and log-in details on submitting DBS Applications for processing. 



Q.18:  Where is the DBS/CRB Certificate sent for each DBS Application?

 
Effective 17th June 2013 only 1 x DBS certificate is issued.  A hard-copy DBS certificate is posted directly from the DBS to the applicants' home address; that they provide on their DBS Application.  This is due to a change in law. This change is part of the government’s aim to put the individual in greater control of their own data.  When the applicant receives their DBS certificate, you (the employer) need to ask them to show it to you. 
 
Our online application system will still keep you ‘in the loop’ by providing integrated application tracking, and by sending you email notifications when each DBS check is completed, informing you if the DBS check is clear or if it has content.
 

 

Q.19:  The applicant has not received their DBS Certificate, even though it has been issued


The DBS will only issue certificates to the individual applicants and so will only accept requests for re-prints from the applicants themselves.

This is due to a change in law that took place in 2013. This change is part of the government’s aim to put the individual in greater control of their
own data.


The applicant can contact the DBS to request a re-print.  The DBS will only issue re-prints if the applicant has not received their certificate.  If the applicant tells them they have lost their certificate the DBS will not issue a re-print.

The DBS also have time constraints and will not re-issue a certificate that was issued more than 3 months ago.

The applicant can request a re-print by calling the DBS on 0870 90 90 811, to request a re-print.  Even if they don't have their form reference number
which is the 10 digit number starting with the letter "E"; the DBS will still be able to find their details using their name/s, DOB and current address.
 

The DBS will only issue certificates to the individual applicants and so will only accept requests for re-prints from the applicants themselves. 



Q.20:  What is the Workforce type and how do I complete it?

You must now include the relevant workforce(s) on each DBS application.  The accurate completion of both of these fields is critical because they are needed for the consideration of relevance by the police. You will be asked to choose one of the following DBS workforce types:

  • 'Child Workforce': Choose Child Workforce if the applicant's role is specifically related to children.  It must meet one of the following:
    • those in regulated activity in relation to children (ie: Enhanced level DBS Check including children's barring list check)
    • those who fall under the pre-September 2012 definition of regulated activity in relation to children (ie: Enhanced level DBS Check excluding children's barring list check or Standard level DBS Check)
    • adult members of households where fostering or childminding takes place

  • 'Adult Workforce' Choose Adult Workforce if the applicant's role is specifically related to (vulnerable) adults.  It must meet one of the following: 
    • those in regulated activity in relation to adults (ie: Enhanced level DBS Check including adult's barring list check)
    • those who fall under the pre-September 2012 definition of regulated activity in relation to adults (ie: Enhanced level DBS Check excluding adult's barring list check or Standard level DBS Check)
    • those who manage others in regulated activity with adults.

  • 'Child and Adult Workforce':  Choose Child and Adult Workforce if the applicant's role is specifically related to children and (vulnerable) adults - meets both scenarios/groups detailed above.

  • 'Other Workforce': Choose Other Workforce for roles where legislation exists for DBS checks but the primary focus of the work is NOT related ro children or (vulnerable) adults, for example:
    • security guard
    • financial services
    • legal services
    • gambling commission
    • national lottery
    • public guardianship office
    • immigration advice or services
For more detail on DBS Workforce types click here.
 
 

Q21:  How do I choose the correct Barred list?

You select the appropriate Barred list check when you complete Section Y of the Application Manager section (just before you submit a DBS Application to us for processing.  In this section you are given the following options:


- Adults Barring list:  This checks if the applicant is barred form working with vulnerable adults.  A job role can only have the barred lists checked for vulnerable adults if they are doing certain roles for example;providing care or healthcare to an adult (full details of eligibility criteria can be referred to here)

Working with Adults in Regulated Activity:  Select "Yes" only if the role is eligible for the adults barred list check

- Children's Barring list:  This checks if the applicant is barred form working with children.  A job role can only have the barred lists checked for children if they are doing a specific role for example;providing care, teaching, supervising or if the a working in a childcare premises on a frequent basis such as a school, nursery, children's care home (full details of eligibility criteria can be referred to here )  . 

Working with Children in Regulated Activity:  Select "Yes" only if the role is eligible for the children's barred list check .



Q22:  How Do I Completing Section Y Correctly?  How do I indicate what level of DBS Check I require?

You do this when you complete the Application Manager section of each DBS Application form.  When completing section Y of DBS Applications please select the following:


-Level:  Standard or Enhanced (whichever is applicable) - refer to eligibility criteria

-Workforce Type (see Q20):
    - Adult workforce (if the role specifically related to (vulnerable) adults or adult information)).
    - Child Workforce (if the role is specifically related to children or based in a child care or education premises).
 
-Working with Adults in Regulated Activity :  "Yes" if the role is eligible for the adults barred list check.

-Working with Children in Regulated Activity :  "Yes" if the role is eligible for the children's barred list check.

-Working with vulnerable groups at the applicant's home address: "Yes" if the applicant working with vulnerable people in their own home e.g.: Foster Carers.

-Is Volunteer: "Yes" if the role meets the DBS definition of a volunteer

-DBS Adult First Check Required:  This is only available for care home staff
 

It is the employers legal responsibility to ensure the correct level of DBS check is requested.  It is important the categories in section Y are correct as it affects what the DBS certificates can be used for when they are issued. 

Q23: What roles are considered to be “healthcare professionals” ?

According to the DBS a health care professional is a person who is regulated by one of the following professional regulators:

  • General Medical Council
  • General Dental Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Health Professions Council

 Q24: As an Employer, can I accept a DBS certificate was previously issued by someone else?

If the applicant is a member of the "DBS Update Service" they need to show you their original hard-copy DBS certificate.  You need to check that it is the:

  1. correct level (Standard or Enhanced), 
  2. correct workforce (adult or child workforce) and ....
  3. that the barred list checks were carried out (if you need them).
 
The applicant must also need to provide you with their unique "DBS Update Subscription Number", so that you can check if their have been any changes to their DBS certificate.
 
To do this please go to the DBS website and follow the on-screen instructions.
 

If the applicant is not a member of the DBS Update Service, there are a number of factors you should take into consideration before accepting a DBS certificate issued by a different employer.  

Please refer to the DBS guidelines on accepting a previously issued certificate which can be found on their website.

The DBS Update Service is managed solely by the DBS.  If you have any problems or queries regarding the DBS Update Service, please contact the DBS by telephone: 0870 90 90 811 or email: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk.

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