Where is my DBS check?

APCS are committed to providing the fastest turnaround times for criminal record checks. Despite this, some applications may take longer, due to circumstances out of our own hands. Below is our complete guide to DBS escalations and processing times.


Why is my DBS check taking so long?

From our experience in processing DBS checks, Stage 4 (The Local Police Search) is often the stage that takes the longest in the application process. The DBS pass some Enhanced Disclosure applications to one or more local police forces for them to check. The checks carried out are varied, and often involves asking other parties for information. Consequently, some applications take longer than the norm.

The police work through their application in order of the date on which they are received from the DBS and their target to get all referred applications completed and returned to the DBS within 60 days.


When can I escalate my DBS application?

We can escalate applications that have taken over 60 days through the DBS by the click of a button, and our system automatically flags up applications for escalation. Not all applications are escalated on the 60th day, some may have been at the DBS for a few days before being sent on to the police, and some may have been returned to the DBS by the police because of an internal query. If this happens and it is returned to the police by the DBS, a fresh target of 60 days applies. We are never told what such queries may be as the DBS must not give us any information that may infer that there will be an entry on the disclosure certificate.

If an application is successfully escalated, the DBS flag the escalation with the relevant police force, and the police prioritise it. This may get a quicker response, but if the police are waiting for information from a 3rd party (the applicant for example) it still won’t resolve it. Only one escalation is necessary, as once escalated the police give it their highest priority. Subsequently, it cannot be escalated further.

The final escalation happens after 70 days. After 70 days the DBS will give us the address of the police force and we can contact them direct. We write to the police informing them of the length of time the applicant has been waiting.

In summary, two escalation requests can be made – after 60 days and after 70 days. We cannot escalate it again. The police do not tell us the reason for the delay as that may indicate that something will appear on the disclosure. They would be in breach of privacy legislation if this happened.

If you require any further information regarding escalations or need to check the progress of a DBS check, please call us on 0151 638 6158 or email us at enquiries@accesspcs.co.uk.