If you’re in a job which requires a disclosure check, then you’ll know that getting one can take a few weeks at least. You have to complete the form, show your identity documents, then wait for the certificate to arrive. One thing which most people don’t notice about a DBS certificate is that it doesn’t have an expiry date on it. This can lead to a confusing picture about when it needs to be renewed. Employers are often as confused about this as you are. And even more confusingly, there’s no simple answers.
So when does a Disclosure Check expire?
There is no date on which a disclosure check goes “out of date”. This is due to the process for running DBS checks. The results of the checks are only accurate on the day they are done. Once your certificate is printed and sent to you in the post, any new convictions and cautions will not be added to your record. When you look at it that way, it means that your DBS certificate is out of date the day after it has been printed. Employers have their own policies about how often they will request new checks. Usually, this is every two or three years. There is no way to simply request a renewal of a check, getting a new one means going through the whole process again from scratch.
Applying for a New DBS Check
If your employer has asked you to apply for a new DBS check, then the process is the same as applying for your first check. First, you’ll need to fill in the application form. Then show a range of documents which prove both who you are, and where you live. The form is then processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service. There are other similar national bodies if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. The police will search the records on their database and produce the new certificate, which you can then show to your employer and wait until the next time they say your checks need renewed.
DBS Update Service
Another option for getting your DBS check renewed is to sign up to the DBS update service. This is different from the regular checks in that everything is done online. When you apply for your first check, tick the box to get enrolled in Update. There is an additional annual charge for this. Your employer might be happy to pay the fee for you if they want you to be a member.
As the Update Service gives access to the police database, the information is always current. The police will add any new information about new convictions automatically. If you choose to have access to DBS update, this can cut down processing delays. It also means that if you switch jobs, it’s just a matter of letting your new employer log into the system to see your up to date information. There are a few restrictions, but on the whole it’s a simple way around the issues of renewal.