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October 12, 2021
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Update regarding current high level of demand for DBS Checks and processing times

However, since then, we have received an important update from DBS regarding their experiences. We felt all our customers will find this relevant, so I wanted to bring it to your attention. The update was as follows:  
So far this year the number of requests for DBS checks has seen a steady increase and despite this, we have still been able to meet all of our published service standards. 
As we see extraordinary high levels of recruitment across the country not just in the care sector and gig economy, but also the start of companies recruiting casual labour in the run up to Christmas, we expect this demand to further increase. 
During September, we have processed 690,000 applications, which was 130,000 (23%) more than we had planned for – as organisations have started to recruit more staff following lockdown restrictions. We expect October to be even busier. This means that we may not meet all of our targets in October or November and we are asking people to bear with us while we respond to this unprecedented demand. 
Ordinarily, 80% of Enhanced DBS Checks are completed within 14 days, 80% of Standard DBS Checks are completed within 5 days and 80% of Basic DBS Checks are completed within 2 days. We are advising people that DBS checks may take an additional five days to process. 
Our staff have worked tirelessly hard throughout the pandemic to ensure employers receive the vital information they need to make safer recruitment decisions. We continue to work 7 days a week to keep on top of demand and are recruiting extra staff to deal with our demand. We have also continued to stop those people who we believe pose a risk to children and vulnerable groups from working in regulated activity. We’ll continue to do this as we know and recognise the vital role we play in recruitment and safeguarding the most vulnerable. 
We anticipate a return to normal levels of demand towards the end of the year. 
We reviewed our own data for DBS checks that we processed in September, and found that our results are quicker than the official line quoted by DBS. Here are our actual results for all types of DBS checks that were processed in September: 
85.1% of Enhanced DBS Checks were completed within 14 days 
83.7% of Standard DBS Checks were completed within 14 days 
83.2% of Basic DBS Checks were completed within 14 days 
Another agency that asked us in recent days to flag to our customers that they are struggling to keep up with their published turnaround time of 10 working days is the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland. 

I wish to take this opportunity to mention that while we have not received official communications from all other agencies, we know that others have similar challenges.  
With the unprecedented demand for background checking services, we are continuing to do everything in our power to support all of our customers. We would once again like to thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time.  
Yours sincerely,  
Eyal Ben Cohen 
Founder and CEO  

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October 11, 2021
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Service update and system upgrade bringing product and security enhancements

Following our mid-June service update, explaining the unprecedented demand for recruitment and screening services, I write with an update.  
With Ernst & Young predicting the fastest GDP growth in 80 years, we continue to experience unparalleled demand for our services. Speaking with so many of our clients and partners, we see this pattern echoed across the board. In mid-June, there were over 1.5 million active job postings in the UK. This figure now stands at 1.65 million. The Office of National Statistics have also reported the highest level of vacancies since their records began in 2001. 
Since my last update, at Verifile, we have continued to focus on three areas: 
Recruitment – Our headcount is now up 51% since the start of the recovery. We continue to actively recruit and select more experienced talent to join our Operations Team. New joiners are being onboarded weekly. 
Flexibility and responsiveness – We continue to utilise our flexible and cross trained staff, moving them between teams as needs require. 
Going the extra mile – Our hardworking staff are continuing to put in the extra hours needed to meet the unprecedented demand. I am incredibly grateful for their efforts to support you and your candidates. 
Our advanced technology means that the processing of many checks is fully automated, so they are being processed without delay – the increase in volume does not affect these checks. 
Despite the significant uplift in our headcount, we are regrettably still experiencing delays collecting references. This is partly due to the incredibly high volume of orders that we continue to receive. In addition, the task of providing references for former employees has not been top of the list for many organisations. The focus has, understandably, been on recruitment, retention and bringing staff back from furlough. Many schools, colleges, and universities were closed for the summer holidays, bringing a delay to some academic checks too. However, we are starting to see some encouraging signs that turnaround times will begin to reduce in the coming weeks. 
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to manage and adjust to meet the unprecedent demand. 
Yours sincerely, 

Eyal Ben Cohen
Founder and CEO

Other News

Right to Work in the UK Temporary Adjustments Extended
The Home Office have announced an extension to temporary COVID-19 adjusted check measures. The projected end of temporary adjustments is now 5 April 2022. Click here for guidance on the current rules.
Internet Explorer Reminder
Our client portal no longer supports access via the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. Microsoft ceased to support Internet Explorer 11 in November 2020, so our focus is now on those browsers that are more popular with our candidates and clients such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
System Upgrade
We’re launching another upgrade to our system. Read on to see what's included. 
Global Fraud/Sanctions
•   Unpublish possible matches from the Verifile report 
•   Non-accessible weblinks no longer published
•   Optional secondary processing rules
Manage the full end-to-end DBS process via API 
•   Confirm DBS ID checks via our API
•   Change document types
•   Provide new document details
•   DBS document helper specifies fields needed per document
Ordering enhancements
•   Order international checks via the portal 
•   Show checks by country
•   Set a default country to always show checks for that country
•   Search by check name
•   Show check by category, e.g. Reference and Verification Services
•   One-click to access background info on many of our products 
Security enhancements
•   Introduction of reCaptcha at log in 
For more detailed information on these enhancements, please read on below to find out more. 
Global Fraud/Sanctions
If you have ruled out possible matches from being your candidate, or have concluded that the possible matches aren’t relevant, then you will be able to unpublish those matches from the Verifile report via the client portal. 
Many of the data sources used in this search are internet based, such as news articles. Over time, weblinks can expire and are therefore no longer accessible. The original data that was available from the source is always retained when profiles are created in the product, and these are shared with you. However, going forward, we will check these weblinks, and only share those that can be accessed at the point that the check is run. 
We have also introduced additional secondary processing options to refine the possible matches even further. For example, adding an ‘exact last name filter’ means that possible matches would only be shown when the last name on the profile matches exactly the individual’s last name as we have it. For more information on the secondary processing options available, please see section 7 of this guide
Manage the full end-to-end DBS process via API 
Whilst it has long been possible to order all levels of DBS England and Wales criminal record checks via our API, it will now be possible to confirm that the individual’s ID has been checked via our API too. Clients that have integrated our API with their Applicant Tracking System no longer need to log into our client portal as the full end-to-end process can now be run purely via API. 
In conjunction with the above, we have added functionality to change ID documents for candidate entry orders. This is helpful if a candidate says they will present certain documents for the ID check, but actually present different documents. It is possible to provide details for those new documents, e.g. passport number, via the API too.  
Ordering enhancements
You’ll now be able to order our 3,500+ international checks via the client portal. We have enhanced the ordering page to make it simple to find and order the correct checks worldwide. You’ll be able to show (filter) checks by country and category, plus search by check name. 
In addition, if you mainly order checks in one country, we can set up that country as your default. This enhancement will benefit clients that have branches worldwide and consequently have different default checks for each. Please contact our Client Services Team to set this up.  
You’ll also see that we’ve added information links to many of our checks. One-click on the (i) icon will open that check’s description page in a new tab, meaning that you can easily look up background information on the check before you place your order. We’ll continue to add links for the rest of our checks. 
Security enhancements
To improve the security of our system we have added reCAPTCHA to our login page used by candidates and clients. It will usually only require one click of a button to get through and will provide significant security benefits in return. 

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September 17, 2021
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FCA announce continued delays processing applications for Senior Managers

Despite increasing resources in an attempt to reduce delays, the FCA has confirmed that unprecedented volumes have resulted in continued delays with the processing of applications for regulated roles.

The FCA have asked for help with processing applications of Senior Manager and Appointed Representative efficiently by requesting that full background screening (including completion of DBS checks) is undertaken before submitting applications.

With unprecedented levels of hiring across many sectors, the news of the FCA’s ongoing delays in processing Senior Manager and Appointed Representative applicants comes as no surprise.

Employers in the financial services sector would be advised to build more time in to their onboarding schedules and ensure that pre-employment screening is initiated as early as possible. Applications to the FCA should only be submitted once all results have been received in order to prevent further delays.

The FCA have specifically asked for the following help:

  • carefully checking the application before submission to ensure that it has been completed in full
  • remembering that for SMR applications you must complete a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check before submission
  • making sure you have conducted, and included, all appropriate due diligence checks, including regulatory references, before submitting a candidate
  • responding promptly and fully if we contact you to seek further information about a submitted application

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