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October 12 2021

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