DBS checks are getting a lot more popular throughout the UK with employers using them efficiently during the Coronavirus pandemic. With the changes taking place around the world from the initial stages of the virus spreading to the current day, everything is unpredictable. When they first announced the virus, countries imposed restrictions on travel for the most part. The UK implemented lockdowns so that a lot more people would stay indoors to reduce the spread. Companies and businesses shut for a significant amount of time, and people were not sure about their jobs. For the companies that could, they began implementing new systems, including remote working and having only a small number of people come into the office, making sure they were following the guidelines implemented by the Government.
Many industries who could not make the move to remote working, like people working in construction, hospitality, healthcare or tasks that needed in-person interactions, were either forced to stay open since they were marked as essential services or had to wait for the situation to get better and restrictions to be lifted. With the changes that were taking place, a large number of people across the UK were losing their jobs and the employment rate, which was stabilizing at 3.9%, now began skyrocketing to almost 5%.
Companies had to go through various checks to make sure the people they were working with could be trusted, and the ones they were hiring were a good match for the already existing teams. One of the most used tests was the DBS test which was previously the CRB check.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a public body connected to the Home Office in the UK. Their primary purpose is to enable organizations, employers and people in hiring positions, within the public, private and voluntary sectors to go through safer, and informed recruitment decisions by identifying applicants who might be unsuitable for specific work. The DBS has a separate list that they have put into effect for the adults’ and children’s Barred Lists, especially involving children or vulnerable adults and for the intention of looking after them. The DBS checks provide greater access to criminal record information through its disclosure service through surrounding areas as well.
Online application and documentation processes
Throughout the Coronavirus, multiple changes were taking place around the UK, including connected to service like the DBS. They changed the number of hours that they were working and implemented new rules. They were working through programs where employers were going through DBS checks when they had their employees return after the long work from home routine. Offices could no longer hold the same number of staff as the past, but they were working with a smaller number of people throughout the process. They changed their hours of work and were allowing applicants to coordinate almost all their application and documentation processes online so they would not have to get into the office.
A lot of the people getting through the DBS check could not get through the application online as well, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. There were new amendments made where they were allowed to upload their information virtually, which was not something done in the past.
A faster system
The authorities were working on creating a faster system, allowing people to use their expired passports as temporary DBS IDs to review their details when getting through the DBS process. Additionally, there are interim changes and regular updates to the ID checking guidelines made as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The DBS system has a lot of information that they are putting out about safety throughout the Coronavirus pandemic to make sure all people are staying safe. Since these times are unprecedented, each day Governments and authorities come up with new information. The platform has a lot of information through factsheets. They also keep making changes to their guidelines based on receiving recent information and upload stories related to DBS and the Coronavirus.
DBS Update Service
To create an easy system, they came up with the DBS Update Service. The service allows people to go through a subscription and update their information regularly, for a fee. People that go through the service receive a DBS certificate, and it will always be valid. However, the test is only relevant on the day that the individual took the test since there could be information gathered post that day that could cause massive changes. Most companies ask their applicants for a recent DBS certificate when they are hiring people. They usually need to have applied for their certificates within the ranges of six months to a year, with a few exceptions where companies are open to using certificates that are up to three years old.
Employers were only allowed to go through the DBS certificates if they received consent from the applicants. People could choose not to send their information, but might not be considered for the job. Employers are not allowed to go through the profiles of people they are not directly connected with, but they could check the backgrounds of the people they were working with and all of their prospective hires as well.
DBS applications that belong to people who are assisting with anything relating to the Coronavirus are fast-tracked to make them go faster. Nurses and Nursing Associates, Health Professionals, Social Workers and Caregivers, Medical Practitioners, Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacists along with Emergency Volunteers get their information sorted in 24 hours while they handle the remaining at the usual time it would take. The process begins by reviewing whether they are in the barred list and if they not can start working while the rest of their information is processed. Some job descriptions require people to have a specific set of qualifications and cannot hire people from certain services, including the adults’ and children’s Barred Lists, especially if they are working at medical institutions where they work with varying age groups. There are various DBS checks that applicants can go through depending on their requirements and the jobs that they are applying for.