Every month, thousands of companies across the UK submit DBS checks. Some are for employees working in jobs where a DBS check is a legal requirement, like teaching or nursing. Other companies have a blanket policy of checking the current criminal records of all their staff. Whatever the reason, the administrative burden is often considerable. It’s perhaps therefore not surprising that outsourcing basic DBS checks is an increasingly popular alternative. Is it something your organisation might think about?
What does outsourcing basic DBS checks mean?
This sounds like a fairly simple question, but the answer will vary by company. Most companies which provide the service will allow you to tailor their service to your needs. In practical terms, that means that they can either take the entire job off your shoulders, or just check the forms and manage the processing. Many companies offering DBS processing also offer other business support functions such as payroll or HR consultancy. If you’re already outsourcing these aspects of your operation, then adding DBS processing on makes a lot of sense. There is of course a charge for processing checks, usually based on the number of checks processed. From a business owner’s point of view, having an external supplier managing your basic DBS check applications is one less thing you have to worry about.
Advantages of having someone else doing disclosure checks
There a number of advantages of outsourcing the disclosure checking process to an external company. Not every advantage will be applicable to every company, so consider what the following would mean in your organisation.
Especially in a smaller business, managers are expected to be jacks of all trades. However good you are at your job, it’s impossible to keep abreast of the latest industry developments in everything from maternity legislation to Health and Safety or tax rules. Companies which manage your DBS for you have people who spend their entire career looking at DBS applications. It’s their job to keep up to speed with changes in the law, and know how this affects their customers. They know what to do with unusual situations, such as someone who’s moved around a lot or changed their names multiple times. This expert eye can catch mistakes, quickly answer queries and always knows how to complete the paperwork.
This benefit is linked to the first. A company which does nothing but process DBS applications doesn’t have all the other day to day responsibilities to sidetrack them and distract them. They are entirely focused on your paperwork, and getting it through the system as swiftly as possible. That’s good news for employers. But it’s also good news for the employee, waiting for their certificate to be allowed to start work.
If you’re trying to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by switching to doing things online wherever possible, most companies will offer online processing for their basic DBS checks. This not only speeds things up, but reduces the risk of pieces of paper going missing in the office or in the post.
If you’re not an expert in submitting DBS checks, then mistakes will be made. Even when everything goes to plan, you’ll be expected to field phone calls from employees asking where their certificates are, and asking questions about identity documents. Using an external company to outsource your basic DBS checks takes all this away from you. Someone else is there to respond to emails and deal with employees who are struggling to get their ID documents together.
The problem with evaluating cost is that often it’s hard to quantify the cost of not outsourcing. If you have one person whose job it is just to process DBS forms then it’s easy. However, in most companies people have multiple responsibilities. If you pay someone else to do the checking for you, that frees your staff up to do other things.
Finding an Outsourced Provider
There are a large number of companies around the UK offering these services. If you’re already happily using an external provider for HR advice or payroll, ask whether they can help. The good news is that you can search widely across the UK. As most applications are done online, it really doesn’t matter how closely you are located geographically to your provider.