DBS Checks

Do you need DBS checks?

If your organisation works with children or vulnerable adults you need to ensure that your staff and volunteers have an up-to-date DBS certificate.

Empowering Families provides an economic DBS checking service for voluntary organisations, supplementary schools, and businesses.

We offer walk-in sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday 10.30am to 2pm at our office in Neasden, or call for an appointment. Alternatively we accept postal applications.

Applicants need to provide photo identity and two proofs of current address.

Cost of each check is:

£56.50 for paid staff
£12.50 administration fee for volunteer checks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What identification do I need for a DBS check?

You need to bring official photo identification and two proofs of your current address that have your name on it. We need to see original documents. Photo identification is usually a passport or photo driving licence. Proof of address is usually a utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement. If you are not sure if you have the correct documents please contact us.

I live too far away to come into your office and I don’t want to send my documents by post. What can I do?

Get someone in authority to certify that they have seen original documents. Often the person certifying is the project co-ordinator or supplementary school organiser. They should check the documentation, take copies, sign and date them, and send to us with the form.

How long does a DBS check take?

Usually between three and six weeks, there may be issues on the form that delay the check. Sometimes applications get held up at one of the stages. Sometimes police checks take extra time. Always check our twitter feed and news pages to check if there are any known problems.

In autumn 2015 The Metropolitan Police Service relocated its archive. Due to staffing this has resulted in severe delays in some circumstances. The majority of DBS checks we carry out are completed in the three to six week time frame. However, if the DBS check is needed for a time-sensitive project we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

My application is taking a long time. Can I find out what is going on?

You can follow the progress of your application on the DBS tracking service at the link below.

You will need the number on your form and your date of birth. We always put form numbers on invoices and receipts. The tracking service will tell you which stage your application is at. We can escalate an application if it has been stuck at one stage for more than 60 days.

Please contact us if your application is dependent on your getting a job or a volunteer position as we can make representation to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

How long does a DBS check last?

There is no expiry date for a DBS check and the decision to accept a DBS certificate rests with the organisation who the volunteer or employee is working with. The DBS offers an update service that an applicant can apply for up to 19 days after the issue of the DBS certificate. The cost of an update is free for volunteers and £13 a year for employees. You can get a form for the update service from us.

Can I get a replacement DBS certificate?

Only if a new certificate has been sent out and you have not received it. You need to apply for a reprint within 90 days of the original certificate being issued. We are no longer sent copies of certificates. We recommend that when you receive your certificate you show it to the organisation you are working or volunteering for. Ensure that they take a photocopy for their records and return the original to you. Keep the original safe with your other personal documents.