Met Police Criticised for DBS Check Delays on Job Applicants

The government have said that delays to DBS checks from the Metropolitan Police are of “great concern” after thousands of delays across the UK.


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Every day hundreds of people in Britain apply for DBS checks for their work. They are essential if you will be working with vulnerable people or children, which means that employees can’t start their new jobs until a DBS check has been received.

This isn’t a problem if the check arrives in time, but the London force currently has around 50,000 outstanding applications, which is down from 83,000 in April. This indicates that tens of thousands of people are unable to work, even though they are fully qualified for the role that they have been applied for.

Long Wait Times

A DBS check should take up to eight weeks to arrive, but many people are reporting that they have been waiting for their check to arrive for months. Statistics have revealed that just over half of the cases are dealt with within eight weeks, but on average it takes 107 days to be resolved – that is nearly double the estimated timeframe.

Some nurses have even reported that they lost their jobs while waiting to be cleared. This is frustrating for both employees and employers, as no-one wants to go through the hiring process just to let someone go due to delayed credentials.


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It is also a huge source of worry for people who are waiting for their DBS checks to arrive, as they don’t know if the check will takes weeks or months to arrive. In the meantime they have no choice but to wait – even though they may be unable to work or earn money during this period, so they may actually lose money.

If you want to find out more about getting a basic DBS check for work visit

According to Gov.UK, the DBS and MPS are currently working hard to help resolve any delays in processing checks, but many people are still reporting long wait times.

The Cause of the Problem

The delay is apparently caused by a surge of people who need DBS checks and staff shortages. This means that the delays may continue until the Metropolitan police are able to hire more staff to deal with the influx of DBS check requests.