At Aaron’s Department, DBS Checks are our bread and butter. After dealing with so many of them on a daily basis, we’ve seen it all. From small spelling mistakes to applicants filling in the wrong name.
When paper applications were at the peak of their popularity a few years back, such errors would cause delays to businesses and individuals as they waited for the application to reach the Disclosure and Barring Service, and then for them to notice something that doesn’t add up, and send it back.
Thankfully, now we have online applications, where our automated system checks for errors, which has significantly sped up the application process. Rather than wait weeks or months, it’s now days or even hours.
But, our system can't spot every error, and unfortunately, even the smallest of mistakes can add unnecessary time to a DBS process.
So, hopefully, this article will help you avoid them in the future, to help speed up the process of your application.
Putting Names Twice
Unless your parents really liked your first name, it’s highly unlikely they would also give it as a middle name too. In the application form, you’re asked to include your first and middle name(s), and it’s become a common mistake for some to put their first name in the “Middle Names” section.
Whilst middle names are usually unimportant when filling out forms, this isn’t the case with a DBS application, as each piece of information is just as important as the next.
First Names and Surnames are also usually not the same, but they can be - just look at Gary and Phil Neville's dad!
So, unless you or your employee really is called John John Smith, please carefully read what each section is asking!
Country, County – Potayto, Potahto
Isn’t it funny the difference a single letter can make. At first glance, county can easily be mistaken for country, and it often is - I’ve done it myself before! There’s a big difference between saying you live in the County of England, and the Country of England.
There’s not really much to say here, apart from that spending an extra second checking which section you are filling in could save you hours, if not days of waiting time.
Previous Names Not Being Submitted
This error is probably more likely to be made when someone else is filling out an application on behalf of someone who has been married.
Even though you may think that only the current name is important, a full history of names is necessary when having a background check. Mrs Smith may not have committed any offences, but when she was Miss Davidson, she might have!
When someone was born in 1960 but was only known by their current surname since 1995, it raises questions and leaves a gap in their history, which needs to be filled.
Nicknames Aren’t First or Legal Names
I think we all know someone that we pretty much only know them by their nickname.
I knew a Jim – I could have sworn that was his first name, but it wasn't. Jim was “short” for James. The same goes with the likes of Ann, which is sometimes short for Nancy. These names are often misinterpreted as first names, even by the owner of the name - I guess when everyone calls you something for years you start to believe that’s really your name!
It’s important when filling out a DBS to use the name that appears on official documents, such as a birth certificate. When filling out these forms you need to have seen some official documentation from the individual, so just copy out the exact name written.
You just might be surprised at someone’s ‘real’ name – here’s some common ones that often get confused.
Providing the Wrong Documents or Photocopies
There is a strict list of documents that need to be provided when filling out a DBS application. During the process you’ll be made aware of the types of documents that need to be provided, and these can’t be substituted out for others. The correct documents need to be provided to ensure the process is straightforward and as quick as possible.
Remember, with these documents, only originals are accepted. Photocopies are not accepted due to some people making amendments to them, which results in false information being provided.
The smallest action can change the course of history, and even the smallest typo can delay your DBS application.
Whether it be misspelling a town name, putting in the wrong number for a driver’s license, or even putting a letter instead of a number (0 and o/O being the most common).
Even though we know what we mean by the typo, others don’t. Any information that doesn’t align with the original documents can add significant delays to your application. It only takes a second to double-check the form you’ve filled out – this is much better than adding unnecessary time because of submitting the application with a mistake!
Here to Help
These are only some of the most common mistakes, but of course there can be a lot more.
How can you eliminate every mistake?
Well, all we can say is double check everything, don’t rush it, and if you’re ever stuck, give us a call on 0113 877 0171!
One of our DBS experts will be more than happy to help you to fill out a check using our Online DBS Application Service, where you can get a check from as little as £3.97!
For anything else relating to the DBS, the answer to your question may be on our help and advice page.