Understanding DBS Check Stage 4

What is a DBS Check Stage 4?

There are five stages to the DBS check process, the second-last and most critical stage is Stage 4, the penultimate stage before you receive your DBS certificate. This stage entails a thorough review and verification of the information gathered during the previous stages to determine the individual’s suitability for the role. Here we will focus on what a DBS Check Stage 4 is, and what makes it such an important part of an Enhanced DBS Check.

To get us started, below is a flowchart showing the 5 stages of the DBS check process:

DBS Check stage 4

What Does A DBS Check Stage 4 Involve?

Stage 4 of the DBS check process is the most in-depth stage of a DBS Check. Your Enhanced DBS Check goes to your local police force for a comprehensive review and verification of the information gathered during Stages 1 to 3 with a cross-check of the information given on the application. The information is assessed against several criteria, such as the level of risk associated with the role and the types of offences committed by the individual.

A DBS Check Stage 4 has two possible outcomes. The first is a ‘clear’ result, indicating that no relevant information has been found.

The other outcome is a ‘disclosure’ result, indicating that the individual has a criminal record that is relevant to the role. The details of the criminal record will be disclosed to the employer, who will then decide whether to proceed with the appointment. Some disclosures will have no effect on a persons’ ability to do the role they have applied for.

DBS Check Stage 4 – How Does It Get Stuck?

A DBS Check Stage 4 can sometimes experience delays, and these can result in consequences for the employer, who can’t get their staff into work, and the individual, who can’t begin working until the check is complete. There are several reasons why a DBS Check Stage 4 can get stuck.

Let’s start with an obvious one – one of the local police forces responsible for completing the Stage 4 checks may be experiencing a high demand for service or a backlog. For example, during the 2012 London riots, thousands of DBS checks were delayed at Stage 4 as the local forces in London were at capacity dealing with more urgent matters.

Change of address also cause delays. If an applicant has moved around and has had numerous addresses over the last few years, the police force in each area will have to complete their checks before passing it across to the next police force. All it takes is a delay at one of the forces, and the process can be delayed.

The situation is similar for applicants with numerous previous names, or particularly common names. Each local police department has to check their records against each name, which can easily double their workload. As for applicants with common names, the problem is that the police have to take extra measures to be sure that they are looking at the records for the correct John Smith.

Finally, errors or omissions in the information provided by the individual or their employer can cause delays in Stage 4. In such instances, the decision-maker may need to request further information to make an informed decision.

What Can Be Done if Stage 4 Gets Stuck?

For more information on what you can do if your DBS Check Stage 4 gets stuck, we compiled an informative post that you can read here: Why Is My DBS Stuck At Stage 4?

DBS Check Stage 4

DBS Check Stage 4 to Stage 5

Most DBS Checks are completed in a timely manner, and very few are actually delayed at Stage 4. When Stage 4 is completed, it is time for Stage 5. DBS Certificate- Printing in Progress. This is when your certificate is being printed and will be with you shortly. We explain more about this stage in our article, Understanding The Importance Of The Term, DBS Certificate Printed in Progress

If you are an employer, looking to undertake DBS checks for your staff, we have a dedicated employer section, that can help answer any queries you may have, Employer Sector or you can get in touch with us directly on 0113 877 0171 and speak to one of our knowledgeable customer support team. If you are ready to start your DBS checks, click the button below to start the process today or book a demonstration of our system.

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