The do's and don'ts of DBS checks


-A A +A

Have you just been offered a new job or a volunteer role working with children or vulnerable adults?

Have you been told you need a DBS before you can start?

Or do you already have a DBS certificate but it needs renewing?

Our team here at Salford CVS can help you and your organisation through the DBS process, with the aim to make it as quick and as painless as possible.

We will input your information to an application form, verify your identity and countersign and send applications off for you. We aim to make the process as simple as possible in order to prevent mistakes and delays, however, in order for us to do this we need some help from you.

DBS form

Last year we performed over 1,000 DBS checks so we are well aware of all of the potential pitfalls that come along with filling out a DBS form. To share our experience we've pulled together do’s and don’ts covering three key areas to help you to avoid common mistakes and make your DBS journey as quick and as easy as possible:


Your organisation may say it is essential you have a DBS, but a DBS cannot be completed for any job or voluntary role. In order for a check to be completed, you need to be eligible.


Save yourself time and check whether you actually need a DBS check for the role you will be performing before arranging an appointment. There is a useful tool on the Governments website which lets you know if your employer can request a check on you and if so what type. If in doubt, you can always call us to confirm whether you would be eligible for a check or not.


Assume you need a check and book an appointment - we don't want you to have a wasted journey!

Proof of ID

In order for us to verify your identity, we must see a minimum of three documents. We have a DBS Check Information Tick List which includes a list of documents we can accept on the day. View this here.


Make sure the documents you bring are included in the checklist and that they are issued in the accepted time frames (get your copy of the checklist here).


Bring a mobile phone bill as we cannot accept these as proof of address. Other common mistakes including bringing an out of date passport, photocopies of documents or electronic copies. If you don't bring the correct documents on the day this will delay your application being processed.

DBS Tracking System

Once we have completed and checked the application: 


Make sure you keep a record of your form reference number, this is on the top right-hand corner of your application and it will begin with an 'F'. If you complete your form in our office we will write this on the Update Leaflet for you to take home. If you misplace this number we do keep a record so give us a call on 0161 787 7795. You can check the progress of your form by visiting the DBS website.


Your DBS can take up to 4-6 weeks and the certificate will come directly in the post. Please do not expect your check to come in a week or two. If you require your check for a certain date please make sure you give yourself enough time.


Additional Do’s and Don’ts

Do - Make sure you tell us your full name, including your middle name (no matter how embarrassing!)

Don’t – Forget your national insurance number, this does not count as a form of ID but we do need to note this down on the form. Stickers are awarded if you know this off by heart! 

Do – Make a note of your previous addresses from the past 5 years and the dates of when you moved in and out - make sure there are no gaps. Any overseas addresses in the five years should still be included.

Don’t – Give your certificate to your employer to keep. This is yours to keep, they may ask to see the certificate, this is fine but make sure you get it back as it has all your details and information on.

Do – Remember we are not the DBS, we are an umbrella body. We strive to help any way we can but some queries are beyond our remit. We can only help you with your application if you have gone through the DBS process with us.

Follow these steps and you will be counting down the days 'til your next check!

If you have any DBS queries please feel free to contact the admin team who will give you a Dashingly Brilliant Service (DBS)!

Call 0161 787 7795 and ask to speak to a member of our team:

Ashley Chapman - ext 201

Jon Roberts - ext 205

Gill Bruder - ext 204

You can also find out more about our DBS check service on our website.

Salford CVS
Ashley Chapman, Grants and Events Administrator

contact us

sign up

Join us

Get In Touch

Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 


Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

Latest Blogs

Over the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working together with Skill Givers – a project

I read an article recently that suggested that one of the ways employer supported volunteering co

Social investment is the use of repayable finance to help an organisation achiev