The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) receives around 4 million disclosure applications a year and provides the Home Office with monthly updates on the length of time taken to process disclosure checks. Latest figures relating to May 2015 show that 94.6% of disclosure applications were processed within 56 days against a DBS service standard to issue 95% of all disclosures within this time. Most disclosure applications are processed in a shorter timescale and, in May 2015, 87.3% of applications were processed within 21 days. The average time taken to process applications nationally in May 2015 was 14.2 days and in the West Midlands 24.7 days.
A key aspect of DBS administration is to ensure that disclosure checks are both accurate and completed within service standard timescales. In the small proportion of cases where checks have not been completed within these timescales, the DBS is expected to take the necessary steps to progress the case including, as appropriate, working with the police and other parties involved in the checking process.