DBS Process

We guarantee that all applications correctly completed by the applicant are forwarded to the Disclosure Barring Service the same day that we receive the completed application forms. We use the DSB online tracking system enabling us to carefully monitor the progress of each application and provide our clients with regular progress reports ensuring that we provide an efficient service to our clients at all times. Once an organisation has requested Acorn Direct to carry out DSB checks on their behalf, we will issue them with the relevant support pack which includes:

  • DSB application forms
  • Guidance notes on completing the application forms
  • Payment terms

Alongside references, interviews and qualifications the DSB process helps the employer make an informed recruitment decision.

The DBS process enables the employer to access information from the police, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department of Health (DoH) in one single step.

There are two types of Disclosure – Standard and Enhanced plus ISA AdultFirst checks. The disclosure is intended to allow an employer to make an informed decision about whether the applicant is suitable for the role for which they have applied.

Applicants are required to fill in a DBS application form and produce a number of documents to confirm their identity. Acorn Direct then processes the form, checking for accuracy, countersigns it and forwards the form to the Government’s DBS centre in Liverpool where the checks against police, convictions and other records are completed. When the DBS agency in Liverpool has coordinated the enquiries, two copies of the Disclosure document are sent out the applicants home address.  To ensure a fast, efficient service, the whole process is managed on our in-house database.

How does it work?

Once your organisation has contacted, then a Support Pack can be sent out. One of our consultants is then assigned to that particular organisation/individual and carefully and closely guides them through each stage of the application procedure. You will need to nominate a person or persons to be our main contact.

Please remember errors of any kind will delay the time that it takes to process your application! Always refer to the guidance notes and if you have any queries inregards to completing the forms, please do not hesitate to contact us.

A Disclosure is a document containing impartial and confidential criminal history information held by the police and government departments which can be used by employers to make safer recruitment decisions. Disclosure information could include:

  • Details of criminal records
  • Information about a person’s inclusion on children’s or adults’ lists
  • Other relevant information held by a local police force or Government Body
  • Or state that there is no information

The information included on the document will depend on the type of disclosure applied for.

Types of disclosure:

  • Standard Disclosure
    Intended for positions that involve working with children or vulnerable adults, standard disclosures contain details of all recorded convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. Standard disclosures may also be issued for certain legal or accountancy professions.
  • Enhanced Disclosure
    As the name suggests, enhanced disclosures involve an added level of inspection. Local police force records, in addition to checks with the Police National Computer, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health are used for roles that involve regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. Enhanced disclosures may also be issued for those seeking judicial appointments.
  • ISA AdultFirst Check
    The ISA AdultFirst service is exclusive to the health sector, allowing employers recruiting for posts that involve working with vulnerable adults to check whether a potential employee appears on the vulnerable adults barred list. With strict criteria, and only permissible where it is necessary to employ an individual before their DBS check is completed, an ISA AdultFirst check can only be issued when there is a real danger that staffing levels will fall below statutory obligations.
  • Annual Update Service
    When applying for a DBS check you can join the annual update service for an additional fee, this gives you portability on your disclosure certificate and it also means that you will not have to apply for a DBS check again as there will be an up to date copy available online.


We request copies of three identification documents with you application form, preferably your passport, driving licence and a utility bill or bank statement as proof of address. However any three form the list below will be accepted.

Accepted forms of ID:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Bank Statement
  • Utility Bill
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Adoption Certificate
  • Mortgage Statement
  • Council Tax Statement
  • Benefit Statement
  • Visa
  • EU National ID Card
  • HM Forces ID Card