The DBS Tracking Service Explained

Tracking your DBS Application..



As part of the DBS process, applications will go through up to five stages of vetting. These five stages indicate how far the application has progressed. The number of stages an application will go through will depend on the disclosure type which has been requested. However, what is not so commonly known, is that all DBS applications can be tracked online through the DBS website as well as our own client portal.

So how can you access this tracking service and what information is needed?


Option 1

As a CRBS customer, the easiest way to track your employee’s online applications is by logging onto the application management section of our online client portal.  When you have logged on, employers can click the ‘Applications’ heading, which will show a list of all the DBS applications which have been submitted on the system. Then, next to each application that is currently in processing, there will be a clickable link stating ‘Track’. By clicking this hyperlink, the system will then open the official DBS tracking service in which you be able to see the exact stage the application is currently processing in, as well as the date in which it started processing in that stage.

Option 2

If you wish to track your application as the applicant then all you need is your unique DBS reference number and your date of birth. If you are the employer, you can obtain the unique reference number by logging into our online system, or contacting us here at the CRBS. Otherwise if you are the employee you will need to speak to the relevant organisation who submitted your application to request this DBS reference, or even contact the DBS directly on 03000 200 190. Using this DBS reference number, you can then track the specific application using this link: DBS Tracking link.


What does the tracking process show?

The tracking process will show which stage the application is in, and the date that it entered that stage.

For a DBS check, there are up to five stages:

Stage 1: This stage indicates that the DBS have received the application and have accepted the application into their system.

Stage 2: The second stage involves the application being checked against the Police National Computer database (PNC). This is the database which is used across the UK and holds data on convictions and arrest warrants, as well as any cautions, reprimands and warnings for any offence which is punishable by imprisonment. Since 2013, the PNC has been managed by the Home Office (it was previously the National Policing Improvement Agency) and is used by all police forces in the UK.

Stage 3:  In this stage, the application is checked against the children’s and vulnerable adult’s barred lists to see if the applicant appears on these lists. These lists contain individuals barred from working with these vulnerable groups.  Please note that although this stage may appear on the tracking service, it will only apply to enhanced DBS applications where a barred list check has been requested. Not all applicants that are entitled to undertake an enhanced DBS check will also be entitled to a barred list check. Eligibility for a barred list check is dependent on the applicant’s job role and where they will be working.

Stage 4:  The fourth stage indicates that the application is with the local police authorities. The details on the application will be checked against their records to see if there is any further information that they deem relevant to disclose. If they do find information they deem relevant it will be disclosed on the certificate.  Please note that this stage also only applies to enhanced DBS checks and therefore standard applications do not have to undertake this vetting stage.

Stage 5: Stage 5 is the final stage which indicates that the vetting process has been completed and the certificate is now printing. If an online application has been submitted, then a result will then be visible within 72 hours.

How else can the tracking service help me?

Another option available to anyone using the online tracking service is the ability to escalate applications. If the application meets the escalation criteria; meaning it has been processing in stage 4 for at least 60 calendar days, then an option will appear allowing applicant’s or countersignatories to escalate the application. This escalation then automatically notifies the police department who are carrying out the vetting that they have not met their agreed 60-day completion target.

After this initial escalation, the police then have a further 14 days in which to complete the vetting procedure. However, unfortunately even after this escalation request, it is the police’s discretion whether to prioritise the application. In some cases this may not be possible, if, for example, they are waiting on third party information to be able to finish their searches.

If at this point, the application has still not completed stage 4 of the vetting process, then here at the CRBS, we will be able to obtain the contact details of the police department holding the application, and contact them directly. If, for any reason, the application has still not completed, after another 14-day period, then we would recommend contacting the DBS directly on 03000 200 190. However, we must stress that this process is not very common, and that most applications will not require this escalation process.

If you have any questions about the DBS tracking process or any other aspect of the DBS process then please get in touch by calling us on 0800 197 8800, emailing us at, or by using the Live Chat facility on our website.