The answers to some of our most frequently asked questions can be found below. Use the search bar to look up specific words to make your search easier.

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  • DBS General Questions
  • CRB Online System Questions
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  • 1. Who are the DBS?
    The Disclosure & Barring Service are an executive agency of the Home Office and provides access to criminal record information. This information can only be accessed using a DBS registered body or umbrella body
  • 2. What is a CRB?
    Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) as it was once known is now the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) providing the same service.
  • 3. What is a DBS Registered Body?
    A registered body is company which has been registered, vetted and approved to process applications on behalf of organisations such as education establishments, hospitals, nursing homes, charity's and so on. These organisations may not decide to become registered with the DBS themselves because the volume of disclosure applications does not warrant the need to become a DBS registered body.
  • 4. What is a DBS Check?
    A DBS check (previously called a CRB check) from the Disclosure & Barring Service is a check of an individual's criminal activity and is used by some employers to make certain employment decisions. There are two levels of Disclosure, Standard and Enhanced. Details of each type can be found within our Types of Disclosure page.
  • 5. How do you apply for a DBS Disclosure?
    To apply for a disclosure you must complete a Disclosure Application through one of the DBS registered bodies. CRB Online is the product of the DBS Registered Body, MJD Ventures Limited.
  • 6. Can individuals apply for DBS check directly?
    No. Only organisations can request DBS checks on individuals. This process involves the organisation registering as a client with an approved DBS registered body such as CRB Online. Once they have registered they will be able to add candidates who can then complete an application.
  • 7. How do individuals apply for a Basic Disclosure?
    If an individual such as a sole trader, child minder, nanny etc wishes to apply for a disclosure, this can be achieved by using the Disclosure Scotland service at the following link
  • 8. I already have a Disclosure Certificate. Can I use it again?
    DBS Certificates don't have an expiry so in theory they can be used again however it is good practice for employers to request a new disclosure check as the information contained on your certificate will only contain details of any activity up to the date on the certificate. The DBS offer an update service which must be applied for with 14 days of an applicant receiving their Disclosure Certificate. For further information on the update service visit the DBS website.
  • 9. How will I receive my Disclosure Result?
    Once your application has been processed to completion you will receive your Disclosure Certificate by post to your current address as registered on your application. The DBS no longer send a certificate to the organisation requesting the disclosure however CRB Online do make a snapshot result available online. This will be made available online to the organisation requesting the disclosure prior to the paper certificate.
  • 10. What is an ISA First check and do I need one?
    An ISA first check queries the barred list and returns a result prior to an application being fully completed. Some organisations may require this information to make immediate employment decisions. It should be noted that some Enhanced Disclosure Applications have been returned well within 5 working days and so this option may not be required. At CRB online, if an applications progress is prolonged due to external police checks we are able to offer an ISA check retrospectively.
  • 11. Why is my application delayed?
    Once your completed application has been submitted to the Disclosure & Barring service for processing, CRB Online have little control over how long it will take to complete. We would expect all applications to be completed within a reasonable time period and are currently receiving responses to Standard Disclosures within 24 hours and Enhanced Disclosures within 3-5 working days. There are however occasions when applications are delaying in processing by the relevant local police authorities. We are aware of delays with the London Metropolitan Police service and measures are being taken to reduce these delays where possible. Please be advised CRB Online and all other providers are unable to expedite an application with the DBS until a period of 60 days has elapsed.
  • 12. I've been asked to obtain a DBS Certificate
    In order that you are able to apply for a DBS Certificate you must have an employer or sponsor in the case of charities and unpaid volunteering. It is the employer/sponsor who will need to make the request for a DBS Application to be made. They can register for free with CRB Online at to begin the short registration process.
  • 13. How do I register for the DBS Update Service?
    The DBS Update service is only available directly from The Disclosure & Barring Service. This must be completed within 19 days of receiving your DBS Certificate. Further information can be found at
  • 14. How do I track the progress of my application?
    To track your application please visit

    Please note we are unable to expedite any application until after 60 days have elapsed since the Disclosure & Barring Service received your application.

  • 1. Can volunteers use CRB Online?
    Our system is designed to allow all organisation to process disclosures. If you are a charity or organisation employing volunteers you will simply need to tick the box marked Volunteer Application during the submission process. You will only be charge our admin fee for each submission.
  • 2. Why should we use CRB Online?
    CRB Online are a registered umbrella body of the Disclosure & Barring Service with more than 18 years experience in processing applications. We don't advertise being one of the leading DBS registered bodies with out of date websites, because we don't need to. Our experience in processing DBS applications is indicative in our volumes, which are so high, our costs to our end users can be so low.
  • 3. What is the e-bulk system and why do CRB Online use it?
    E-Bulk was introduced by the Disclosure & Barring Service to facilitate a more efficient and quicker means of submitting applications. The system adopts a two way data transfer and so application results and tracking codes are also sent to CRB Online and can be accessed usually with 2-3 hours. The e-bulk system as adopted by CRB Online as it negated the need for paper forms and gave our users a quicker a easier system to use.
  • 4. How long does a CRB Online Disclosure take to process fully?
    At CRB Online our online DBS check facility is 100% electronic. We do not send out paper application forms and therefore once we receive a fully completed application it will be sent to the DBS instantly. The times is takes vary depending on which type of disclosure you have requested however our experience shows the following lead times apply:
    Enhance Disclosure: Up to 80% returned within 5 working days
    Standard Disclosure: 100% returned within 5 working days
    Note: Enhanced Disclosure applications under go additional checks with local police forces. Here we have experienced delays in processing applications however we always chase applications with delays.
  • 5. Can I check the progress of my Disclosure Application?
    Our service offers candidates and organisations the facility to log in to your account and check the progress of each submitted application. A quick and easy link to the DBS Tracking site is also available and a display of how we have processed your application is available for each application.
  • 6. My application is taking a long time to process. What can be done?
    Once an application has been submitted to the DBS for processing it will be acknowledged and a tracking code beginning with the letter E will be issued. This tracking code can be used on the DBS tracking page to monitor the progress of your application which, whilst generally should be returned within 5 working days, can take as long as 16 weeks. Unfortunately we have no control over the time it takes to process applications however we do monitor any delays and we will contact the relevant authorities when necessary.
  • 7. How are disclosure applications financially processed?
    Each application must be settled in full prior to our system sending it off to the DBS. Our online finance portal allows organisations to invoice applications online negating the need to wait for an invoice before payment can be organised. We also offer a pre purchasing facility whereby our clients can buy a number of disclosures in advance which can then be used as and when they are required. This service can assist organisations its centrally controlled finance departments.
  • 8. What happens if I submit an application but no longer need it?
    If an application has been submitted for processing and it has been paid, it will be sent immediately by our automated system. Unfortunately this process cannot be stopped and we are unable to offer any refunds.
  • 9. Do CRB Online offer preferential rates?
    If you submit a significant number of disclosure applications per year we may be able to offer you a preferential package tailored to your requirements. Please contact us for further information.
  • 10. My Login Details do not work
    Should you encounter a problem logging in to CRB Online please use the forgotten username/password link on the login screen. This will issue a new password or username reminder to the email address registered by your sponsor.

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" Completing the application form was quick and easy. All I needed was my driving licence, passport and  5 year address history. It took me no more than 10 minutes and my certificate arrived in the post just a few days later.

Mrs Jessica Green