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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Frequently Asked Questions

DBS Checks for Personal Assistants

SILC can carry out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for personal assistants (PAs) at the request of our clients. A DBS check will show whether a PA has a criminal record or not. It is necessary to have a DBS check if a PA will come into contact with a child (under 18) and is highly recommended if supporting an adult.

Our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below may help address any queries that you have:

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How do I get a DBS check done?

There are 2 stages to the process.

1) The first stage is for us to enter your personal information into an online form using the ID documentation that you have been asked to provide. If you make an appointment, then we will complete this stage with you in person. Appointments usually take 30 minutes.

Alternatively you can choose to send us your ID documents by Special Delivery post. In that case we will need to complete one section of the form online ourselves. We will also need to have a Skype or Facetime conversation with you to confirm the photographic ID you have provided is yours. You will then be sent a login for the online form and will need to complete a final part of the online form yourself.

2) The second stage begins once we submit your information to the DBS Service. Once the check is completed the DBS service will send your certificate to your home address.

How long does it take to get a check done?

There are 2 stages to the process (please see ‘How do I get a DBS check done?’ for more information).

The first stage normally takes 30 minutes if you come to the office for an appointment. If you send the documents in by Special Delivery post, then we aim to complete our part of the check and send you the login for the form within a week.

The second stage is dependent on how long the police take to complete the check. It can be done within a week, or it can take several weeks.

I want to do a check in person. How do I arrange that?

Please contact us to make an appointment. You can call us on 01483 458 111 or email us at

When and where do the appointments take place?

The appointments are held at our office in Guildford:

SILC, Astolat, Coniers Way, Burpham, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7HL. There is free parking available.

Appointments are available Monday to Friday between 9.15am and 11.30 a.m. or between 2.30 p.m. and 4.15pm.

Can I get to your office by public transport?

Astolat is not within walking distance of the train stations in Guildford. It's a 40 minute walk from London Road Station or a 60 minute walk from the main Guildford Railway Station.

If you are arriving by train, then you will need to take a taxi or bus from central Guildford to get to the office.

Buses 37 and 36 run between Guildford bus station and Burpham (Glendale Drive is the closest bus stop to us). Please check the timetable for the service that you plan to use to be sure that you allow enough time to reach us for your appointment.

What ID documentation do I need to bring?

We will send you a list of acceptable documents when we contact you about arranging a DBS check. Please refer to this list.

If you are unsure, please contact us on 01483 458 111 or before attending your appointment or sending your documents in.

What happens if I don’t have all the right documents?

We will not be able to complete the check without all the necessary documents. Please check the list that we send you to make sure that you have everything that will be needed.

If you are having trouble finding sufficient documentation, please contact us on 01483 458 111 or to discuss how to proceed.

Can I email or post you photocopies/photos of my ID documents?

No*, we need to see your original ID documents.

*There is one exception. You can get certified copies of your ID at the Post Office using their Document Certification Service. You can find out more information and the location of your nearest participating Post Office here:

You can then post us the certified copies in the post instead of sending your original ID documents

(Please note: they cannot make certified copies of Birth or Marriage certificates)

I don’t know my addresses for the last 5 years. What should I do?

We are not able to complete the check without all the necessary information. This includes the full address of all the places that you have lived in the last 5 years along with the month and year that you moved in to each one.

Please make sure that you have gathered this information before you start the check. You may have utility bills or rental agreements for previous addresses or be able to ask someone you lived with if you aren’t sure.

How long is the DBS certificate valid for?

The DBS certificate does not have an expiry date, however it does become out of date as time passes. We usually recommend they are re-done after 3 years.

What do I do when the certificate arrives?

You should show the DBS certificate to your employer when it arrives. We will contact you if you need to take any further action.

I already have a DBS check. Do I need to do another one?

This will depend on the level of your existing DBS check and whether you are registered with the DBS Update Service.

If you are not registered with the Update Service, then you will need to do another DBS check. However, depending on the nature of your existing DBS check, you may be able to work under it while you wait for the new DBS check to be completed. Please contact us on 01483 458 111 or to discuss this.

I have a DBS check under the Update Service. What do I need to do?

We will need to see the certificate so that we can review it under the Update Service. Please contact us on 01483 458 111 or to discuss this.

Do I have to pay for a DBS check?

No. The DBS check costs are covered in your employer's care package.

I am not going to take the job as PA after all. What should I do about my DBS check?

Please let us know if you no longer need a DBS check to be done.

SILC, Astolat, Coniers Way, Burpham, Guildford GU4 7HL. Tel: 01483 458111  Privacy Policy 
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