Contact Us:

01384 637 116

The WMCA Online DBS Service is very easy to use.

On this page we will walk you through the process and try and answer some of the frequent questions that arise.

Initial Set up

In order to use the system you must first complete an agreement which we will email to you. We also ask that all DBS users are also set up for payment by Direct Debit.  If you are not set for Direct Debit then we are unable to process any DBS applications until we have received payment. Direct Debit users will have their applications processed on receipt.

Once we have received your completed agreement we will set up your organisation plus as many users within your organisation as you like.  We recommend that you set up at least 2 unique users.  Each user must have their own unique email address (ie they cannot use an email address that is already in use on our system unless that person no longer works for you then we can reallocate it)

Please note that individual user IDs should only be used by that person and not used/shared by others.  The system logs each user and this is the unique 'signature' to declare that you have checked and are happy with any ID items. If there was ever a problem with ID items the DBS will assume that the user ID on the system was the person that checked the items.

You and any additional users will receive an email with instructions on how to use the system along with usernames and passwords.  Individual users can change system generated passwords when they first sign in .

Beginning a New Application

To access the system you need to use the WMCA DBS portal here (please note this is a different web address to the WMCA website)

This will then take you to this screen:

Orange Box

The Orange Box is where the basic personal personal details of the applicant are input - This should be completed first and can be completed by the applicant themselves (using your organisations log in details)

Your password for the Orange box will be a lower
case version of your User Name

Ie. for the Ash Trees
User Name might be: ASHTREWVDD
Password would be : ashtrewvdd

All the information is in the email that was sent to you (if you forget your user names and passwords please contact the Association office (01384 637116) and we can reissue them).

This area can be used by applicants and Care Providers to put on the applicant names and addresses. (if married for example we will need to know previous names)

You will find this easy to complete as it walks you through filling in the names and addresses of the applicant.

Once completed the system will ask for a declaration and signature. This is the First and Last name of the applicant

Once complete and saved it will give you a reference number. 

You are now ready to go to the Blue Box

Blue Box

This is where the application is managed, ie you tell the system what sort of search you want (Section Y) and input the ID documents that you have witnessed.  You can also track the application through the various stages of the checking process.

Applications do not have to be completed in one stage.  They can be completed in stages and also amended before you finally approve them.

You will fill in your Organisation reference (same as for the orange box), your User Name which will be your email supplied on the agreement and your date of birth which initially is a default one of 1st January 1998. Your password for the blue box will be a computer generated one with letters and numbers in upper and lower case which will be in the initial email you receive from us. The default password and date of birth can be changed by the user.

To Complete section Y and the ID

Click into ‘requiring Section Y and ID’ on the dashboard and
then click on the reference number next to the name of the applicant you are completing.






Now click on the two orange boxes to complete these
The boxes will go blue when you have completed them






Completeing Section Y

In this section you advise the DBS which level of search  you want,
ie standard or enhanced (all care workers who work directly with care users, even if it is infrequent must have an enhanced search).

Whether they will work with Adults and Children

Whether they are volunteers or not (if a volunteer you must also ensure you complete the position applied for field so that the DBS knows what sort of work they will actually be doing eg. volunteer care worker or volunteer activities co-ordinator etc)

If you want an Adult First check  (we won't process
this for 7 working days as the majority of DBS checks complete before then. Once 7 days has elapsed and if the DBS check is still processing, we will process the Adult First and bill you separately).

Filling in the ID

Please note that individual user IDs should only be used by that person and not used/shared by others.  The system logs each user and this is the unique 'signature' to declare that you have checked and are happy with any ID items. If there was ever a problem with ID items the DBS will assume that the user ID on the system was the person that checked the items.

The DBS requires that applicants produce 3 items of identification
These are sorted into 3 groups depending on their ranking as pieces of ID  (eg official photo IDs like passports and driving licenses are Group 1)

Depending on the items produced the DBS has strict criteria on what mix of items and groups are acceptable.  They have recently (Nov 2017) issued new guidelines and these can de downloaded here

We have also produced a useful flowchart to help you with the ID process

Once you have completed section Y and ID

You can then approve the application.  Once you approve the application it is sent to the Association for final processing and countersignature.   Applications are usually processed the next working day after the application.  Once the association has countersigned the application it cannot be withdrawn, even for instance if the applicant has decided they no longer want the job. Once countersigned the Association is automatically billed by teh DBS for the search so we are unable to refund any charges after this point.

The Association will then invoice you, if you pay by Direct Debit it will be countersigned and sent to the DBS; if you pay on account we will countersign it as soon as the payment is received.

You will then be able to monitor the checking process through the blue box


How Long Does It Take?

The majority of DBS checks will complete if its a clear search within a few working days. Checks can take longer if the applicant has moved addresses frequently or is flagged during the police database checks.  If the search has reached stage 4 (police checks) and is taking some time, this does not necessarily mean the applicant has a criminal record. It means that the addresses supplied have been flagged and therefore further police checks are necessary to establish whether or not these flags relate to the applicant.

If a search is taking a long time we cannot escalate the process until it has passed 60 working days from date of submission

The system will not accept the Driving License Details I've entered

This is usually because the applicant has a middle name that has not been entered.  The Drivers License number is generated from characters within the holders name.  If the Driving License is showing a middle name and this has not been entered in the orange box, usually if you go back and amend the details the system will then accept the DL number.

The Applicant has not received their certificate

Certficates are always sent to the current address details entered in the orange box.  They are sent by post centrally by the DBS and not from the WMCA office.  A replacement certificate cannot be requested until 2 weeks after issue.  The applicant then needs to complete this form and send it directly to the DBS.  The DBS will only issue replacement certificates if the original was never received. They will not replace lost or damaged certificates. Lost or damaged certificates will require a new search.

How long is a DBS search valid for?

The information provided during a DBS Check is accurate at the time the check is carried out, and whilst DBS certificates don’t officially expire, employers need to decide if the amount of time that has elapsed since the check was carried out means a new one is required. There may be a requirement for re checking as determined by a governing body, local authority contracts or professional organisation. The DBS Update Service allows applicants to keep their certificate up to date, and employers to check the certificate of a potential employee.

We applied for a search which has since come back clear, however we have noticed that there was a mistake in the original spelling of the applicants name/address, is the search still valid?

As noted above DBS checks are accurate at the time of search and the search is done on the details originally provided.  If these are incorrect then the search may not be accurate and we recommend that a new search is carried out.  This new search will incur our standard fee as if it were a brand new search. To minimise these instances, please ensure that your data entry is accurate.

Do you offer Paper DBS Checks?

No we only offer the online system, we have taken this decision as the online system is far faster and convenient for our users. The only exception to this would be if the applicant failed all the ID criteria and the only option left open is finger printing.  Finger printing applications can take up to six months to complete and are not an option for non EEA (European Economic Area) nationals.


Useful Documents and Links

WMCA Office number 01384 637116

DBS Central contact number 03000 200 190

DBS ID flowchart click here

DBS ID Guidelines click here

DBS WMCA Portal click here

DBS Update service click here

DBS Replacement Certificate Form click Here