The DBS Launched the Update Service on June 17th 2013.
The DBS update service is a yearly subscription service provided directly by the DBS for applicants. Currently the service costs £13 per applicant per year. If the DBS applicant subscribes to the service (this must be done around the time of their application) their DBS certificate will be securely stored online, allowing the applicant to check their certificate or present it to their employer at any time. The applicant can also register subsequent DBS applications with the service for no extra fee.
The service is fully portable - allowing applicants to carry their certificate between different employments, providing the new employment requires the same level of check.
The service also updates regularly - meaning that employers will only have to request a new DBS check be undertaken if new information has arisen since the last DBS check (or if they require a different level of check). This means that employers will no longer have to consider the issue date of a certificate, provided it is stored on the update service.
For more information, the DBS have updated their guidance www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service to help make it clearer for customers.