BS7858 ‘Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment

BS7858 Security Vetting

BS7858 ScreeningBS7858 is the UK standard for vetting of people employed in the security sector.

It is set by the British Standards Institution. It was recently updated in 2019.

In the UK over the past 10 years there has been much movement in the area of background checks .BS7858 screening is being introduced to ensure that standards are kept. This helps ensure those employees working in sensitive areas or with vulnerable people are properly vetted.

If you have questions about applying this vetting standard in your business then please fill in the Request A Callback form on this page. Then you click the “call me back” button.  You can also call 0144 281 6333 and we will answer your questions

BS7858 Screening

In 2019, the old standard for vetting of security staff was withdrawn. It has been replaced with BS7858:2019 ‘Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment – Code of Practice’. The new standard replaced the former code with an updated view of how security employees should be vetted.

BS7858:2019 What has Changed?

Read this article to find out what has changed in BS7858:2019 standard.

The updating of the standard was seen as a generally good thing in the industry. However, employers still face a fairly tough series of requirements that industry specialist Checkback Vetting Solutions Centre is ideally placed to help you with.

BS7858 Vetting Requirements

  • 5 years of employment verification
  • 6 year credit search
  • Proof of ID & UK right to work
  • Proof of address
  • A valid SIA licence or carrying out basic disclosure/ACPO
  • Coverage of any 31+ day employment gaps

Employers are also required to open up a screening file for each individual. They must keep it for 7 years after the person has stopped working for them.

Having a single standard across the UK is very helpful. It means that the public can be sure that the security staff they come across are checked as far as possible. Employers can have peace of mind knowing that the people working for them are as trustworthy as they can be.

Reducing the risk in this way is vital for employers. Providing unstable staff to an event or dishonest people for a shop could cause serious damage to the companies image.

BS7858 Vetting Procedure

The standard also includes other pieces of UK legislation such as the right to work. This is a requirement for all UK employers. This means that one check can be carried out for basic employment and security duties.

The standard also requires that breaks in employment of more than 31 days are fully explained. For most people, it could simply be periods of unemployment. Possibly an extra long holiday. Maybe even a sabbatical or a period of studying away from the workplace. For others, however, any long period out of work may mean something more sinister. Maybe a  prison sentence or being held on remand.

Previously only 2 personal referees were required for this. Now documentary proof is required.  Utility bills, bank statements, and correspondence including 1 character reference covering a gap in employment.

There are a large number of items to check. Employee vetting is actually a fairly complex administrative issue. It is not easy to find and gather all of the information needed. Then this information must be analysed correctly. The problems for the smaller employer is added to when they also are required to access external services rarely such as credit check firms. The smaller company will face higher costs as they tend to have a low volume of service use.

The break in employment requirement also causes problems. The most common must surely be the housewife or husband that returns to work after a period looking after young children. This will show up in during BS7858 screening. They will need to provide an explanation for their absence from the workforce and a personal referee. The amount of documentary evidence around the break is, after all, likely to be scarce if they have not claimed benefits.

There is possibly a further more fundamental issue with the new BS7858 standard. That is the reliance on documentary evidence. If we imagine a UK national who spends 3 months in a Spanish prison. Clearly, they would have the council tax bill for their property as this is issued annually. Utility bills would also be available for the same period. It is not easy to imagine that they’d be able to get someone to write a false personal reference. It is also possible that someone may be acting as a carer living in with a relative. He or she does not pay any of the bills. They may have no outside acquaintances available to write a reference. In this case the person could be unduly discriminated against due to the lack of paperwork.

Clearly, this is not a simple process.  This is true for the smaller companies in particular as they little in the way of in-house HR capability. Outsourcing this to an experienced company like Checkback Vetting Solutions Centre makes sense. This works on many levels.  First from the point of view of cost and efficiency. Secondly as a way of ensuring compliance with regulations.

Fill out our Request A Callback form on this page and one of our team will be delighted to contact you to discuss your needs, or call us now on: 0144 281 6333


One Response

  1. […] If you are in the security industry or if you are wanting to get your potential employees’ background checked then you may have come across and been wondering about changes to BS7858. […]

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