BS7858 Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment

bs7858 vetting

BS7858 Security Vetting

BS7858 Security Vetting

Police in hi-visibility jackets policing crowd control at a UK event

BS7858 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 you see on this page. 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In 2019, the old standard for vetting of security staff was withdrawn.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.

BS7858 – Get Your Quote Today

We can help with your BS7858 Security Vetting now.

We’re here to help you with any questions you may have about the BS7858 Security Vetting standard and how it could work for your business.

I Need Help with BS7858


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 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 are added to when they also are required to access external services rarely such as credit check firms. The smaller companies will face higher costs as they tend to have a low volume of service use.

The break in employment requirements also causes problems. The most common must surely be the housewife or husband who returns to work after a period of looking after young children. This will show up during BS7858 screening. They will need to explain 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. Imagine a UK national who spends 3 months in a Spanish prison. 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.

This is not a simple process.  This is true for smaller companies in particular as they have 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

BS7858 – Get Your Quote Today

We can help with your BS7858 Security Vetting now.

We’re here to help you with any questions you may have about the BS7858 Security Vetting standard and how it could work for your business.

I need help with BS7858


What is BS7858?

BS7858 is a British Standard that provides best practice recommendations for the security screening of individuals employed in a security environment. It sets out the requirements for the vetting process to ensure that staff are screened and vetted to a high standard.

How does BS7858 relate to credit scores?

As part of the BS7858 screening process, an individuals financial background may be checked, which can include their credit score. This is done to assess their reliability and integrity, especially if they will be occupying positions where financial responsibility or handling sensitive information is involved.

Is compliance with BS7858 mandatory by law?

Compliance with BS7858 is not legally mandatory; however, it is considered best practice and many organizations adopt its guidelines voluntarily as part of their internal policies. Some industry regulators or clients may require organizations to adhere to this standard as part of contractual agreements.

Who oversees the regulation and updates of BS7858?

The BSI Group (British Standards Institution) oversees the creation, regulation, and updating of BS7858 along with other British Standards. They ensure that it reflects current best practices and legal requirements related to security screening.

Are there any specific sectors where adherence to BS7858 is considered essential?

Adherence to BS7858 is particularly important in sectors where employees have access to sensitive information or secure areas, such as within security services, aviation, finance institutions, healthcare systems, government agencies and some IT firms. Companies providing private security services often require meeting this standard as part of industry accreditation processes.



One Response

  1. […] BPSS doesn’t replace other standards like BS7858 or SMCR. Instead, it complements them, enhancing the overall security and integrity of your […]

Leave a Reply