BS7858:2019 – changes to the standard
We believe this is the absolute minimum you should be looking for from your background screening company and to give you an idea of what is new we have produced this post to detail the differences. Read this article on BS7858 to view the original standard and not just the changes.
You will see there are some important changes so If you have any questions at all please call us on 0144 281 6333 or fill in the Request A Callback form and we will get right back to you.
Change of scope
Possibly the biggest change is the change of scope.
In the old document, the standard concerned the security sector however the standard has now been amended to apply to any business that deals with security screening and indeed we would argue that it is the blue ribband for any company wanting background checking of their employees
Another large change is the ‘top management’ requirement.
This is in line with the focus in recent years shifting to corporate social responsibility and compliance.
We have already seen many organisations and regulations such as GDPR specifically require top management to become engaged and take an active interest in compliance and BS7858:2019 follows that trend.
By ‘Top Management’ the standard means the people controlling the organisation at the highest level and it can be argued that this is a response to the ever-increasing requirement for businesses to fully engage with compliance requirements such as GDPR.
The standard gives a list of commitments that managers should sign up to including;
- Ensuring that the resources and infrastructure that make screening possible are available.
- Directing their subordinates to contribute fully to the screening process
- Making sure that the responsibilities required by the screening process are assigned and that the organisation understands who is carrying these out.
- Giving people the correct authority to carry out the process.
- Being fully committed to the screening process and to satisfying the requirements of the standard.
We believe that the top management requirement is an important step forward and marks a sea change in the way that screening and data protection is viewed.
A risk-based approach to hiring
The standard now takes a ‘risk-based’ approach to the employment of individuals.
The idea is that the standard shouldn’t be used to block hiring simply because of an adverse result, instead, managers are encouraged to assess the risk on an individual basis.
Managers shouldn’t simply reject any candidate who has an adverse finding as a result of the screening process. In fact, they should reject the candidate only if they are not suitable for the role.
For example, a higher level of risk is attached to people who have direct responsibility for the company bank account and the organisation would be justified in rejecting someone who has a history of theft offences. But alternatively, someone who has a very old conviction for being drunk and disorderly wouldn’t necessarily be disqualified from security guarding at a music festival.
In the new standard, it has been made clear that the responsibility for the security and effectiveness of the screening process rests with the organisation itself.
This means that even when outsourcing to another company, the employers still retain ultimate responsibility for the process.
One of the requirements in the old standard was the need to collect personal character references.
In the new standard, this has been dropped as it was seen as too easy to abuse.
The earlier standard had a series of example forms that employers could use to obtain authorisations and track progress.
In BS7858:2019 these are all new and so it is important that if you are using the old format that these are discarded and the new versions used.
Naturally, the forms used in our online process are all current and will always change in line with new regulations.
Keep ahead of the game
We have been part of the screening industry for years and in fact, we are always heavily involved in the consultation process for standards across the world.
Our experienced staff handle pre-employment screening for some of the world’s largest companies and so we know what works and what doesn’t.
We use our proprietary system which has been specially designed to ensure that our clients screening process under BS7858 2019 is always compliant both with the standard and with GDPR.
If you’d like to make sure that you are compliant or you’d simply like us to take away the hassle of following your local standards then why not give us a call on 0144 281 6333 or fill in the Request A Callback form.