What background checks do you need for BS8406:2020?

If you are in the business of providing stewards, security and other staff for events then you need to know about BS8406:2020 and a key part of the standard is the provision of staff who have been security checked.

In this post we are looking at this part of 8406, what you need to do and what records you should keep when you check your people.

We are looking at;

  • What is BS8406:2020?
  • The legal checks
  • BS7858 checks
  • Documentation
  • Renewals

What is BS8406:2020?

BS8406:2020 is the latest British Standard that covers the provision of staff to events.

These can include (but isn’t limited to) festivals, football matches, concerts, theatres, cricket matches and rugby. In fact, any event where you are providing security, stewarding or other assistance.

The standard is very wide ranging and covers things like planning, site visits and customer documentation.

BS8406 is by no means a legal requirement but many customers will ask if you comply and it may form part of the bid process. Insurance companies may also ask and it could affect your premium positively if you are able to declare that you do indeed operate BS8406:2020.

Above all, event stewarding is a people business and that is why one of the largest sections in BS8406:2020 is all about people. 

The standard quite rightly focuses on stewards and security but we’d argue that actually many of these items are just as valuable for non-operational staff as for people on the frontline. 

The legal checks

It is a legal requirement that every employer carries out Right To Work checks on their employees before they start work. 

You can do this manually or you can use the Checkback IDVT digital process which gives you a formal statutory excuse allowing you to employ people with confidence. 

Note though that this is purely the bare minimum that you must do as it is a legal requirement, but it only tells you whether someone has the right to work in the UK and not whether they have any criminal convictions.

The aim of carrying out background checks with a deeper insight is to ensure that you don’t inadvertently employ people who could cause your company reputational and financial damage.

BS7858 checks

BS8406 suggests screening to BS7858 which is the security industry standard but as a minimum we’d suggest at the very least a standard DBS check. 

Remember that pre-employment screening can take a while to come through so start this process early on in your recruitment. 

The standard makes four recommendations for levels of screening; 

  • Level 1 – Verification of identity and address (You should do this anyway in your RTW checks). Recommendation from an individual known to the organisation or other trusted source.
    We wouldn’t suggest this is a suitable level for any but the simplest of organisations running the smallest of events. There is simply too much risk here for a sensible business. 
  • Level 2 – Identity and address verification together with a BS7858 screening. But only once the individual has worked for the organisation for a month.  
  • Level 3 – BS7858 screening but conditional upon employment. We really can’t see the difference between level 2 and 3. Surely if your BS7858 comes back with serious adverse findings you won’t want them working in a responsible position for your business anyway! 
  • Level 4 – BS7858 before employment. We’d suggest that this is the best way to go and of course your employment offer is made contingent upon a good result. Don’t bother screening people before you have decided they would be suitable for employment though as that would often be a waste of money. 

A BS7858 check includes a DBS check but also looks at work and address history to ensure that people are being entirely truthful when they answer your recruitment questions.


As a minimum you need to keep the work you did to ensure that your people have a right to work in the UK. This can be as simple as just keeping copies of identity documents. Alternatively if you use the Checkback IDVT service you get a full report which includes everything you need should the Home Office come knocking!

Keep your documentation securely. Either in locked filing cabinets with limited access if you are going old school or on encrypted, protected drives if you are going electronic.


Pre-employment screening is a snapshot at a moment in time.

Although we can tell you that a person has no unspent criminal convictions today, we won’t be able to flag up if they commit an offence tomorrow.
This is why BS7858 and BS8406 suggest that checks are renewed on a periodic basis.

This will vary from company to company and can depend upon whether the person has worked for you through an extended period or whether they have been off elsewhere. After all, if they have disappeared for six months what’s to say they haven’t been a guest of His Majesty during that time?

In general we would suggest carrying out a refresher check every 2 years at most but more regularly than every 12 months is probably overkill.


BS8406:2020 is a standard that gives customers a great deal of confidence in their suppliers and suppliers a useful framework for their operations.

It’s a standard that you probably actually comply with in many areas already but just need to tweak one or two things to ensure you are fully on board.

If you’d like to find out more about BS8406 then why not download our Everything Guide to BS8406:2020 here?

You can find out more about BS8406:2020 on our dedicated page here

Also if you’d like to talk a little more about pre-employment screening then fill in the form on this page and we’ll be happy to help.

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