Criminality checking for pharmaceutical workers

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Pharmaceuticals is a highly competitive industry, with staff having access to sensitive and confidential information, the latest research, as well as potentially dangerous medication. Therefore, it is imperative that all candidates are subject to a full criminal records check to ensure that the right hiring decisions are made.

With pharmaceuticals being one of the most lucrative industries in the world, the latest research and development for new treatments is a valuable asset. Competitor espionage is not unheard of, and activists who may be protesting certain methods will stop at nothing damage a company’s reputation or halt activities.

With proper criminality screening, pharmaceutical companies can help protect themselves against costly problems which could jeopardise research or damage their reputation, as well as help ensure the safety of all staff. In this tightly legislated sector, organisations must be confident that they are hiring the right people, by ensuring that staff do not have any previous convictions which might make them unsuitable for working within pharmaceuticals.

The authorities providing criminality checks in the UK are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), covering England and Wales, Disclosure Scotland (DS) and Access NI (Northern Ireland).

There are three main levels of DBS checking: Basic – which only checks for unspent convictions, Standard – which looks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands, and Enhanced – the highest level of check which reveals spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands and any other relevant police data.

Criminal records checks are only accurate at the time of the check. Candidates should be made aware of their contractual responsibilities to disclose any new or ongoing criminal investigations or proceedings during employment and it is prudent to regularly re-check current staff to ensure that their information is correct and up to date.

With the pharmaceutical industry under constant pressure to come up with the latest treatments, those making hiring decisions for the sector carry a huge weight of responsibility to keep their research, staff and the public safe.