International criminal records checks - We literally wrote the rulebook!


Earlier this year, Security Watchdog teamed up with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) to create a document which would provide guidance to businesses on how to obtain criminal records disclosure in 64 countries across the world. The resulting report aims to assist both applicants seeking work in the UK, and companies looking to employ overseas candidates.

With an increasing number of companies employing staff from outside of the UK to fill essential skilled and non-skilled roles, international criminal records checks are vital to ensure that applicants are law abiding citizens who will not put your staff or customers at risk. With many countries not having the equivalent of the UK’s DBS service, navigating criminal records systems in different regions can be a long and arduous task.

The new Security Watchdog/CPNI Overseas Criminal Records Check document provides comprehensive information on the criminal records disclosure process across the globe, whether individuals are looking to obtain a copy of their own records in order to secure employment, or a third party or employer are doing so on behalf of the individual (with the appropriate consent).

More than half of the countries in the report allow applications to be made online, and of those that do not, nearly three-quarters can be made via an Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Using online methods can make the process much quicker and less cumbersome, having a direct impact on the amount of time it takes to complete the procedure.

The average turnaround time across all countries investigated for obtaining criminal records disclosure is approximately 16 days, although it can vary from instant to over 6 months.

Reliability of the data varies depending on the method of record-keeping in each country, with those records held nationally generally considered more reliable.

With individual and specific information and guidance for each country listed, this is one of the most useful and extensive reports of its kind.

Carrying out international criminal records checks is an important part of the overseas recruitment process. Using a dedicated pre-employment screening provider will help ensure that your screening is carried out quickly, efficiently and within the scope of the law of relevant territories.