Understanding the BS7858 Standard

Understanding the BS7858 Standard

The BS7858 Standard is the code of practice released by BSI (British Standards Institution) which details best practices and guidelines for the security screening of individuals employed within a security environment. It is also used where security screening is in the best interests of the public. Introduced in 2013, the standard was updated in September 2019 and is now considered to be the industry standard for all screening in employment, despite its original intention for use in secure environments (although the 2012 standard will not be withdrawn until 31st March 2020).

The standard highlights the level of conduct of candidates in the past, and helps to ensure the safety of the people, goods and services that candidates are being hired to protect.

BS7858:2019 code of practice requires:

  • ID verification and right to work check - the first and most well used checks in pre-employment screening, being critical for all employment in the UK. These checks must be accompanied by copies of original identification documents such as passport, driving license and/or birth certificate.

  • A 5 or 10-year written career history - which involves an analysis of all periods of employment, as well as confirmation of employment gaps of up to 31 days. It also includes analysis of any periods of self-employment.

  • A financial probity check- includes bankruptcy, IVA and insolvency checks, checks for CCJ’s up to £10,000.

  • Criminal records screening - to a level of Basic disclosure, which details unspent criminal convictions and conditional cautions.

  • Global watchlist check. Cross-referencing the individual's name(s) against various sanctions, watchlists and fraud databases, including, but not limited to, the HM Treasury's consolidated list of financial sanctions targets in the UK

  • The information gathered as part of the BS7858 is kept for 7 years after the end of employment.

Carrying out pre-employment screening to BS7858:2019 can help ensure that members of the public, as well as staff and property are kept safe - essential for employment in not only the security sector but all areas of employment. In addition, screening to this level can prove the competence of applicants, helping to demonstrate that they can carry out the job with trust and integrity.

Using a specialist screening provider will ensure that your pre-employment checks are carried out swiftly and correctly, while meeting compliance responsibilities.

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