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06
Oct
Industry-Specific Background Checks: A Summary
  • Thomas Dawe
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  • background check . bpss . bs7858 . DfT . fca .

There’s a wide variety of industry-specific background screening – the British Standard (BS 7858), the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS), Financial Conduct Authority Screening (FCA) and Department for Transport Airside Pass Checks. We’ll provide a summary of what each type of background check entails so you can quickly reference each one.



British Standard (BS 7858)

The BS 7858 is a code of practice developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI). It outlines the best practices for screening individuals who will work in a security environment. However, it’s also used when security screening is “in the best interests of the public”. Despite originally being intended for use in secure environments, and has come to be considered as the industry standard for all employment screening. It was introduced in 2013 and updated in September 2019. Here are the requirements:

  • Right to work and identity verification – the backbone of pre-employment screening due to its necessity for UK employment, this check requires copies of original ID documents. For example, a driving license, passport or birth certificate.
  • A minimum of 5 years of written employment history. We’ll analyse all periods of employment or self-employment, and investigate any gaps over 31 days.
  • A financial and address check. This screens for any insolvencies, including bankruptcy, IVAs and any CCJs.
  • Criminal record screening, a Basic disclosure which reveals any unspent convictions via the DBS, Disclosure Scotland or AccessNI.
  • A global sanction and compliance check. This searches against a consolidated database, which includes the HM Treasury Financial Sanctions List and United Nations and European Union. The aim is to find any governmental sanctions, enforcements, or appearances on any watchlists and blacklists.

The turnaround is usually 10-20 working days.


Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

The BPSS is required for anyone working with or on behalf of a government department. They were created in order to reduce the risk of identity fraud, to reduce the risk of illegal workers and to protect national security. They’re frequently carried out pre-employment, similar to BS 7858, they have become an industry-wide standard, and are similar although less in-depth. The process includes:

  • Right to work and identity verification – the backbone of pre-employment screening due to its necessity for UK employment, this check requires copies of original ID documents. For example, a driving license, passport or birth certificate.
  • Criminal record screening, a Basic disclosure which reveals any unspent convictions via the DBS, Disclosure Scotland or AccessNI.
  • 3 years of employment references – including any significant (6 months or more in the past 3 years) time spent abroad. Any periods of self-employment must have evidence confirming the business was properly conducted and finished.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA regulates over 50,000 organisations to keep the financial markets honest and fair. Credence has a large amount of expertise in this area, regularly conducting checks for banks, insurance companies and financial investment organisations. Also, we conduct screening on behalf of companies that provide products or services for FCA- and PRA-regulated areas, which include software firms, call centres and recruitment agencies.

The checks we conduct in this sector vary from company to company. These depend on thins such as the level of risk, type of marketplace and the customer/regulator’s requirements to meet the Fit and Proper standard. Our varied client base means Credence is in a good position to advise on what pre-employment screening is appropriate for your organisation. Typical checks include:

  • A financial and address check. This screens for any insolvencies, including bankruptcy, IVAs and any CCJs.
  • Employment references – over any period. For example, 3, 6 or 10 years, as well as investigating the reason for any gap in employment.
  • Criminal record checks that are usually at the Basic Level. However, people working in the Certification Regime for some positions regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, it may be necessary to conduct Standard Level Criminal Record Checks.
  • HM Treasury Financial Sanction checks – including a consolidated list from of targets from the UK, EU and UN. This aims to uncover any financial sanctions.
  • Directorship check – confirms any current directorship status, company name, industry and date of employment. The check searches for any disqualifications via Companies House in the UK – although we also have the ability to check many more countries.
  • Financial Services Register (FSR) check, which confirms the name, status, FSR reference number, controlled function, current employer and start date. It’s also possible to search all previous companies worked for. Furthermore, any disciplinary action conducted by the FCA or PRA will be found, along with the associated date.

The FCA check is complex and requires a reputable screening company to find the right checks for your industry sector and the level of risk you are exposed to. Contact one of our experts for advice on the most appropriate pre-employment checks for your needs.


Department for Transport Airside Pass Checks

This is a security check required for people who to work alone in the restricted areas of an airport. The check includes:

  • Criminal record screening, a Basic disclosure which reveals any unspent convictions via the DBS, Disclosure Scotland or AccessNI. Any applicant that has resided outside of the UK for more than 6 months within 5 years of the application has to get a check for every country they reside in
  • 5 years of employment references. These must also be conducted to BAA and Department for Transport guidelines, and any gaps over 28 days accounted for.

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