The Need to Create a Robust Screening Framework
An estimated 40% of people have embellished their resumes and three out of four employers have spotted a lie on a CV. These statistics highlight the potential red flags that can put organizations at risk. A company is only as good as the people that work for it. Especially if an individual works within a position of trust, or where safety is paramount to the wellbeing of work colleagues or customer, the consequences of falsifying credentials and work experience can be severe not only for the hiring organization but for all stakeholders involved.
One high-profile example with major consequences came from an Australian woman that was hired for a senior-level chief information position with the Australian Government. It came to light that she had lied on her CV and falsified references and was eventually charged with ‘deception, dishonestly dealing with documents and abuse of public office’. She later pleaded guilty to all charges and was dealt a severe 25 month sentence with a non-parole period of one year.
That’s just one of the many reasons that pre-employment background screening is of the utmost importance, acting as a company’s first line of defense against candidate fraud and falsified claims.Understanding just how to set up a background screening program can be complex, with consideration needing to be given to the type of organization, the sectors it operates in and the job roles it hires for. The best form of defense, and a great starting point, comes by creating a robust framework often referred to as a best practice pre-employment screening standard such as the Australian Standard for Workforce Screening (AS 4811) that outlines the process for implementing a thorough, consistent and effective screening programme to mitigate risk.
About the AS 4811:2022 Workforce Screening Standard
To help organizations tailor their screening approach for their specific needs, Standards Australia published the Australian Standard for Employment Screening in 2006 to create a workable, practical and best practice pre-employment screening framework. Originally intended as the gold standard for employment screening, changes in the world economy and the world of work necessitated an update. The shifts to a more mobile, fluid workforce, advancements in digital technology and an increasingly globalized world brought improvements for the better but also increased the potential for technology to be exploited unethically for gain. With that in mind, the standard has also had to change and adapt to new levels of business risk.
Sections of the AS 4811 standard have evolved to address the new risks. The Independent Commission against Corruption, in it’s 2018 report on strengthening employment practices, stated that despite the time that had elapsed since the standard was first published, it remained useful as a resource and advised using it in conjunction with other documents such as the Employment Screening Handbook and the International Standard on Anti-Bribery Management Systems. And now, with the current standard bolstered by relevant revisions, it should prove to be a valuable resource far into the future.
Veremark is well positioned to recommend best practice approaches for your organization. A strong starting point is for all businesses to become familiar with the new Workforce Screening standard AS 4811:2022 and align their practices to the guidance to ensure a consistent and compliant level of protection.
How Veremark helps clients meet guidelines
Veremark offers a comprehensive portfolio of pre-employment background checks. An AS4811:2022 Standard Pre Employment Package at Veremark would typically include:
- Identity (ID) Check
- Right to Work Check
- Address Verification
- Employment Verification
- Reference Check
- Criminal Check
- Education Check
- Social Media Check
Updated Workforce Screening Standard - What’s Changed?
The most recent change to the Australian standard, issued in 2022, widens the scope of the guidance. In 2006, the employment screening standard was predominantly focused on security risk, identity and credentials. The 2022 update establishes the need to expand the framework to incorporate assurances related to a candidate’s suitability for the role applied for. The update recognizes that the screening framework needs to account for differences based on job position and responsibilities - with risk management a key consideration, and with a view to the wider business objectives. For example, when hiring new employees, screening can also identify favorable skills and experiences that help a business achieve its goals in addition to highlighting any red flags or discrepancies that may disqualify a candidate from the process.
In the previous 2006 standard, an employer verifying a candidate’s driver license, qualifications and professional memberships would have essentially met the standards for pre-employment screening. This, however, doesn’t take into account the suitability of the individual for the role. AS 4811: 2022 includes an ISO 31000 type risk assessment and raises the bar by including continuous personnel risk assessments such as the full life cycle of initial suitability, ongoing suitability and separating personnel.
A Summary of the AS 4811:2022 Standard
The newly introduced and updated workforce screening standard AS 4811:2022 by Standards Australia supports best practice pre-employment screening approaches across Australia. It provides a more defined and practical approach for today’s workforce, helping organisations better face modern business risks. Veremark has local experts that can provide best practice guidance and considerations aligned to the updated standards as detailed in the Workforce Screening Standard AS 4811:2022. At Veremark, we are committed to helping the world trust faster, and are more than happy to help you on your background screening journey with AS 4811:2022.