BS7858 Security Screening Standard What UK Employers Need to Know

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What exactly is the UK standard BS7858?

The UK standard BS7858 is a best practice approach for those that work within secure environments and is outlined and recommended by the British Standards Institution. BS7858 provides information on how to screen applicants in "secure" workplaces, which are described as places where an insider might steal or compromise the integrity of data, information, or other physical or intellectual assets; or jeopardize people's safety.

BS7858:2012 vs. BS7858:2019: What are the Key Differences?

Pre-employment background checks for those that work in a security environment was the original focus of the initial screening standard; today, however, the scope has been expanded. This now includes a wide range of companies in addition to the previously employed security sectors (and those that overlap) combining environments within security, secure or sensitive settings. The BS7858 security screening procedure is predicted to become the industry standard due to its robust approach.

The BS 7858:2012 standard was repealed on March 31, 2020, and the 2019 standard was introduced on the 30th September, and currently outlines the guidelines for businesses performing background checks on workers in secure environments.

Employers who want to hire secure workers, and those within the security sector, can use this British Standard to assist them. It provides guidelines for best practices and establishes the benchmark for personnel security screening in settings where the protection of people, things, or property is crucial. Data security, delicate service contracts, and private records all fall under this category. It covers ancillary staff, acquisitions and transfers, and the security conditions of contractors and subcontractors. 

BS7858 Security Screening Standard Check

To make sure that the expected standards are upheld within these specific sectors , BS7858 screening is a recommended approach. With the changes that come with BS7858:2019, there is greater focus on top management within the screening process, in order to maximum effectiveness. Responsibilities include implementing the appropriate resources and increased accountability for the risks within the process. 

You can reassure your customers, staff, board, regulators, and auditors that you have taken the necessary precautions to lower the risk of data breaches and hiring someone who shouldn't be handling personal, confidential, and sensitive data by having your employees undergo screening in accordance with BS7858.

Who is BS7858 Security Screening For?

1. For the Security Sector. The Security Industry Authority (SIA), which derives its authority from the Private Security Industry Act 2001, oversees the security industry personnel. Organizations who wish to be a part of the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme must show that they adhere to the British Standards, including BS7858. 

2. For any non-security organization seeking to vet personnel working in sensitive locations including critical infrastructure sites and those with access to sensitive data, materials, or technology. Industries and organizations include the retail sector, sports or entertainment, facilities management, local government authorities and HR departments within. 

3 Major Benefits of BS7858 Security Standard

1. Having a single robust standard gives companies and the general public greater confidence that security personnel and those in secure environments are competent and trustworthy for the position in question, especially when critical infrastructure and sensitive information is at stake. 

2. Risk reduction is crucial for employers. BS7858 screening can help employers demonstrate competence in their workforce as well as identifying and disqualifying those with alarming red flags and major discrepancies within the hiring process.

3. The standard is a comprehensive approach that includes mandatory checks alongside supplementary screening solutions  that provide a rounded assessment of a person’s financial background, criminal history and global footprint. Veremark’s BS7858 package includes: 

  • UK Online Identity Check 
  • UK criminal record check (Basic)
  • Last 5 years of employment check 
  • UK Credit Check 
  • UK Directorship Search
  • Global Fraud/ Sanctions Search 

Conclusion: Why You Should Use BS7858 for Candidate Screening?

For employers and responsible organizations that handle sensitive data and deal with critical infrastructure it’s essential risk is reduced when hiring employees. 

Even if the majority of workers and contractors are truthful and morally upright, companies might occasionally fall victim to insiders who have access to sensitive resources and are within positions of trust. Although BS7858 was initially developed for the security sector, it can be used by any industry that employs people who are expected to work in secure environments and even outside of those - as a best practice approach. The ultimate goal of screening is to gather enough data to let businesses decide with confidence whether to hire a person - creating environments built on trust and safety.

If you’d like to explore whether BS7858 is an approach suitable for your business and its critical needs - our sales team would be more than happy to help, speak to them today - or perhaps you just need this as a one off package - we can help too!

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

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