Your Pre-employment Screening Options – Insights for organisations and hiring managers

November 2nd, 2023 by Abbie Tigedi

Regardless of size and industry, pre-employment checks are likely to already be a part of your onboarding process, and for good reason. Pre-employment checks allow you to validate your candidates before they start their new roles. Knowing your pre-employment screening options not only serves to protect your organisation but also helps build and maintain a culture of honesty and integrity.

This article aims to help you identify the mandatory checks you should be doing, the different levels of screening and which pre-employment checks are needed for the roles on offer in your organisation.

Which pre-employment checks are mandatory in the UK?

Right-to-work checks are mandatory in the UK, and you must also ensure your organisation has a consistent process in place when employing new staff. Though other pre-employment checks are often at your discretion, right to work is a mandatory check for every new starter, regardless of their nationality.

You can complete a right-to-work check and obtain your statutory excuse by:

  1. Checking the applicant’s right to work online, if they’ve given you their share code

    Check an applicants share code by accessing the GOV.UK ‘view a job applicants’ right to work page’.

  2. Checking the applicant’s original documents.

    There are two Home Office lists of eligible documents that can prove an applicant’s right to work – Documents for a Right to Work check

  3. Checking an applicant’s right to work by using an identity service provider that offers Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT).

    Your organisation may use a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) to carry out identity checks.

Sector-specific mandatories

There are also some sector-specific mandatory pre-employment checks, which are most often specified by the industry regulator. Examples include:

Education Sector – The Department for Education lists a number of mandatory pre-employment checks in the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance. These checks include:

  • Identity check
  • DBS Check
  • Qualification check

Finance Sector – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) specifies a number of mandatory checks for certain roles. In particular, assessing whether an individual is a fit and proper person to perform an FCA-designated senior management function.

Choosing which pre-employment checks to implement – Check your intentions before you check your staff

The first step in choosing which of your pre-employment screening options should be included in your policy is identifying what is important to you and your organisation. Always keep in mind, you do not have to conduct every check available, just the ones which are applicable.

Background checks can vary depending on your organisation’s values and the role on offer. There is no such thing as one shoe fits all when it comes to background checking. Below are some examples of common background screening packages and checks organisations carry out.

Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

The BPSS standard is nationally recognised and utilised by many organisations across the UK. It is commonly accepted as the ‘baseline’ of background screening policy. If you are looking to apply a pre-employment screening policy to your organisation, BPSS is a great place to start. There are four main elements that make up the BPSS check. These include:

  1. Identity
  2. Right to work
  3. Employment history (three years)
  4. Criminal record check (Basic DBS)

BS7858 checks for individuals working in a secure environment

Originally aimed at those working in security, the most recent publication widens the scope for any employee working in a secure environment. The BS7858 screening can be completed for any role but has a particular emphasis on those where the security and/or safety of property, data, people or goods is a requirement. Enquire today to learn more about BS7858 checks.

Social media checks for schools and educational bodies

Validating the security, honourability and integrity of an applicant’s online identity may be important to you if you’re concerned about maintaining your brand’s reputational integrity. A social media check can give you more insight into your candidate’s values and behaviours than other standard checks.

Qualification and professional membership checks

If the roles you’re recruiting for require your applicants to hold specific qualifications and memberships then it’s important to verify the legitimacy and standing of these. A qualification and professional membership check can help you ensure you are hiring to both industry and company standards and help you attract and identify the very best candidates.

How can DDC help with your pre-employment checks?

DDC can provide a number of pre-employment checks for you and your organisation along with bespoke checking packages to fulfil your needs and requirements. These checks include:

Discover our range of pre-employment checks here

If you work in an industry with set standards, we also offer sector-specific pre-employment screening to ensure full compliance. These include:

  • Finance (FCA)
  • Solicitors (SRA)
  • Health care
  • Education

Take the next step with truly bespoke background screening today.

More Pre-employment news:

Speak to the experts

If you have any further questions before making your final decision, speak to one of our friendly Customer Service Team on 0116 260 3055 | 0845 644 3298 or email The team will talk you through your pre-employment screening options, and the eligibility criteria and ensure that you request a legal and compliant screening package.

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