Security is big business, and we’re all used to seeing uniformed security staff standing at the entrance to large shops or working at sporting events. Their presence reassures members of the public that the event or business takes customer welfare seriously and can encourage people to stay longer and spend more money. Finding and training professional security staff can be a challenge for many organisations as the role is often seen as hard work, with unsocial hours and lower than average pay. There are also several checks and verification processes which any applicant into the security industry must pass, including a DBS check.


What Do We Mean by Security Jobs?

The uniformed officer standing at the entrance to your local supermarket is the most visible aspect of the security industry but there are many other possible career paths too. Many large companies have an in-house security team based in the IT department, and it is their job to test that the systems and infrastructure is protected from both internal and external threats. Security staff are held to the highest standards of conduct and background, given that the main part of their job is to check nobody else is doing something they shouldn’t.


Right to Work Checks

The first check which anyone working in the security industry will need is a right to work check. These are standard in the UK whatever your job role and are a check on someone’s nationality and immigration status in the UK. These checks are designed to stop people living and working illegally in the UK and employers who are found to be employing illegal workers face heavy financial penalties.


Disclosure and Barring Checks

The other main checks required for people working in the security industry are DBS checks processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service. These checks are criminal records checks which can vary in detail but look at someone’s current criminal record as a minimum. For specific roles, such as working in airport security, a higher level of vetting is needed, including counter-terrorism checks. It is not up to the employer to decide which level of check they wish the worker to have; this is set out in legislation. Also, there is no law or requirement that only people with a completely unblemished criminal record can work in the security industry. Employers will make recruitment decisions based on a whole range of factors, and criminal record is just one of those.

Anyone thinking of applying for a position in the security industry should be aware up front that there will be checks done before they can start work. In most cases, employers will guide their applicants through the process and will pay for DBS and other checks which have an associated fee. This isn’t a legal requirement though, but it is important to make sure that an organisation which is asking for payment for administration or certificates is genuine. There is lots of information and guidance on the DBS website for people who are unsure about the process.