Recent industry figures show that online searches for background checking companies have boomed over the past year. Background checking has been standard practice in many sectors for decades and plays a valuable role in protecting children and other vulnerable groups from harm. Many employers are coming round to the idea that looking into the background of people applying for work can protect the company too by making sure that workers are suitable for the position, and that they do not have any criminal convictions which could call their character into question. The sorts of background checks will vary depending on the position. Research has revealed the most common checks which applicants are asked to have.


DBS Checks

A DBS Check involves looking into someone’s criminal record. The applicant fills in the form, proves their identity either digitally or by showing their documents to their employer. DBS checks are not needed for every position. There are some positions such as those involving childcare or healthcare, where the law requires DBS checking. In other positions the employer has more flexibility over who is checked. A basic DBS check is open to everyone and will list someone’s unspent convictions and cautions only. This level of check isn’t as detailed as others but should give the employer the reassurance that they are not employing someone with a very long or serious criminal record.


Driving Licence Checks

It’s fairly obvious that for any job which involves driving, the employer will want to see proof that you have a valid UK driving licence. Companies will also want to see your driving licence if you have access to a company car. There will usually be a clause in the employment contract too which says that if you get points on your licence, then you have to let the employer know as this may affect the employer’s insurance policy.


Education or Membership Checks

Some positions require employees to hold either an academic qualification like a degree, or a professional qualification. For example, you can’t be a chartered accountant without having passed accountancy exams. Forged certificates and CV fraud is a growing problem, so employers are increasingly verifying qualifications. Universities and colleges have a portal whereby employers can do this online, and professional organisations will usually confirm whether someone has passed their exams via email or by phone.


Financial Conduct Authority Checks

As the name suggests, these checks apply to people who wish to work in banks or other financial services companies, usually at a fairly senior level. The Financial Conduct Authority maintains a register of people accredited to work in the sector, and their information can be checked online. People who wish to be added to the register have checks to make sure they have not been convicted of finance-related crimes or haven’t been made bankrupt.

There are other checks companies might do too, such as into your social media feed. It is however good practice for a company to let you know what they are checking and get your permission to do so.