Although it’s a job seeker’s market in terms of finding a new job at the moment, employers are not allowing their standards to slip when it comes to vetting the people they want to employ. Employers know only too well that getting a recruitment decision wrong can affect their profits if the new employee performs poorly or turns out to be a security risk. Background checking is usually applied across the board or targeted at specific job positions. If you are applying for a position and then are told that background checking is required, then don’t take it personally. It’s very unlikely that the employer has decided to run extra checks on just you. There are five major categories of background checks which an employer can use, and an employer may choose to use just one, or several.


DBS Checks

This is a form of criminal record check. The basic level of checking, which looks at your current criminal record only, can be used for any job. Not every employer chooses to DBS check staff though as there is cost involved, and the process takes time. The more detailed enhanced or standard checks can only be used when applying for certain positions, usually in healthcare, law or positions working with children.


DVLA Checks

If the position you are applying for involves driving, either in your own car or in a company vehicle, then it is standard practice for an employer to ask to see your driving licence, and probably take a copy of it. If you are driving a company car, it is usually a condition of their insurance that you show your driving licence every year. If you rack up any points on your licence, then your contract will often state that these have to be declared to your employer too.


Education or Professional Qualifications

Not all positions require specific qualifications, but if you are claiming to have a degree or membership of a Chartered style institution on your CV, you can expect your employer to check up on this. Checking qualifications is one of the easiest checks as all it takes is a quick call to the institution or official body to verify the CV facts.


FCA and Directorship Checks

People working in high-level financial services positions usually have an additional layer of screening through the Financial Conduct Authority to make sure there is nothing in their past which could call their character into question. Employers in this sector will also often look at the list of directors on Companies House to ensure that the candidate hasn’t been disqualified from holding that position over previous conduct.


Health Checks

Also known as “a medical”, these checks are not about being intrusive about your medical history. Instead, your ability to do the job will be assessed by a doctor or nurse. These are usually associated with safety critical roles such as train driving or air traffic control but may be applied to any job with a physical component.