The idea of performing background checking on people in specific roles is nothing new and is particularly associated with people who intend to work with children. The internet and digital technologies have made it easier than ever for employers to carry out checks on people working for them, and to thoroughly assess job applicants. Statistics from Google show that employers are searching for “best background checking site” twice as much in 2022 as they were in 2021, so if you’re in the market for a new position, it may be something you’ll come up against too.
There are a range of different background checks which employers have at their disposal, and which checks they choose to carry out often depend on the role you will be doing.
A Disclosure and Barring Service check can be requested for any position should the employer wish to run one. A basic DBS check will only reveal current and unspent criminal convictions, but in certain circumstances, the job might require a more detailed Standard or Enhanced disclosure check. Standard disclosure checks are often needed for positions in law or finance, and enhanced disclosure checks are usually for people working in healthcare, education, or childcare.
Driving Licence Checks
If your job involves driving a company vehicle, then the employer might check with the DVLA to make sure you have a valid driving licence. Alternatively, they might ask you to being the original of your driving licence into the office for them to look at and take a copy.
Professional Membership and Education Checks
Qualification fraud is surprisingly common, and employers will regularly check with exam boards or universities to confirm that the qualifications being claimed are genuine. If a professional qualification, or membership of a professional body are being claimed, then the employer will phone the organisation and asked. This is particularly common in higher education, accounting, medical and legal positions.
People being hired into very senior positions may have a director check to make sure that they haven’t been banned from being a director in the past. Registers of banned directors are held by Companies House.
Occupational Health Checks
Also known as “medicals”, the idea of these isn’t to know all the ins and outs of your medical history, but to make sure there is nothing in your medical history which could affect your ability to do the job. Usually, the checks will be carried out by an independent medical company, but some larger organisations may have their own nurses and doctors to run the screening.
The Baseline Personnel Security Standard is for the security agency and will involve a range of checks into not only criminal records but also things like Right to Work in the UK, employment history and reference checking and investigations into any extended periods spend abroad. This level of checking is done for people working in government toles, the energy sector or other areas which are considered security sensitive.