In the increasingly competitive jobs market, background checks have expanded their role from being primarily associated with positions involving children to encompass a much larger range of positions. Google searches for terms like “best background check” is up by 100% since last year, and “best background check site” searches have risen by 200%, underscoring the heightened interest across diverse employment sectors. If you’re in the market for a new job, the level and type of checking will in large part depend on the job you are applying to. Here are some of the most common background checks which are requested through organisations such as Clear Check, and the types of jobs where you might expect to come across them.
Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Checks
DBS checks, commonly used by employers, come in various levels. The basic DBS check only looks at unspent criminal convictions, while the standard DBS check delves into both spent and unspent convictions. Basic DBS checks can be requested by any employer, whereas standard checks are more common for people working in finance or the legal sectors.
The enhanced DBS check delves deeper than the standard version and involves also looking at the list of people officially barred from working with certain groups and allows the police to disclose any information which has not resulted in cautions or convictions. Most positions involving work in hospitals, fostering, the care industry (whether in a care home or the patient’s own home), education or child-minding will require an enhanced DBS Check.
Driving Licence Checks
Driving licence or DVLA checks look at whether the applicant has a UK driving licence, and which classes of vehicles they are qualified to drive. This check is essential for roles requiring driving, such as taxi drivers, driving instructors, couriers, sales positions when using a company car, or any other role which involves using a company vehicle.
Education and Professional/Technical Memberships
Education checks come into play for candidates applying for a position demanding specific educational qualifications or membership of a professional body. These checks verify the authenticity of qualifications or certificates, and check that the grades obtained match the grades stated by the applicant. These checks are commonly found when working in higher education, engineering, accountancy, law or medicine.
Directorship checks look at past and current company directorships, highlighting disqualifications or ongoing restrictions on what a director can do. This check only applies to candidates at the higher levels of a business, responsible for making high-stakes financial and strategic decisions.
For individuals thinking of taking roles in the financial sector, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) required thorough screening and registration. FCA checks ensure compliance with regulatory standards for both financial firms and individuals, although this usually only applies to people in leadership positions.
Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) checks assess an employee’s right to work in the UK, and look at criminal history, employment records, and international residency history. BPSS checks are used in government positions such as the civil service, in the security sector, or for jobs working in locations such as power stations.