An overview of BS7858 Security Screening Screening Industry News

This British Standard gives recommendations for the security screening of individuals to be employed in an environment where the security and/or safety of people, goods and services, personal data or property is a requirement of the employing organisation’s operations and/or where such security screening is in the public and/or corporate interest.

The scope allows organisations in all environments to adopt the standard for the screening of their staff and is not aimed just at personnel working in a security role. There is a specific section relating to risk management which states: “An integral part of risk management is to provide a structured process for organizations to identify how objectives might be affected. It is used to analyse the risk in terms of consequences and their probabilities before the organization decides what further action is required”.

The following changes should be noted:

  • Staff already screened to previous versions of the standard are not required to undergo screening to the new standard providing evidence of the previous screening can clearly be demonstrated.
  • The security screening period remains 5 years unless lengthened to account for contractual or legislative considerations and/or specific industry standards.
  • More robust confirmation of identity checking process.
  • The level of CCJ’s or bankruptcy has increased from £5,000 to £10,000.
  • Credit check to be done before any offer of employment made.
  • Check of the financial sanctions list to be conducted.
  • Five years employment confirmation is now the minimum and should be extended to meet specific requirements.
  • Confirmation of gaps in employment have now increased from 28 to 31 days.
  • The security screening period goes back to the age of 16 instead of the age of 12 if this date is more recent than the start of the 5-year security screening period.

We have made the appropriate changes to our BS7858 services and clients can be reassured that full compliance will continue as normal at no extra cost. Remember, if you conduct screening to BS7858 you must have relevant policies in place together with the following:

BS7858 requires a screening file (electronic or paper) is to be established for each individual to include the following:

  • Copies of original documents produced by the applicant including passport, UK driving licence and/ or birth certificate as part of confirmation of right to be in the UK and part of the normal recruitment process.
  • Copy of CV or application form as part of the normal recruitment process.
  • Original criminal record check, Disclosure form or copy of the SIA licence.
  • Evidence that the screening has been conducted and includes proof of identity, evidence of employment history confirmation, periods of unemployment, records of self-employment, periods of residence abroad and evidence of character reference

Any other information which may be relevant such as issues which you have reviewed and accepted the risk i.e. poor credit history.

Following cessation of employment, the above information should be kept for 7 years. 

For any further information on the background screening available from Agenda Screening Services contact our team by phone 08456 445 546 or by email

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