How Can Candidate Background Screening Help Care Homes?

How Can Candidate Background Screening Help Care Homes?

How Can Candidate Background Screening Help Care Homes?

Care Homes are places where a safe space for elders must be ensured. Are you conducting background screening checks on candidates?

Home carers are who will be looking after vulnerable people, often taking healthcare management roles, for which background checks are a must to ensure you’re hiring reliable workers.

What is Background Screening?

Background Screening is also known as pre-employment screening, and it’s the process by which candidates to a certain job role, or similar, are checked. An individual or organisation (e.g the employer performs background checks on them, to verify some information, such as their criminal records, identity, right to work, etc.

What is a background check?

A background check is a process used by organisations to verify certain details about an individual, such as their identity, their employment history, their criminal background, etc.

Background Screening is usually performed on candidates during the pre-employment phase, before they become employees. Depending on the job position, and the areas that the employer needs reassurance on, the checks may vary a little bit.

The most common checks during pre-employment screening are:

  • Basic, Standard and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
  • Right to Work checks
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) checks
  • Adverse Credit Checks (also known as Financial Background Screening)
  • Identity checks
    • AML PEPs & Sanction checks to Know Your Customer (KYC) and prevent money laundering
    • Employment Reference checks

Why are Background Screening Checks needed for Care Home workers?

In Care Homes, the caregivers will be often handling very delicate situations, as well as taking care of elder people, that might be vulnerable.

It’s important to ensure the safety of the care home residents by running proper background screening checks on the candidates to become caregivers.

Imagine a candidate has had a history of abuse towards vulnerable people. Skipping to perform a criminal background check might end up with a person with predisposition towards abuse working with elders.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year (2021)”. And “Rates of elder abuse are high in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff reporting that they have committed abuse in the past year.” - Directly quoted from the WHO’s website.

The main types of abuse endured by older adults, according to WHO, are psychological, physical and financial.

What purpose does each background check have for care home workers?

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

These checks detail all criminal history of an individual: any cautions, warnings and convictions (spent and unspent) held on the Police National Computer (PNC).

It also screens against the DBS Children and Adult barred list.

The information included in the report is the following:

  • Unspent Criminal Convictions
  • Spent Criminal Convictions
  • Inclusion on the Children's Barred List
  • Inclusion on the Adults' Barred List
  • Inclusion on the List 99 - Section 142 Education Act 2002
  • Other relevant information held by Local Police Forces (Soft Intelligence Forces Disclosed at chief Police Officer's Discretion)

It’s a must for care home pre-employment vetting processes. It’s the most relevant check to ensure all the workers are suitable for a job role that requires lots of responsibility and integrity.

Right to Work checks

Knowing the right to work in the country is mandatory for UK employers, so this is a standard check for any pre-employment process.

Employing someone that isn’t permitted to work in the UK can result in unlimited fines, and even jail for employers, if they’re found guilty of employing someone regardless of knowing they weren’t permitted to do so.

Employers can also face penalties if the right to work of an individual wasn’t checked properly.

Adverse Credit Checks (also known as Financial Background Screening)

Adverse credit checks are a type of employment vetting check that employers can carry out on candidates for sensitive positions, especially for positions that may require them to handle money and funds.

“Adverse credit” refers to any payments missed or not paid on an individual’s credit report.

This type of check is relevant to care homes to make sure their workers aren’t on a financial situation that may increase the risk of financial abuse towards the elder residents.

Identity checks

Checking a candidate’s identity is also a standard process of any pre-employment screening process. Is amongst the most essential checks, and usually the first that should be performed by HR or the hiring managers.

An employer needs to be sure that the person they’re employing is who they say they are.

Employment Reference checks

Checking that the employment history a candidate is providing is correct is the best way to ensure they are the best choice.

Obtaining references from their previous employment can help employers make informed decisions, and make sure they are making the right hiring choices.

As a care home employer, you would probably look for caring, honest, empathetic, understanding, etc, individuals. That will be able to not only meet the basic needs of the residents, but also help create a warm and friendly environment.

What to look for in a Background Screening provider.

There are many pre-employment background screening providers in the market, so there are a few things you’ll need to look, to make sure they are the option that better suits your organisation’s needs.

Basic Background Checks

Make sure that between the screening options you’ll be able to run identity and right to works checks with them, since are the “must-do” of any pre-employment process.

Checks available for background screening

Apart from the basic checks, make sure that the screening provider offers all the background checks your company will require its employers to endure in order to stay compliant and avoid penalties.

Cost and payment options

Have a look at the cost of each check, if there are any package options, etc. Contacting directly the provider and asking for a quote for your specific needs it’s a very good practice. They will be able to offer you a detailed quote, so you don’t find any surprises later once the choice has been made.


How long will it take for each check, and for you to receive the reports? Make sure you ask the provider according to your case, since the “standard” timings on the website might only be indicative, but not assured.

Online portal

Will you be able to check on the status of your checks? How will the data be processed, and the reports sent to you? The best way to check this, will be by doing a 1-2-1 demo with them.

Technology and compliance

Make sure the data is treated with care, and that all the consent letters and processes will meet all the legal requirements to stay compliant.

Conclusion: Background Screening caregivers will protect both the Care Home and the elder residents.

To summarise, background screening candidates is mandatory for any employer, doesn’t matter the industry. For care home employers, it’s especially important to make sure they also carry out extra checks, since the workers there have sensitive positions and responsibilities that require of extra safety measures.

For more information about background screening checks, visit our Compliance Centre.

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