The BS7858 specifies the standards for businesses conducting secure background checks on employees. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has modified it.

When it comes to hiring employees, companies have a variety of alternatives. A background check is among the most popular screening processes, especially for people who wish to work in a secure environment.

Things you should know about BS7858

What is BS7858?

The British Standards Institution (BSI) established a 'best approach' standard known as BS7858 vetting to evaluate the success of organizations completing these pre-employment screening processes.

This sort of screening procedure protects people, products and services, data, and property.

Who is this standard for?

The standard was created specifically for the security industry. The Security Industry Authority regulates the security workforce (SIA). If your company wants to join the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme, it must show that it complies with BS7858.

The norm, however, also applies to businesses when employees operate in sensitive areas or huge volumes of sensitive data are processed. Banking, communications, healthcare, media, education, government, insurance, retail etc.

Why do you need this screening?

The goal of BS7858 security screening is to gather enough information to allow businesses to make an educated choice about whether or not to hire someone in a secure environment.

  • It lowers the chance of being exposed to danger.
  • BS7858 vetting Is frequently a requirement of your insurance company.
  • Contractual requirements - certain customers may define screening criteria equal to or beyond the standards of BS 7858.

Who are you employing and deploying on-site for public safety?

Wealth management - employees may be placed in positions of trust, with access to secret or sensitive information and security measures.

How to decide on a 5- or 10-year Screening?

In BS7858 vetting, who or what would specify a 5- or 10-year screening period? British Standard standards for particular services dictate the screening criteria:

  • BS 7499, Security Guarding, demands a 5-year background check.
  • Installation of the BS PD 6662 alarm system necessitates a 5-year inspection.
  • BS 7872 Cash and Valuables in Transit entails a 10-year background check.
  • Alarm Receiving Centre - BS 5979 requires a 5-year inspection.
  • BS 7984 Keyholding and Response - a 5-year screening is required.

Certain companies may have contractual obligations that need an extension of the typical screening time. The screening company must understand the function for which the individual is being screened so that the appropriate screening term, whether 5 or 10 years, maybe used.

What initial checks are involved in BS7858?

Before beginning the Limited screening, at least the following procedures must be accomplished after the potential employee's interview:

  • Make a file for screening.
  • Information is submitted in the form of an application form.
  • Identity and address verification.
  • Validation of the SIA licence.
  • Information from the public domain (not a full credit check).
  • Checks for global watchlists and sanctions.

What is Limited Screening in BS7858?

The employment screening file should also include the following information in addition to the preliminary checks:

Verification of a continuous record of career and history for a minimum of three years previous to the application deadline (or back to the age of 16 if this date is more recent). Evidence can be collected orally, in writing, or in any other document. When the evidence has been collected, the identification of the person or group that provided it should be verified. The caller's phone number should be independently verified when reached via phone. It is not advisable to rely on the phone number provided by the person being screened.

The name of the screening administrator in charge, as well as the name of the screening controller who evaluated the file to ensure that the limited screening was conducted in accordance with BS 7858 guidelines.

When an individual is offered a conditional offer of employment after limited screening but before the full screening, the terms and conditions of their employment should clearly state that confirmed employment is dependent on the successful completion of full secure environment screening within the time allotted and that conditional employment will end if full screening is not completed satisfactorily within the time allotted.

How can you be sure what the job applicant was up to throughout the interview? Is it a five-year or a ten-year commitment? How will we be able to confirm the facts?

Define this through direct contact with current and former employers, government departments, and educational authorities and written confirmation of education, employment, periods of self-employment, unemployment, and residence abroad for the entire screening period, with no gaps longer than 31 days.

What are criminal background checks, and how do they work?

  • Is your SIA licence current and valid?
  • Is the NPCC Appendix C check necessary by the police force you work?
  • Basic disclosure – DBS, Access NI, Disclosure Scotland

When it comes to the screening, how long should it take? When does the screening process start?

  • 12 weeks - 5 years
  • 16 weeks - 10 years

The screening period begins on the first day of conditional employment.

What happens if a company cannot finish the screening within the specified timeframe?

A four-week extension may be allowed, but the company must show that formal requests for information verification have been received. It should be marked that the screening period extension is not designed to compensate for a shortfall of screening staff.

How long do the records have to be kept?

  • 12-month screening file for people who did not pass preliminary screening.
  • A full screening file should be kept on file during employment.
  • Records must be kept following termination of employment.
  • Records are kept for seven years following an employee's last day of work.

What is the responsibility of top management in BS 7858?

Top management should do the following:

  • Top management should be dedicated to following the British Standard's guidelines.
  • They must guarantee that the screening process has the resources and infrastructure it requires.
  • People should be directed and supported to help the screening process succeed.
  • Assign the required positions' responsibilities and authorities.
  • Within the company, information should be shared.

Confirmation of employment

Employment is granted after passing the comprehensive screening including BS7858 security screening and any further pre-requisites imposed by the company.


A period of at least five years immediately before the start of relevant employment or transfer to relevant employment, or back to the age of sixteen if the date is more recent.

All persons in related employment, comprising full-time and part-time employees, sole proprietorships, companies, temporary and permanent employees, and all managers of an organisation, including executives, are covered by this British Standard. The goal of screening is to acquire enough information to allow enterprises to make an educated choice about whether to hire someone in a safe setting.

Other UK standard examinations are not as thorough as the BS7858 security screening. It entails a more thorough approach to guarantee that companies can rest easy knowing that the people they hire are trustworthy.

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