BS7858 Security Screening


BS7858 screening is the best practice procedure published by the British Standards Institution. It is the background screening (vetting) of individuals employed in an environment where the security and safety of people, goods 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.

BS7858 screening includes:

  • 5 or 10 Year Written Career History
  • Basic DBS Criminality Check
  • Credit Search (Consumer Information Check)
  • ID Verification and Right to Work Check
  • 5-Year Address Verification
  • Optional extra: Pre-Employment checks for the last three years’ employment
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Implementing BS7858:2019

As of 31st March 2020, we fully implemented the new BS7858:2019 Screening Standard for all Applicants. The BS7858 code of practice has been revised and several important changes have been made, including the removal of character references. The BS7858 standard now places a much stronger emphasis on Applicants to supply documentation to verify each period of their career history at the start of the process, as well as several other changes. If you would like to speak to our team about the changes, or have any questions, please email and we will respond as quickly as possible.


BS7858 screening is more comprehensive than other UK standard screenings. It involves a more rigorous process to ensure employers have a peace of mind that the people they are employing are trustworthy.

Our team have extensive knowledge and experience with BS7858 screening. They will provide a comprehensive service to ensure appropriate screening is completed while maintaining the quality and robustness of the checks.


Although BS7858 originates from the security industry, screening employees to BS7858 is widely used throughout the UK and overseas within the Finance, Insurance, Banking, Healthcare, Aviation, Education, HR, Facilities Management and IT Industries to mention but a few. In principle, any organisation can have their employees and volunteers screened to BS7858 to improve the quality of their service, or comply with regulation, compliance standards or laws that require a higher level of due diligence.


  1. The “Sponsor” (our Client) creates an application and the applicant receives an email inviting them to complete the application form.
  2. The Applicant completes the application and submits it, with their consent, to the Client for review.
  3. The Client checks and submits it to Staff Vetting – the Client must check the Applicant’s consent, documents and information are valid before submitting it to us.
  4. Input & Verification – we check the applicant has provided valid consent and enough accurate data and documents for us to be able to carry out the next step.
  5. Pre-Employment Checks (if applicable):
    • Initial Checks + DBS – we carry out an ID check, Credit check, apply for the Basic DBS check and verify that the applicant has provided us with 2 documents for each period of employment for the most recent three years of their Career History: 1 dated from the beginning and 1 dated from the end of each period. We don’t seek references from previous employers at this point. We will also contact the Applicant directly if we need them to clarify anything, or if they need to provide more documents or information in addition to what they provided in their application.
  6. Full 5-year Career History – this is where we contact the previous employers the Applicant has listed in their Career History and ask them to provide a reference. After receiving a reference, we check the dates match and look for any gaps and follow up with applicant if necessary. If we don’t receive a reference, we will ask the Applicant to provide two supporting documents for each period in question. To verify any periods of employment or career history for the last three years, we can no longer ask for personal references for any kind of BS7858. Here is a list of documents we can accept as proof for each period of Career History.
  7. QA – this is where we review the entire application and check it meets the Standard’s requirements.
  8. Reporting (to the Sponsor/Client) – this is where we report the outcome to the client.

Acceptable Documents for BS7858 Screening

We can accept a wide range of documents as long as they are listed on the British Standard’s list. These include:

  • PAYE records – the best evidence
  • Payslips
  • P45 or P60
  • Employment contract
  • Bank statements
  • Accountant’s statements
  • Invoices to clients (for the self-employed)
  • Self-assessment tax returns
  • Educational qualifications or certificates
  • Passport stamps, travel or accommodation receipts.

Please see our more detailed list of acceptable documents.

Applicant Support for BS7858 Screening

The basic steps of the screening process for the Applicant are:

    1. The Client (recruiter) tells the applicant they will be screened.
    2. The Applicant fills out the application (including giving their consent).
    3. The Applicant submits it to the Client for review: checking the consent and documents are valid.
    4. The Client submits it to for review and processing.
    5. The Applicant provides additional information and documents when requested later on.
    6. We will contact Applicants directly several times throughout the screening process to ask them to provide more information or documents in addition to what they provided in their application.
    7. Please see our dedicated support page for BS7858 Applicants.

Important to know about BS7858 screening:

  • Filling in the application is only the first step. We will contact Applicants directly several times throughout the screening process to ask them to provide more information or documents in addition to what they provided in their application.
  • Preparation and accuracy is critical – incorrect dates, names and addresses always cause delays to the screening process.
  • We make no judgments about an applicant’s suitability for the role for which they are applying. That is the Client’s responsibility.
  • We are obliged to follow the British Standard with respect to how we carry out the checks and what evidence is acceptable to meet the Standard.
  • The screening process is always carried out with the Applicant’s full consent and no one contacted during the screening is legally obliged to respond to our requests to provide information in support of an application.
  • We have a strict Mutual Respect Policy in place which seeks to treat everyone we work with, with kindness, dignity and respect.
  • PAYE records are an excellent form of evidence – we strongly advise Applicants to download their PAYE records before they fill in their application form: 
  1. Log in to their Personal Tax Account and click on the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) box. If you don’t have an account, you can create one.
  2. Then click “Check previous tax years
  3. Then click “Check income details sent to us
  4. Then click “Print this page” – which will add your name to the document.
  5. Save them as PDFs and upload them to your application.
  6. Download a record relating to each period listed in your Career History in your application because this displays each month and year you received salary and paid tax and helps us verify your employment.

Need help or have a question?

Enquire Today is an NSI Gold Accredited BS7858 screening provider. The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is recognised as the leading certification body for the security and fire protection sectors in the UK. We were the first company to achieve this level (via Nova Risk Management) and are proud to continue to promote quality services and systems.