What is the screening process?
These are the basic steps of the screening process:
- You – the applicant – fill out the application form
- You submit it
- Your sponsor – the organisation paying for your screening – reviews your consent, ID and address documents to check they are valid
- They review the rest of your application and check it is in order
- They submit it to us
- We check it has been filled out correctly
- We schedule it into the screening calendar
- The screening begins
- We send the final report to your sponsor
- We anonymise / remove your data
We always ask for your consent before we carry out the screening checks and you can withdraw this at any stage by letting us and your sponsor know.
Filling out the application form is just the beginning
Throughout the screening process you may be asked to provide extra documents and information or to clarify the detail you have entered in your application form. This isn’t because we doubt your integrity or character, it’s to clarify our understanding of what you’ve provided so we can decide if it meets the government criteria we have to work to.
The most important documents you’ll need to provide at the beginning are your ID documents e.g. a passport, driving licence and birth certificate for example. The other type of documents you’ll need to provide will vary depending on which type of screening you’re going through.
You’ll also need to provide basic personal details like your name, address, date of birth and NI number.
If you’re going through BS7858 or BPSS screening, you’ll also need to provide at least 5-years’ career history, which, depending on how old you are, might include any time you may have spent at school or university, on a gap year or in between jobs.
The best documents to support your career history are your PAYE records. You can download these for free from the government website. See the section below for more details.
Acceptable Documents for Proof of ID and Address
We’ve put together a list of all the different types of documents you can use to prove your identity and address. These are the only ones we can accept. You can’t use the same document as proof of identity and address. You have to use two different documents.
You can take a photo of them on your phone and upload them to your application and these will be accepted as long as they are valid and clear – if we can’t see the detail, we can’t accept them.
If you’re not sure about the validity of your documents, or which ones to use as part of your application, you can always email email@example.com and we will help.
Protecting your data
We always keep your data safe in our systems. We only share it with your sponsor or third-parties who need to see it when we’re carrying out our screening e.g. the external services we use to carry out the criminality, Directorship and credit checks. It’s usually removed from our systems after six months, but may be kept for longer in certain situations if necessary. You can always request a copy of your data by submitting a Subject Access Request.
We understand how intrusive screening can be. You are sharing your personal details and documents with us. Every member of our team has been through this process too – so they genuinely do understand and empathise with your concerns.
If you ever have any concerns in this regard, please contact us and your sponsor directly. We want to make sure you understand what the steps are and why we’re asking for information at all times.
Also good to know:
Invalid, illegible and insufficient documents
For example: if the documents you initially provided in your application aren’t legible or are missing your full current name or address.
For example: you may not have provided the right type of document or a “valid” document even if you thought you had e.g. your passport might be genuine, but it might be a year out of date. The same situation can arise with driving licences too.
For example: if you have used the same document as proof of your identity and proof of your address, we can’t accept this because you need to supply two different documents: one to prove your identity and a different one to prove your address.
Conflicting information and complex employment history
For example: if the information a previous employer provides us conflicts with the information in your application, we are legally obliged to contact you to ask you to clarify and provide more documents if necessary.
Documents to support your career history
Applicable if you’re going through BS7858 or BPSS screening.
PAYE records are an excellent form of evidence for your career history and we encourage you to apply for them here for free before you start the screening process.
- Log in and click on the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) box. If you don’t have an account, you can create one.
- Then click “Check previous tax years”
- Then click “Check income details sent to us”
- Then click “Print this page” – which will add your name to the document.
- Save them as PDFs and upload them to your application.
- 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.
For example: the British Standards we must adhere to have strict guidelines about which documents we’re allowed to accept as proof of identity, address and career history. So even if you have supplied us with genuine documents, we still might not be able to accept them if they are not on the British Standard’s approved list.
For example: you might, understandably, be cautious about sharing your bank statements with us, but you can always redact your account/sort number, balance and amounts paid or received.
If you have statements showing payments from a previous employer, we only need to see the name of the employer on the statement for it to be acceptable otherwise we can’t tally the payment to the employment period on their career history.
- Screenshots of an online bank statement aren’t acceptable though. They need to be copies of original statements.
Judgments about Suitability
We never make any judgements about your suitability for a role based on the information we receive, that responsibility always rests with your sponsor. Our role is strictly to ask for information and documents and verify the information on them e.g. checking that they are valid and acceptable and cross-referencing the information with external data sets.