Completing Your BS7858 Application Form

This short video will give you a good overview of the BS7858 screening process, from application to completion.

What is BS7858?

BS7858 is the Code of Practice for Screening of individuals working in a secure environment.

It covers:

  • 5/10 Year Career Verification
  • Address History
  • Credit Check
  • ID and Right To Work Verification
  • Criminality Check
  • Global Check

BS7858 FAQs

Have a question? Our FAQs at the foot of this page may have the answer.

About BS7858 – why am I being screened to this standard?

“This British Standard helps employers to screen security personnel before they employ them. It gives best-practice recommendations, sets the standard for the security screening of staff in an environment where the safety of people, goods or property is essential. This includes data security, sensitive and service contracts and confidential records.

It can also be applied to situations where security screening is in the public’s interest. It sets out all the necessary requirements to conduct a security screening process. It covers ancillary staff, acquisitions and transfers, and the security conditions of
contractors and subcontractors. It also looks at information relating to the Rehabilitation of Offenders and Data Protection Acts.” Source GOV.UK.

The Basic Steps of the Screening Process

  1. Prepare your documents
  2. Complete the application form and provide consent
  3. Provide extra information and documents as quickly as possible when requested – we may need to contact you several times through out the screening process to ensure your application contains the correct information. This can often happen if gaps appear in your Career History if the dates you provided for a period of employment differ from those confirmed by your referee. In those cases you will need to provide extra documents to cover the gap period (if it’s more than 31 days).

The Detailed Steps of the Screening Process

  1. The Applicant completes the application form and submits it, with their consent, to the Client for review.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Initial Checks and Basic DBS Check – we carry out an ID check, Credit check and apply for the Basic DBS check.
  5. Pre-Employment Checks (an optional extra for some applicants)
    • Last 3-Year’s Employment Verification – we will verify that you have provided us with 2 documents for each period of employment for the most recent three years of your Career History: 1 covering the beginning and 1 covering the end. References are not sought from previous employers at this point. We will contact you directly if we need you to clarify anything, or if you need to provide more documents or alternative evidence.
  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.
  7. QA – this is where we review the entire application and check it meets the BS7858 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.

Starting the Process

You’ll receive an email with a link to your BS7858 application form – please check your spam folder because it might be in there –  but before you fill it it, you’ll need to have copies of some important documents at hand that show your name, date of birth and current address because these will speed the screening process up and reduce delays:

  • Passport – in date
  • Driving Licence (photo)
  • Utility bills or bank statements – dated within the last 3 months
  • PAYE records for the past 5 years

As you progress through the online form, you’ll be asked to upload these and copies of other documents to support your application.

  • Copies of your documents always need to include your name, DOB and address on them (although there are one or two exceptions).
  • Your documents must also be clear and readable so we can verify them.

Download your PAYE records for free

We strongly advise you to download your PAYE records for free before filling in the BS7858 application form. They are one of the best types of evidence to meet the British Standard.

You can apply for your PAYE records for free here:

  1. Log in 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.
  7. We created a visual guide here if that helps too.

Pre-Employment Checks (Most recent 3-Years)

We also verify the most recent three years employment history for some applicants – but not all. We don’t contact any referees for these checks, we just verify your employer’s names, dates and the documents you’ve provided to support those periods to check if they are valid and complete and are sufficient to allow us to conduct the full 5-year employment screening later in the process.

If the Sponsor wants us to do pre-employment checks for you, we will verify a total of five years’ career history as part of the BS7858 check, but if your Sponsor requests it e.g. because they need you on site very quickly, we will start by carrying out Pre-Employment Checks which means we will verify the most recent three years of your career history first.

  • We won’t contact any referees at this point, we’re just looking for evidence supporting each period of employment in the last three years.

For example:

If you’ve had one job for the last three years, you’ll need to provide two documents: one dated from the beginning of the period, and one dated from the end of period. For example, you could provide your first payslip and your last payslip. You could also provide your PAYE records for each year in that three-year period. Two documents is just the minimum.

Why the need for two documents per period?

Because the British Standard now requires a much higher degree of evidence from Applicants to support each period of their employment for the last three years.

  • We may need to ask for more evidence for each period listed in your Career History, two documents per period is just the minimum.

5-Year Career History

We will need to verify all career history periods for the past five years. This means we’ll contact your previous employers, educational establishments, Department for Work & Pensions etc.

It can take time for these third parties to respond to us – and sometimes they do not respond at all – so having your PAYE records will help speed the process up because it might mean we don’t have to rely on these third-party references. If they don’t respond in time, we can use your PAYE records as alternative evidence.

  • Please our full list of acceptable documents in the Supporting Documentation section below.
  • If we don’t receive sufficient evidence and references for any period during your five-year career history check, we’ll let you know and ask you for extra or alternative documents.

Referees – Accurate Employment Dates and Names are Critical

Please ensure you accurately record your exact dates of previous employment and unemployment etc. over the past five years. Any gaps of 31 days or more in employment will still need to be supported by evidence.

Examples of documents we can accept include:

  • PAYE records
  • Payslips (one from the start date and one from the end date).
  • Bank statements showing showing salary being received from your employer(s).
  • P45/P60
  • Any correspondence from your employer(s) supplied on company letterhead.

Supporting Documentation

  • If you haven’t applied for your PAYE records, we strongly urge you to. They are an excellent form of evidence and can save lots of time if your referees don’t respond or provide a reference.

Acceptable documents for a BS7858 5-year Career History check include:

  • Employment – Payslips, PAYE records, P45, P60, letter of redundancy.
  • Self-employment – Self-Assessment Annual Tax Returns from HMRC.
  • Invoices to clients or a letter from your Accountant within this period.
  • Education – Award certificates, letter from school confirming start and end dates.
  • Benefits – A letter from Benefit office, bank statements showing benefit records or a copy of your online benefit account with DWP.
  • Unemployment – Bank statements showing no records of wages or benefits being received/any other relevant documentation.
  • Travel – E.g. Passport stamps, or flight and hotel booking confirmations

Address History

You will be also required to provide copies of two (2) valid documents to prove your current address (see our list of Acceptable Address History Documents) and a copy of your SIA Licence(s) if that’s relevant to your particular application.

  • Your name, date and address must appear on these two documents for them to be valid evidence.
  • They should also be dated within the last three months if possible.

Identity Verification

You will be also required to provide a copy your valid (in date) passport or photo driving licence to prove your identity (see our list of Acceptable ID Documents) and if you are an SIA Holder, a copy of all your SIA Licence(s).

Giving Your Consent

When completing your application you will need to print and hand sign the Consent Form and upload a copy of it to your application. If you can’t print out your consent form, you can email our Help Desk at to request a digital consent form (which you’ll sign and then attach to your application).

  • Application forms without valid consent can’t be processed and will be placed on-hold until this is provided or rejected.

You can withdraw your consent at any time by emailing but be aware that doing so will mean we stop the screening and that may affect your application with your Sponsor.

Very Good to Know and Remember

BS7858 is a stringent screening standard. We’ll only ever ask you for relevant evidence and information and we may do this several times through the screening process – filling in your application form is just the beginning.

  1. It can take up to 12 weeks to complete the screening process so we thank you in advance for working with us and your patience.
  2. Check your spam folder – sometimes our emails end up there because your email service provider may have incorrectly labelled them as spam.
  3. We might ask you to provide more documents after you’ve filled in your application form – this is because some of the information provided in your application may be incomplete, insufficient to meet the standard’s criteria, or it may differ with evidence provided to us by your referees. It’s our job to work with you and verify the information you provide so you can meet the Standard. The quicker you can reply, the quicker we can complete your screening.
  4. Your referees are not legally obliged to respond to our requests or obliged to provide a reference for you. If we don’t receive a reference from them, we’ll ask you for more documents to support the period of employment that is missing a reference.
  5. If you’d like to know how far along your screening is, please contact your Sponsor directly. We’re not allowed to reveal screening updates to you during the screening process – we’re only allowed to ask you to provide information or documents in support of your application.
  6. We make no judgments about your suitability for the role for which you are applying. We don’t recommend that you should or should not be employed.
  7. We are obliged to follow the British Standard with respect to the way in which we carry out the checks and what evidence is acceptable to meet the Standard. Sometimes you might provide a document which is genuine, but it may not be on the list of acceptable documents. In that case, we have to ask you for a different document.
  8. The screening process is always carried out with the your full consent and you can withdraw this at any time by emailing the Help Desk – be aware that withdrawing your consent means we’ll stop the screening and that might affect your role or relationship with your Sponsor.
  9. Once you submit your application you will no longer be able to access it – this is to protect your data and to prevent any unintended or invalid changes being made to it without your Sponsor or our team reviewing it first.
  10. We also have a strict Mutual Respect Policy in place which seeks to treat everyone we work with, with kindness, dignity and respect.

Contacting the Support Team

We are here to help. You can always email the Support Team directly with any questions you might have about your BS7858 screening.

And you should contact your Sponsor or Employer directly if you would like to find out about the status of your recruitment because we only provide the provide the screening checks on their behalf.

BS7858 FAQs

Why should I apply for my PAYE tax records?

As a requirement of the BS7858 Screening Standard we need to verify your work history and PAYE tax records are the ideal method of confirming previous work activity for the past five or ten years.

PAYE records are an excellent form of evidence and we encourage all applicants to apply for them here for free before they start the screening process:

  1. Log in 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.

Who are Limited are one of the UK’s leading providers of high quality employee background screening services.

Why have I recieved an email to complete BS7858 Application?

We represent your sponsor organisation mostly likely an organisation whom you about to work with or work for in the near future. If you are unsure please contact our team and they will be able to provide additional support. Contact 0191 5887980.

What details do you check?

We verify your ID, 5 year address history, criminality check, 5/10 career history, credit checks and right to work verification. We will contact your previous employers, we also will need evidence for any periods of unemployment, long periods of travel longer than 31 days and other career breaks such as maternity/paternity leave.

How will my personal details be shared and stored?

Your data will only be shared with relevant organisations and entities for the sole purpose of screening checks, such as  the Home Office, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), credit agencies and previous employers. We do not share or sell your information to any other organisation or indvidual(s).

What type of DBS check will you be carrying out and what information will it show?

We will be applying for a Basic DBS check which shows any unspent convictions or cautions you still have which are currently held on file.  If you are unsure if a conviction or caution is spent or unspent, please refer to the website which may guide you in relation to whether you need to declare any past convictions/cautions.

Why do you carry out a Credit Check as part of my BS7858?

The BS7858 Screening Standard requires us to carry out a Consumer Information Search as part of your vetting.  This is what is called a ‘Soft Search’ and should not affect your credit rating.  The Consumer Information Search shows any active/discharged CCJs, insolvencies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) in your history.  We only search for any information on your address history in the past 5 years and the results of this are sent back to your Sponsor Organisation.

What happens if I have adverse information on my credit report, will that mean I can’t be employed? Limited are responsible for collecting the data on your Consumer Information Search, any recruitment decision based on the information found is made by your Sponsor Organisation.