Understanding BS7858:2019 Security Screening Training

BS7858:2019 security screening is a British Standard that outlines the process for screening of individuals employed in roles where they have access to sensitive information or secure environments. Published by the British Standards Institution (BSI), this standard establishes guidelines and best practices for vetting personnel to ensure they are suitable for employment in positions with security implications.

As many of you are aware of, in the most recent update, one of the requirements of the 2019 Standard is that all staff engaged in the screening process should be trained. The training should focus on key vetting requirements and will include application form requirements, record keeping and data protection needs; all of which would benefit organisations who carry out the screening internally or externally.

The Importance of Training

Training is crucial in ensuring personnel meet the required standard outlined in BS7858 security screening standard for several reasons:

  • Understanding the Standard: Training helps personnel understand the intricacies of the BS7858:2019 security screening standard, ensuring that they are aware of the standard’s requirements and guidelines.
  • Skill Development: Training enhances the skills necessary for effective security screening, including background checking and document verification.
  • Consistent Application: Personnel trained in BS7858 can consistently apply the screening process, reducing the likelihood of errors and ensuring a standardised approach.
  • Ethical Conduct: Training emphasises the ethical considerations involved in security screening, promoting ethical conduct and professionalism among personnel.
  • Compliance: Trained personnel are more likely to ensure compliance with the standard, reducing the organisation’s exposure to legal and regulatory risks.
  • Continuous Improvement: Training programs can facilitate ongoing learning and adaptation to changes in security threats, technology, and regulations, contributing to continuous improvement in the screening process.
  • Data Protection: Training on record keeping and GDPR regulations are paramount in this age where the focus is on security and compliance.

Key elements of BS7858

The BS7858 security screening consists of several key elements. All of these checks need to be completed to adhere to the standard. These are

  • Criminal Record Disclosure
  • Confirmation of name, address & date of birth
  • Confirmation of current residency
  • Confirmation of right to work within the United Kingdom
  • Employment / unemployment / self-employment reference checks, covering the last 5 years and including reason for leaving if appropriate, subject to any company HR policy
  • Verification of any gaps in employment if greater than 31 days
  • Educational checks if less than 5 years’ employment history
  • Financial probity checks – CCJs, Insolvency, IVAs and undeclared aliases
  • Screening for any financial sanctions, money laundering / HM Treasury and company officer status
  • SIA licence check if required

Core Training Components

Before you embark on a BS7858 security screening training journey, it is important to understand the screening standard, as you will have to justify the screening to the auditor. Any good training course should provide you with this, explain everything you need on how to proceed with the screening ensure safe practises. Within the training they might cover

  • Legislation and Regulations: An overview of relevant laws and regulations related to security screening. Explanation of the legal responsibilities of personnel involved in the screening process.
  • Background Checking Techniques: In-depth training on effective background verification using examples, case studies and practical exercises to enhance skills in gathering and verifying information.
  • Document Verification: Training on verifying identity documents, refences and qualifications, including recognising common signs of fraudulent documentation.

If you are interested in BS7858:2019 security screening training, our vetting training package will train you and your colleagues on how to ensure you adhere to the required standard. We are able to provide this course in three different ways, via online modules, a small group webinar and in person, and will cover, in summary, the following areas:

  • The objectives of screening candidates:
    • The BS7858 standard scope & history
    • Application form requirements
    • The screening processes
    • Record keeping and GDPR
    • Key vetting contact points
    • Tips for ease of screening
    • What a completed file should look like

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information to see how we can help you.