Finding trustworthy and reliable employees is very important. Especially, when you have to deal with sensitive data and confidential information. A candidate may dodge you by hiding their original identity, causing serious issues later on.

So, to avoid this situation, there are specific security checks to ensure that candidates meet the standards required. Constituted screening, including security vetting and employment checks, gives you plenty of options.

Having acronyms and regulations, there are two vetting standards used alternatively for the roles that require vetting: BPSS and BS7858. These are mainly used by the HR personnel for onboarding purposes.

Although they serve the same purpose, there are minor differences that set them apart. In this article, we answer the question What is the difference between BS7858 and BPSS? How do they impact organizations and individuals alike?

BS7858 Screening Check

The British Standard BS7858 is a comprehensive one. This vetting process involves authenticating several aspects including a person’s identity, work history, address, education, and criminal record.

The basic objective of the screening is to evaluate whether the applicant is suitable for the particular job. Also, it ensures that they have the credibility required for the role. Hence, there are no chances of security threats to the organization.

The following are the components of the BS7858 screening checks:

  • Identity check– confirms an individual’s identity and right to work in the UK.
  • Address check – proof of candidate’s address history.
  • Employment history check – validation of the last five years’ record of an individual’s employment history.
  • Qualification check – candidate’s qualifications and professional membership review.
  • Reference check – confirmation of applicant’s references from former employers.
  • Criminal record check – a check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to overview an individual’s criminal record.

After completion of all the above-mentioned checks, a screening report is sent to the employer bearing the summary of all the results. If there is any area of concern that makes the candidate unsuitable for the job, it will be highlighted in the report. Then, it’s up to the employer to use this information to decide whether to hire the applicant or not.

The most important thing in this regard is that the BS7858 background check is not a legal requirement for companies. Also, it is not obligatory to carry out this check for jobs of all kinds. Nevertheless, for positions involving a high level of security or access to sensitive information or assets, these checks are indispensable.

BPSS Screening Check

The BPSS refers to the Baseline Personnel Security Standard. This screening check is used to vet individuals who work in sensitive roles, i.e., jobs having access to government assets, information, or services.

Moreover, this screening standard helps evaluate an individual’s aptness for a specific role while their credibility does not cause any security harm to the company. Through this screening check, organizations can protect themselves from the risk of fraud, theft, and other safety breaches.

The following are the components of the BPSS screening check: 

  • Identity Check – confirms an individual’s identity and right to work in the UK.
  • Employment History Check – proof of the last three years of employment history of an individual.
  • Criminal Record Check – a check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to overview an individual’s criminal record.
  • Nationality and Immigration Status Check – proof of nationality and immigration status of the candidate.

Unlike BS7858, the BPSS screening check is mandatory for individuals having access to sensitive information or assets. The sectors may include government departments, defense contractors, and other national security-related industries.

As for these areas, the BPSS check is an elementary security authorization while some segments may require rather a higher level of security checks like Counter Terrorist Check (CTC), Developed Vetting (DV), or Security Check (SC).

Owing to their higher levels of security requirements, these screenings include more detailed background checks, interviews, and referrals.

Importance of BS7858 and BPSS

Both BPSS and BS7858 screening checks are crucial for organizations handling sensitive or private data. These screenings ensure that the employed individuals are reliable and have a clean record. Thus, helping organizations protect themselves from the risk of fraud, theft, and other security breaches.

Additionally, these checks are beneficial for the individual going through the screening. The individuals passing the screening checks provide them with a level of trustworthiness. This credibility proves useful in the future for job search.

There are several reasons why these checks are important. Some of these are:

1. Ensuring Workplace Security

When a candidate is selected through proper testing and screening, there are fewer chances for workplace breaches like fraud, theft, or other criminal activity. Moreover, the standard screening also offers safe access to sensitive information.

2. Protecting Business Reputation

The potential employees having a suspicious background record, are instantly screened out. Furthermore, candidates having a criminal record or a history of financial difficulties reflect poorly on the employer and damage their reputation.

Whereas, a thorough background check ensures that such individuals are hired who would never bring their business into any disgrace.

3. Reducing Costly Hirings

A candidate hired without proper screening may result in a waste of time and money as there is a high risk of the individual being involved in criminal activities in the past. Or they may not have a good employment history.

So, employers must sift out unsuitable candidates by implementing a thorough screening procedure. This reduces the risk of costly hiring mistakes and delivers quality hiring.

4. Legal Compliance

Certain jobs need mandatory background checks. For example, roles that involve working with children or susceptible adults may require a criminal history check. Hence, the screening allows organizations to thoroughly comply with the industry rules and regulations.

5. Enhancing Workplace Morale

The employees hired after being vetted thoroughly enjoy more credibility among others as they have undergone a long hiring procedure. This shows that the employees are serious about their roles and responsibilities. Thus, leading to a positive workplace culture where all employees trust and respect one another.

Difference Between a BS7858 Background Check and a BPSS Background Bheck

While both the BS7858 and BPSS background checks are used to evaluate an individual’s suitability for a particular role, there are some key differences between the two checks.

Level of Security ClearanceProvides a higher level of security clearanceBaseline level of security clearance required for roles involving access to government assets, information, or services
FocusA thorough vetting process into the individual’s backgroundMore focused on national security
Required forRoles involving access to sensitive or confidential informationRoles involving access to government assets, information, or services
Period CoveredCovers the individual’s employment history over the last five yearsCovers the individual’s employment history over the last three years

Final Words

There is a minor line of difference between BS7858 and BPSS that has been mentioned above. The former is a general one that can be undergone for jobs involving access to sensitive data while the latter is specifically related to government security.

BS7858 requires a minimum of five years of address history and checks for criminal records while BPSS is a baseline standard including identity verification and nationality checks.

Hence, the BS7858 background check and BPSS background check are both important tools for vetting individuals. Understanding these checks and their differences is important for organizations and individuals for enhanced security.

Considering to boost the safety and security of your organization? Wait what? Invest today in BS7858 and BPSS checks to ensure the security of assets and individuals.