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Transition to BS7858:2019 - A Brief Guide

Updated: May 6

BS 7858:2019 replaces BS 7858:2012 in 2020. The 2012 version will be withdrawn on 31 March 2020 so this allows companies to operate to either / both versions for a 6-month period. I suggest you start working to the new standard from the beginning of 2020.


There is no requirement to re-screen an existing employee previously screened to the version in place at that time as long as evidence is in place.


Key Changes The title has been changed from “Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment” to “Screening of individuals working in a secure environment” to open it to a wider audience and also make it clear that it isn’t just directly employed individuals.


Clause 4 introduces a top management commitment including allocating resources, infrastructure and support.


Clause 6.2 adds in the following training requirements:


- Training should also cover the implications of not complying with this British Standard.


- Training should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that competency is maintained.


- All training provided online should be recorded electronically. All other training should be signed by the trainee, countersigned by the trainer and retained.


- Where a certificate of training is provided by a recognized and relative sectorcompetent training organization, a copy should be retained.


Clause 6.3 adds in a requirement with outsourced screening: “The organization should retain ultimate responsibility for the outsourced screening process and should review the completed screening file in accordance with 7.7.” i.e. they need to verify that the external screening company has actually provided a complete screening file.


The requirement for a Character Reference has been removed (comment: as the document is a minimum standard, a company can choose to go above and beyond and still use character references).


Financial information, e.g. bankruptcy, CCJs, etc. should now cover the screening period (the previous version said six years).


Rather than the previous “acknowledgement” that misrepresentation etc. could lead to the withdrawal of employment, the standard now specifies “a declaration signed by the individual” and there is an example provided in the appendices.


There is a new requirement, before employment can be offered, to include a check of the Global watchlist check. Cross-referencing the individual's name(s) against various sanctions, watchlists and fraud databases, including, but not limited to, the HM Treasury's consolidated list of financial sanctions targets in the UK


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-consolidated-list-of-targets


(Comment: This was previously an optional suggestion).


The three year check required within Limited screening in order to allow an offer of Conditional employment now clearly states that the check can be by phone or using documentary evidence (previously this was “at the discretion of the organisation”).


There is now guidance that where a screening file is supplied by a previous employer or outsourced screening provider may be used as evidence in the screening process following review.


Completion of screening now clearly states that where a reference is not available from a previous employer the company should obtain documentary evidence.


There is now guidance that “text or other electronic messaging” requires verification of the source and integrity.


History now includes “Career breaks: for periods where an individual has not been in employment and not registered as unemployed, e.g. voluntary career break, stay-at-home parent, unpaid family carer. The screening administrator should establish the reason for the break and request documentary evidence to support the explanation. Acceptable evidence should be relevant to the situation.”


There is now a specific requirement “The screening file of those unsuccessful at preliminary screening should be retained for a minimum of 12 months and disposed of securely”

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