BS7858 Security Screening is Being Updated, What’s Changing?

BS7858 was last updated in 2012 so, this year, the British Standards Institution is releasing a refresh: BS7858:2019.

This update was made in September 2019, but the 2012 standard won’t be fully-withdrawn until 31st March 2020. Despite this, here at CBS, we’ve already made the upgrade.

The BSI hopes this will bring the standard up to date and provide an even better service for those being checked, by reducing risk and improving confidence in the system.


BS7858:2019: What’s Changing?

A Change of Scope – Previously the standard only applied to the security sector, but this has now been amended to apply to any business that handles security screening.

Top Management – There is now greater ‘top management’ requirement, meaning those controlling an organisation should ensure suitable resources and infrastructure are available, encourage subordinated to contribute to the screening process, delegate screening tasks appropriately with the relevant authority, and be fully-committed to the screening process and its best practice standards.

A Risk-Based Approach to Hiring – Hirers are now encouraged to assess candidates on a risk basis and not to reject a job candidate due to an adverse result. The suitability to the role should be considered in detail and made the priority.

Responsibility for Screening – The refresh makes it very clear that the ultimate responsibility for screening lies with the organisation itself, not the individual or any outsourced screening company.

Character References – These are no longer a requirement of the process, as they were previously abused.

Example Forms – Example forms are still available, but these have been updated.

Other Small Changes:

  • The CCJ and bankruptcy level has increased from £5,000 to £10,000.
  • Five-year employment confirmation is now the minimum, as standard.
  • The screening period has reverted back to the age of 16, instead of 12 (assuming this is later than the start of the five-year screening period).
  • Dates of attendance no longer provide a ‘grace period’ and will be deemed as ‘unemployed’.
  • A global watchlist check has been added e.g. financial sanctions check in addition to a credit report.
  • There will be more robust confirmation of the identity checking process, and a credit check must now be done before any offer of employment is made.


So, What Does This Mean for You?

The BS7858 changes should not greatly affect the end user. Instead they should simply make the process smoother, ensure a high-quality standard, and make screening fairer.

At CBS, we are working to ensure a seamless switch over and would very much appreciate your support and patience. By introducing modifications over a few weeks, we hope this has not, and will not, majorly affect your service. There will be no change in cost for CBS customers, as a result of the changes.

Furthermore, if an individual has been screened to a previous standard, there is no requirement to undergo further screening to update to this new version, and the period remains 5 years.

Please note, any ‘old’ applications submitted after 4pm on January 31st cannot be processed and will be deleted from the system.

If you have any questions about BS7858 security screening, the changes, or our service, please get in touch with our friendly team.

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