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BPSS - Baseline Personnel Security Standard

Credit Check Services: BPSS screening

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The Cabinet Office publishes guidelines for the Baseline Personnel Security Standard to support pre employment screening for the Civil Service and those contracted to (directly or indirectly) HMG departments.

The BPSS guidelines provide the foundation for security screening, the minimum level required. For specific employment roles where access is provided to more sensitive data a range of security checks are provided such as CTC (Counter Terrorist Check), SC (Security Check) and DV (Developed Vetting).

At Credit Check Services we provide screening for companies who require their employees to be screened to the BPSS standard. Screening to the standard for CTC, SC and DV is conducted by the Defence Vetting Agency.


BPSS - Questions & Answers


Is the BPSS screening valid for a certain period of time, or indefinite?

Firstly, if the individual does not have a permanent right to work in the UK then there should be an annual check of their UK right to work status (this applies for all types of employment and not just BPSS screening).

For employees that leave and then return at a later date then BPSS screening may also be renewed depending on the period they were away and the type of employment. For those in 'continuous employment' then the following would apply:

  • For a government employee then once the screening is completed it does not need to be renewed.
  • For an employee of a List X sub-contractor there is a requirement to renew the criminal records check after 10 years. If the individual is employed by a non-List X sub-contractor but working on a List X site, then there is a requirement to renew the criminal records check every 3 years.

Is BPSS screening subject to a clear pass/fail?

The only absolute clear pass/fail applies to the individual’s right to work in the UK, otherwise it is a subjective consideration that is applied to the individual’s character and suitability for the type of employment based on the information obtained from the screening.

For example if an individual is found to have an unspent conviction from their criminal check then the employer must make an assessment to consider if this would for example affect the employer’s reputation or ability to perform their operations. An example of the latter would be if the conviction related to financial fraud and the individual was to be employed in the accounts department.

Can a person go on to higher levels of National Security Vetting if they have not completed the BPSS base level of screening?

If someone is to go on to a higher level of screening at the start of their employment (CTC, SC, DV) they would not normally require the criminal check at the base level as this is carried out at the higher screening level, they should however be subject to the other elements of the BPSS screening guidelines.


The above information is based on the BPSS guidelines at the time of publication and may not reflect the most recent version of these guidelines. If you require further information or would like a quotation for BPSS screening then please contact Credit Check Services on 01992 719 234.