BPSS – Everything You Need To Know

What is a BPSS check?

BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) is a level of pre-employment screening which is required for individuals working for or on behalf of the government. These checks are taken out to determine an individual’s honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and values.

The aim of these checks is to reduce identity fraud, illegal workers and protect overall national security.

BPSS screening is a required component of the 5 levels of national security vetting in the UK.

How long is a BPSS clearance valid for?

10 years. Once 10 years has passed since the last check, you will have to take out another BPSS check.

What information is included in a BPSS check?

These types of checks are made up of four parts (known as ‘RICE’):

  • Right to work – This looks into your nationality and immigration status; and includes an entitlement to undertake the work in question
  • Identity – An analysis of ID data (electronic identity authentication). This incudes names, addresses, aliases, etc)
  • Criminal records – A basic disclosure, which looks for unspent convictions (either a DBS or Disclosure Scotland check)
  • Employment history – 3-5 year employment background check (including gap periods)

What is the difference between a BPSS and a DBS check?

A BPSS check and DBS check are not the same. BPSS includes a DBS check (or Disclosure Scotland check) as part of the process, as well as right to work, criminal record and employment history checks.

How long do these checks take?

Approximately 1-2 days, if all the information provided is accurate. There can be delays if there is a conflict of information. For example, your candidate spent a longer time abroad than stated on their CV.

What happens after a BPSS check?

Once an individual has obtained a BPSS Verification Record, the employer can store this on their personal file. This record is transferable, which is useful for individuals moving to a new employer or government entity.  

Whilst these checks are valid for 10 years, employers will need to recheck the immigration status of non-UK born employees every 12 months (ensuring they still have the right to work in the UK).

As an employer, it is your duty to store this check (and all checks for that matter) in a secure, restricted fashion. This is a requirement in accordance with the EU GDPR. Furthermore, before you conduct any background checks, you must ask for the candidate’s permission to process their data.

How do I get a BPSS clearance?

Individuals are not able to apply for these checks themselves. Only an employer can request these changes.

How do employers apply for these types of checks?

At EBC Global, we understand the challenges that come with applying for BPSS checks. Most of the challenges stem down to collecting and storing data compliantly; as well as tracking and controlling the process.

To apply for these types of checks, it is recommended to incorporate a robust and simple procedure that allows you to collect the candidate’s data and process checks accordingly.

There is free software available, which makes the BPSS check process more efficient, whilst maintaining compliance. We offer this on the form of Employment Check Lite.

For organisations where there is a larger emphasis on performing regular background checks (including BPSS), we offer Employment Check Pro. Pro automates the process and makes every aspect fast, easy and removes all the time-consuming tasks associated with background checks.

For more information on our products, visit www.ebcglobal.co.uk