Following a pre-employment checklist can help you prevent hiring the wrong person for the role. In addition, if your industry is mandated by strict employment laws and regulations, a pre-employment checklist can prevent costly, unlawful, and non-compliant hiring.
Regardless of the industry you operate in (or hire for), we have laid out the pre-employment checks you need in our ‘always-up-to-date’ pre-employment checklist for UK organisations.
UK organisations can accept passports, birth certificates, adoption certificates, biometric residence permits, and driving licences as a form of identity. However, you should note that some forms of ID will not qualify for certain pre-employment checks. For example, a driving licence is not proof of right to work in the UK.
We have listed the top six most common forms of ID in the UK and the checks you can use them for:
|Right to Work
|Criminal Record Check
|Passport (current or valid)
|Driving Licence (current) – full or provisional
|Biometric residence permit (BRP)
✝please refer to the Right to work checklist for more information on the types of birth/adoption certificates that are accepted
*only certain birth certificates and driving licences are accepted. For more information, please click here.
**from UK and Channel Islands only
After confirming your candidate’s current address (via bank statement, utility bill, etc), you will need to collect their address history before you can run any pre-employment checks.
It is recommended to collect between 3 to 5 years of a candidate’s address history.
You can easily collect your candidate’s address history for free using Employment Check App (using the ‘Basic Application Form’ function).
Right to Work
As a UK employer, you can confirm a candidate’s right to work in one of the following ways:
- Manual, in-person right to work check (COVID-19 adjustments). This is only for individuals who cannot generate an online share code (e.g., British nationals). Do note, these adjustments are due to end on 30th September 2022 (more information can be found here: ‘Updated Guidance on Right to Work Checks)
- Digital right to work checks, using Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) from 6th April 2022. This is only for those with a valid British or Irish passport (including Irish passport cards).*
- Online share code. This is for individuals with a UKVI account, biometric residence permit, or stats under the EU Settlement Scheme). Employer can check the code via the online right to work check service.
*For individuals without an IDVT-qualifying document (e.g., a birth certificate), then the employer will have to run a manual right to work check.
Criminal Record (DBS) Check
It is highly recommended that your organisation run a minimum of a basic DBS check on new starters (and on employees annually). Of course, a basic DBS check may not be sufficient if your sector is mandated by strict employment laws and regulations (e.g., education and healthcare require enhanced DBS checks on all candidates and employees).
Organisations that add a minimum of a basic check to their pre-employment screening process are more likely to protect themselves, their employees, and clients from legal and financial damage.
You may be interested to know that DBS fees are due to be reduced in April 2022.
Further Reading on Criminal Record (DBS) Checks
In this article, we discuss what you should do if your applicant’s criminal record check reveals spent or unspent convictions (amongst other frequently asked questions).
Health checks are only recommended for any role that requires a clean bill of health.
Since the implementation of The Equality Act 2010, organisations cannot ask candidates health questions before they are offered employment. The aim is to prevent organisations making discriminatory decisions based on the physical health, mental health and/or disability of a candidate.
In short, your organisation can only run medical/health checks if you have good reason.
Other Pre-Employment Checks
In addition to right to work, DBS, ID and address history checks, it is recommended that your organisation consider these other background checks:
- Qualification verification
- Driving licence/DVLA – for individuals driving on behalf of an organisation
- Employment and education references – recommended for all companies to confirm the candidate’s work and education background is as stated on their application
- Credit check – recommended not only for individuals working in the financial sector but to employees handling monies and financial information/data
- Sanctions (UK and international) – more information here
Recommended reading: Ten key checks employers must make
Summary of Pre-Employment Checklist
To summarise, your organisation should follow this pre-employment checklist to ensure compliance:
- Address history (3 to 5 years)
- Right to work check
- Criminal record (DBS check)
- Health/medical check
- Other checks (proportionate to the role and sector), such as qualifications, driving licence, references, credit check, and sanctions
Pre-Employment Screening Software
The key to an effective and user-friendly pre-employment screening experience is with technology. There are various solutions out there and, to source the right one for your organisation, it is recommended to go through these procurement questions:
- Will the software provider have/need access to your company’s IT system?
- How does the provider handle sensitive data? Are they accredited to any standards (e.g. ISO27001, information security)?
- How long is the integration process? Will there be any downtime? What are the fees?
- Is the software provider an IDSP (Identity Service Provider) with IDVT?
- How can we use this software to add value to what we do?
- What do clients say about the software?
- What is the availability of their support? (e.g. 24/7, Monday to Friday), etc.
- What are the payment terms?
EBC Global offer several solutions that can improve the pre-employment screening compliance process for you and your candidates; all built with an emphasis on compliance within your industry.
For more information, visit /
Disclaimer notice: whilst we do our utmost to ensure the information in our blog posts is accurate and informative, you should only treat this information as guidance and not as bona fide legal advice.