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April 6, 2020
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Verifile pledges £3 million to support coronavirus recruitment

  • Verifile waives all DBS admin fees for health and social care roles treating COVID-19
  • DBS made its enhanced checks free of charge and introduced a Fast-Track option
  • Employers recruiting staff and volunteers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales guaranteed free end-to-end service
Verifile has pledged £3 million to support the emergency recruitment of health and social care employees and volunteers dealing with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. You could help us achieve that by sharing this news with everyone you know who you think would benefit.
 
By waiving our admin fees for a possible 500,000 DBS checks, we hope to save the NHS and other organisations up to £3 million in administration fees.
 
Our CEO and founder, Eyal Ben Cohen, said it’s important for all businesses to join the fight against COVID--19: “As a UK based business, it’s vital that Verifile works to support our health and social care workers keeping our country safe.
 
“By working with the DBS, and removing our own admin fees, we can reduce the financial burden on the NHS and other health and social care providers so they can use that money toward their fight against COVID-19.
 
“We are in unprecedented times and we must all play our part in supporting the fight against COVID-19. We must all pull together and make a serious commitment where it counts.”

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In response to COVID-19, the DBS also removed their costs for enhanced DBS checks on 31 March and said they would fast-track adults’ and children’s barred lists checks.
 
By removing admin fees, we are guaranteeing employers who are recruiting staff and volunteers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales, a free service end-to-end.
 
As an umbrella body of the DBS, Verifile has a direct link to the criminal records check systems and can deliver fast-tracked responses in line with the government’s own commitment to a 24-hour turn-around time.
 
On this commitment, PM Boris Johnson said: "We are speeding up the DBS checks so they can be done in 24 hours and I want to thank and congratulate all the boroughs throughout this country for the way they are harnessing those volunteers.”
 
These temporary arrangements will provide employers with the option to appoint new recruits faster into regulated activity with adults and/or children, so long as the individuals are not barred.
 
To find out more about our free DBS checks, and other quick checks available to support recruitment during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our dedicated free DBS checks wesbite or call +44 (0)1234 339 339.

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April 2, 2020
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BS7858 has changed - here's what you need to know

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has issued changes to the BS7858 which sets out requirements for companies carrying out background screening for employees in a secure environment.

BS7858:2019 came into effect at the end of September and replaced BS7858:2012, which was then withdrawn on 31 March 2020.

Full details can be found in the BSI Standards Publication which you can purchase from them here.

We have recently seen a lot of misinformation published about the changes. As we are certified NSI Gold for screening services, we wanted to help clear up the confusion.

We’ve already written about the inclusion of social media screening, but as Verifile remains committed to accurate data and meaningful relationships, we’ve looked at the top three elements of BS7858:2019 that will be important to you.

The main changes are:

  • Removal of character references
  • Inclusion of a global watchlists check
  • Right to Work checks in line with DBS identity requirements (previously SIA identity requirements)
  • Inclusion of social media checks as a recommended best practice
  • Permission to passing on of a screening file from job to job.
  • Retention of each candidate’s screening file:
    • For those unsuccessful in the process for 12 months
    • During the entire employment period
    • After cessation of employment, specified records held for additional seven years
  • All people engaged in carrying out BS7858 screening should be trained for the duties envisaged

Of all the changes, there are three specific areas that we think are most important.

DBS checks:


There is absolutely no need to include standard DBS checks in BS7858 packages, as these checks are undertaken by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) when they first register the individual. Otherwise only a Basic DBS check is appropriate.

See 7.3.2 (c), and 7.7. (j) in the 7858 Standard, or refer to the SIA’s ‘Get Licensed’ handbook. Where an individual is employed in a position that is likely to bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults, e.g. child and adult workforce, a standard or enhanced level of disclosure might be necessary.

Global watchlists:


7.4 (c) of the BS7858 Standard includes mandatory requirement to search various global watchlists, sanctions and fraud databases. Previously, the standard called for searching only HMG sanctions list. 

Social Media:


BSI are increasingly aware that what employees post on social media may create problems for businesses operating in secure and regulated environments. The updated standard now recommends you therefore carry our social media screening pre and post-employment.

The BSI say: “For some roles, it might be prudent to seek additional information using best practice social media and other open-source internet checks to provide greater insights and reduce risk.”

For more guidance on this, and some further best practice guidance on social media screening in relation to BS7858:2019, please see our previous blog.

Verifile’s BS7858 checks


Verifile provides packages that cover the requirements of the updated standard for those employed in SIA licenced/regulated roles, as well as those employed in a secure environment but not in such a licensed/regulated role. 

Our flexible approach enables us to cater for senior leadership roles and other risk factors and customise the packages for each of the scenarios your organisation face. Our increasing number of quick checks also allows for your business to access almost instant results, so you can get your candidates in their roles quickly, even on the same day.

As always, Verifile will seek to demystify the changes in updated legislation such as this. If you have any questions about how BS7858:2019 may affect your business and if you need to make any changes to your background screening requirements. Give us a call on:

Existing clients, call: +44 (0) 1234 339 350 or email: service@verifile.co.uk

New clients, call: +44 (0) 1234 60 80 90 or email: sales@verifile.co.uk
 

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March 30, 2020
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COVID-19: DBS checks now FREE OF CHARGE and Fast-Tracked

Temporary changes to enhanced checks to help emergency coronavirus recruitment


Verifile removing admin costs to support healthcare recruitment

In response to COVID-19, as of 30 March 2020, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are removing the costs of enhanced DBS checks.

They will also be fast-tracking the adults’ and children’s barred lists checks.
 

All the latest news about how COVID-19 is

affecting the background screening sector


However, this only applies to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in connection with the care and treatment of COVID-19 in England and Wales.

Verifile will also be joining the national effort to make its DBS checking service free-of-admin-charge too. Employers recruiting staff and volunteers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a free service end-to-end. 

A full list of eligible roles within NHS health services, social care services or social services functions that will benefit from these changes can be found here.

Please note: Roles eligible for the free and fast-track emergency checks are different to those defined as ‘key workers’ for the purposes of childcare etc.

These temporary arrangements will provide employers with the option to appoint new recruits into regulated activity with adults and/or children, so long as the individuals are not barred.

Appropriate measures must also be put in place to manage the individual until the full DBS check is received.

Only apply for a free fast-tracked DBS check under this change if you really need to

The DBS have also asked people to be mindful of only using these services if the roles fall into the eligible categories.

In communicating the free and fast tracked checks, they said: “Misuse of this emergency fast track and free COVID-19 provision, will delay the urgent deployment of health and social care personnel and therefore undermine the national effort to fight Coronavirus.”

Before accessing this benefit, please read these key facts and prompts to help you make an informed decision before applying for a DBS check under these changes:
  • 95% of all Enhanced with Barred List DBS checks return no information
  • Only 0.02% of Enhanced with Barred List DBS checks state the person is on a barred list
  • If the person you are looking to employ as part of these emergency measures has had an Enhanced with Barred List DBS check in the last three years, as long as it is for the same workforce (i.e. children and/or adults), consider whether you can use the recent check to determine suitability for the role applied for.
  • If the person you are looking to employ as part of these emergency measures has an existing subscription to the Update Service using a DBS Enhanced with Barred List check, assess the suitability of the applicant using the original certificate and a check of the Update Service.
Please note: as a temporary measure where you are recruiting into paid employment you may consider accepting checks previously issued for volunteer roles.

To help you access these checks, please speak to your account manager or contact our Client Services Team by calling: +44 (0) 1234 339 350 or emailing service@verifile.co.uk.

These changes are further commitment to DBS Turnaround Times, which are being treated as a priority with the government. 

PM Boris Johnson said: "We are speeding up the DBS checks so they can be done in 24 hours and I want to thank and congratulate all the boroughs throughout this country for the way they are harnessing those volunteers.”

 

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