For each sector, The Better Hiring Institute advisory board appoint a sub-committee of up to ten organisations. The purpose of each sub-committee is to meet with others in your sector for an hour every 6-8 weeks with the aim to discuss how you could potentially standardise for your industry, challenges and issues that you face, and any key themes. This is with a view to harmonise and modernise hiring in the UK labour market. 

If you would like to become a sub-committee member and collaborate with industry and UK GOV specifically on matters that relate to your industry, get in touch.

Get in touch

Who regulates the industry?

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigates complaints about local councils, care homes and some other organisations providing local public services. This is not intended as a regulator, trade body or guardian of customer rights but instead was set up by parliament to act as independent and impartial referee in dealing with disputes between local councils and their citizens.

Screening requirements for the industry

BPSS security policy framework on pre-employment screening.

It is not mandatory, but good practice to follow the BPSS security policy framework on pre-employment screening.

The HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard (or ‘BPSS’) describes the pre-employment controls for all civil servants, members of the Armed Forces, temporary staff, and government contractors generally. Its rigorous and consistent application also underpins national security vetting.

The BPSS and supporting guidance describe the mandatory pre-employment controls required to address identity fraud, illegal working, and deception generally.

The BPSS comprises verification of the following four main elements, which are described below:

  • Identity
  • Nationality and Immigration Status (including an entitlement to undertake the work in question)
  • Employment history (past three years)
  • Criminal record (unspent convictions only)

Additionally, prospective employees are required to give a good account of any significant periods (6 months or more in the past three years)of time spent abroad.

Information collected at each stage of the process must be reviewed and assessed, and recorded on the BPSS Verification Record. Refusal by the individual to provide any of the required information should be considered in the employment decision.

For more in-depth information regarding the BPSS security policy framework visit: HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard

Pre-employment checks

Minimum checks should include verification of identity and the right to work.

  • Identity check
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Verification of professional and educational qualifications
  • Employment history (including the investigation of gaps of employment with verified explanations)
  • References provided by employers.
  • Verifying previous employers are genuine.
  • Verifying previous employment and duties performed.
  • Criminal record checks in the UK.
  • Criminal record overseas
  • Credit check

Media screening

This may be important in roles that require access to sensitive sites/areas of the organisation, access to sensitive material, the specific type of responsibility or considered high profile. Media screening should only be the proportion of the organisation's screening, not the entire screening process.

When carrying out the screening process, the organisation should consider fundamental principles surround these areas, such as:

  • Proportionality
  • Necessity
  • Perspective
  • Transparency
  • Consistency
  • Privacy

Examples of roles and associated checks

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Case for change

The absence of an overriding organisation setting standards for hiring across the UK means that there is no singular driving force for change to modernise the labour market by eliminating waste, inefficiency, and poor productivity across all sectors and industries. We want to streamline and modernise hiring and promote safe recruitment across all sectors, including tackling various recruitment fraud, which has increased during COVID.

What happens if you don't get it right?

Case studies

This can lead to severe risks to reputation, integrity, and financial assets. They may also be indicators of more serious national security concerns. Failure to address these issues could lead to reputational or more serious damage to the government's business.

Inappropriate Reference

A candidate listed two references on his application, as requested. Both were for short term temporary posts. The candidate had also held a recent long-term permanent position which he had left due to "voluntary resignation" but had not used this as a reference.

Enquiries with this employer revealed that the candidate had been dismissed from the long-term post for gross misconduct.

False Reference                                                                                                                                    

An agency forwarded a candidate for a temporary position. When asked, the agency sent references. Checks with former employers revealed that they had not provided the references submitted by the agency. In one case, the referee's name was misspelt. In all cases, the referees had not even been contacted until after the references had been submitted to the London council.

A complaint was made to the agency, and an internal disciplinary led to the recruitment consultant being dismissed.

Inappropriate reference

The successful applicant for a post as a cleaner appeared to have given his last employer (a City Council) a referee. However, it was noted that the individual providing the reference seemed to occupy the same property as the applicant. When further enquiries were made, it was established that this referee was not the appropriate person to provide a reference and that the applicant had been dismissed for gross misconduct. Further enquiries confirmed that the applicant had also been dismissed from another post. The offer of employment was subsequently withdrawn.

Join the subcommittee for your industry.
Get involved.
If you are interested, just let us know! Appoint a representative for your organisation and we will get in touch and facilitate arrangements. Simple as that.
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