Screening for snakes in your business

Guest blogger Robert Drake, Director of Safe Screening, shares an update on the regulatory changes facing employers and recruiters this year.


2013 in the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Snake and according to the Chinese horoscope the characteristics of which are: acute, aware, cunning, proud, vain and vicious.

Would your screening process uncover the snake in the grass?

 Robert Drake, Director of Safe Screening

Are you up to speed with the latest regulatory changes and the impact it has on your recruiters and business? In the last year alone there have been many changes to the Criminal Background checking process and there are yet more to come:

  • 28th May 2012 - saw the introduction of the three route process, for candidates without photo ID and the need for external identity checks.
  • 24th July 2012 - amendment to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment)(England and Wales) Order 2012
  • 10th September - the redefinition of regulated activities
  • 1st December 2012 - saw the merge of CRB and ISA to become the new Disclosure and Barring Service DBS
  • 29th January 2013 – the handing down of a judgment that stating that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 infringes Article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights.
  • March 2013 – the introduction of portable DBS

The introduction of portable DBS was expected to create a wealth of changes, full implications of this are still yet to be seen. Some of these were anticipated, such as potentially greatly speeding up recruiters’ ability to get compliant candidates on site, but remember the DBS checks are job type specific, so if the candidate is making a significant career change, the DBS will need to be run again. It is anticipated that the candidate will be able to register for an on-going update, thereby keep their DBS details current. But who pays for all this, will agencies pay to give a portable DBS to a candidate? Will care workers on the minimum wage be able to afford it themselves? Or do we take a leaf out of some of the airline companies and deduct the cost from their first month salary? Is it time to set some industry best practises?

Keeping up to speed with these and all the other changes is a full time job. It is important that you maintain an audit trail of all your activities and ensure that any worker, be it contract, agency or permanent is fully compliant with industry regulation. What documentation is needed for a particular assignment, do you have copies of them, are they in date, when do they expire and most importantly do they pertain to the individual you are placing?

The need to manage this process is more important than ever but many screening processes are still managed using Excel spreadsheets and Outlook reminders, sometimes collecting and collating large quantities of paperwork.

Clients of Safe Screening have taken up the gauntlet to streamline these processes and reduce the amount of man hours devoted to ensuring compliance. Our customers have found a 40 per cent reduction in administration and a vastly improved time to completion, thereby getting their candidates on site quickly. Should that customer audit come they can, at the touch of a bottom, produce audit reports.

About Safe Screening

Background checking cloud based software tool Safe Screening, was brought to market in recent years by software giant Safe. Established in 1975, Safe have been creating B2B software and service solutions serving many blue chip clients in a variety of markets. Safe Screening checks information given as part of the recruitment process against various national large databases to verify address details, passport MRZ numbers and driving licence reference numbers. Safe Screening can even handle DBS and Disclosure Scotland checks.

Safe Screening recently integrated miiCard online identity proofing to offer the first complete, end-to-end and purely online recruitment process to streamline hiring.

For more information on Safe Screening visit:


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