What is BPSS screening?

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Written by Kerry Redmond

17th February 2020

BPSS screening (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) was created by the government to reduce the risk to the United Kingdom of illegal workers, identity fraud and importantly protect our national security.

BPSS is the Government standard for vetting, utilised as the standard within government departments, on government projects and is often a mandate for all candidates commencing employment within any part of the government.  

When should BPSS screening be conducted?

Any personnel involved in a government project should pass BPSS screening before employment begins. This is to ensure that all assets related to the project such as data, sensitive information, materials etc. are protected. External contractors working on public contracts will need to ensure that the proper screening processes are in place before labour can commence.

BPSS is the standard of vetting which is applied to programmes such as Hs2. This means that Hs2 direct staff and contractors, projects and programmes working to deliver Hs2 and their subsequent supply chains and any touchpoints on the programme, all are subject to BPSS vetting prior to starting work.

Why was the BPSS introduced?

BPSS was created to protect government assets. It was introduced in the UK in 2006 as a precaution against the growing use of Wide Area Networks and Public Service Networks (WiFi, data cloud storage etc). More employees now have access to sensitive information through company servers, this has increased the threat against data security.

What does BPSS screening consist of?

  • 3-year employment / academic referencing including validation of gap periods over 28 days
  • Identity verification (right to work in the UK/address validation)
  • DBS (England & Wales) / Disclosure Scotland (Scotland)
  • Overseas Criminal Record Checks for periods spent outside of the UK greater than 6 months

Do BPSS checks need to be carried out more than once?

Employees working on the same project will typically only need to pass BPSS once. However, migrant workers must pass BPSS checks every 12 months. Once the migrant has been granted indefinite leave to remain, they will only need to pass BPSS once.

At Morson Screening we provide onsite consultancy to manage vetting both in house for customers and subsequent supply chains. We receive, on average, 800 new BPSS cases on a weekly basis.

Managed by a specialist team of case managers, all our vetting requires consent and complies with GDPR to the highest standard. Streamlined through candidate friendly technology, the candidate journey is at the heart of what we do whilst producing an auditable, government approved report once vetting has been completed.

How long does it take?

The average turnaround of a BPSS screening process takes around 7-10 working days. Through Morson Screening, our average turnaround time is 4.5 working days from the point we are instructed to conduct vetting on an individual.

For more information, get in touch with the team

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