Additional pre-employment checks

Additional, role-related pre-employment screening may be required for some roles at the University. Careful consideration should be given to the level of screening applied to each post, in order to ensure the checks are proportionate and appropriate for the duties and the environment of the post.

During the planning stages of a recruitment departments should consider all the various interventions which might be applied in order to minimise any risk(s) within the role. For example, the employee's working circumstances and environment (eg whether the person works alone, or in a security-sensitive area of the University, what level of access they have to buildings, whether there is CCTV or supervision in place etc) will often indicate the significance or likelihood of the risk(s). If after the risk assessment and mitigation measures are in place it is still deemed necessary to carry out additional screening, the guidance in this section should be followed.

For certain posts (most particularly posts involving close, unsupervised work with children or ‘at risk’ adults), criminal record checks, such as DBS checks are a legal requirement and must be carried out before the person may commence their employment.

Additional screening should always be undertaken as part of wider measures applied to safeguarding, as for example, checks alone may not necessarily provide assurances on an individual’s employability.

Typical roles that normally require additional screening include (but are not limited to):

  • working with animals, or work involving research which uses animals (including HR administrative roles that have access to personal information about employees working with animals);
  • certain clinical posts;
  • work involving ‘regulated activity’ (link to section) with children and / or adults who are vulnerable/at risk;
  • work requiring access to (or knowledge of the location of) certain irradiators, pathogens and toxins;
  • unsupervised / senior-level work involving the handling of highly sensitive financial (including chartered accountants) or certain personal data, eg medical information), or where there could be a realistic risk of theft of highly valuable items.
Security screening is not required for the majority of Human Resources and IT roles, where standard checks, such as references and/or verification of qualifications should be sufficient.

The types of security screening available are explained in the summary PDF documents found on the right-hand side.  In all cases where additional screening is to be used the applicant concerned must be:

  • advised in advance that screening is being carried out (the checks must also be stated in the job description at the time of advertising the post);
  • given the reason for screening;
  • advised of the eventual outcome; and
  • given the right to respond to any adverse findings.

Departments should contact their HRBP for advice on any adverse findings before liaising with the individual. Any supporting documentation provided by candidates must be original and should be validated as far as is practicable. Where there are any concerns that documents may have been forged or are fraudulent, the OUSS Vetting Team should be contacted for advice without delay.

How security and criminal record checks are undertaken

The OUSS Vetting and Screening Administration team provide a comprehensive service that carries out security and criminal checks on behalf of the University through external agencies:

[NB Disclosure Scotland checks have been replaced by Disclosure and Barring Service Basic Checks]

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