Timing: when should the checks be done?

The types of pre-employment checks required, including criminal record checks, should be identified before the job is advertised and should be clearly stated in the job description, so that applicants are informed of all the intended pre-employment checks from the outset.

Some pre-employment checks (e.g. right to work) can be carried out during the earlier stages of the recruitment process whilst others (e.g. medical health checks) may only be started once a conditional offer has been made.  The pre-employment checks and gates document (on the right-hand side) summarises when checks can and must have been completed.

Those who reach the final stages of the recruitment process should be reminded that the job offer will be subject to a satisfactory outcome of the checks.

It is recognised that some of the checks involving external agencies may take a considerable time to complete. Where, for example, a DBS disclosure (criminal record check) has not been received by the anticipated start date, it may be possible for an individual to commence their employment on the planned date, but to a reduced set of duties, with extra safeguarding measures in place until all the checks are complete. In the case of a post requiring a DBS disclosure for working with vulnerable groups, this may include prohibition of lone working or, close access to vulnerable groups, and ensuring that work is supervised at all times until the necessary clearance is received.

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