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BPSS Background Check - What is it and how do I use it?

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

The Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) is the governments baseline pre-employment screening check for anybody who works within government departments. Here we explore exactly what it is and why you might need to do it.

Why was The BPSS created?

The BPSS, which replaced the Basic Check in 2006, is intended to protect government assets and is a part of the UK Security Clearance Vetting. It is designed to protect national security, and is intended for use on employees who deal with sensitive government information or those who have access to government assets, particularly in communications, energy and finance sectors, and is designed for both permanent and contracted employees. The BPSS can also be used as a pre-employment check outside of a government environment as it is considered an excellent universal standard for vetting across many industries.

The aim is to assure a new hires trustworthiness, integrity, and reliability, and to ultimately mitigate potential risks such as identifying individuals involved in illegal activities, identifying unspent criminal convictions not disclosed but revealed by other sources, and identifying CV or qualification embellishments. The latter is particularly prevalent, as according to research conducted by Sterling, 53% of resumes and job applications contain falsifications.

What is included in a BPSS Check?

BPSS checks are based on RICE: the applicants Right to work in the UK, their Identity, their Criminal records and their Employment history (for the last 3 years). The check also includes whether an applicant has spent time abroad, the baseline for this is six months or more in the past three years.

Once a BPSS has been conducted on an employee it doesn’t need to be repeated. It can be transferred to a new employer when the employee changes their employment, but there is no expiry date. The only exception to this is in the case of migrant workers, where repeat checks must be carried out 12 months after the previous check, or before the previous leave has expired. Once indefinite leave has been granted for a worker to remain in the UK, the check doesn’t need to be repeated.

Can I conduct BPSS checks with VettingGateway?

Yes! The benefit of running your BPSS check through VettingGateway is that you can manage all areas of the check in one central location, rather than having to run separate checks via DBS and a third-party reference checking supplier. VettingGateway will also upload all certificates automatically once complete, so you don’t have to manually track these down once the different checks are complete. And best of all, with a Business or Enterprise Licence you can conduct a BPSS check for just £40; with a starter licence you can complete a BPSS check for £60.

For more information on how VettingGateway can help you conduct BPSS checks click here, or you can sign up for your free starter licence by clicking here.


The information Provided by VettingGateway in this blog was published on the 29/09/2021, all information was relevant at the time of publishing however as our landscape is forever changing this information may not remain valid.

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