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  • Writer's pictureCarly Taylor

What are background checks and why do I need to do them?

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Whether you are an organisation reference checking an individual’s past, or an individual providing a reference for an organisation, background checks are a vital tool in gaining trust and peace of mind for any sort of professional relationship, as well as ensuring standards set in law are upheld. In this article, we will identify why reference checks are so important, answer who needs to use background checks and understand how you can send your own reference checks.

Why are reference checks so important?

Reference checks are the final review of an individual’s past, from public and employment records, before they potentially become a new employee in your workplace, gain approval for a mortgage, or are approved to rent a property. They can be used to verify employment dates, verify education records, or identify potential criminal backgrounds, but are always used as a general way to receive a better image of an individual’s history.

Having a full, detailed image of an individuals personal and employment history, or a second opinion on their work ethic is incredibly important as it provides you with the peace of mind that you are dealing with a trustworthy individual, with no hidden past, who will not likely cause you or your organisation any issues further down the line.

What organisations require reference checks?

Reference checks are an important tool utilised by both organisations and individuals for a variety of reasons, the foundation of which is always based on trust. Reference checks range from reviewing an individual’s employment history, to checking a potential criminal background, processing mortgage or loan applications from credit history, or checking an individual’s past before they are approved to rent a property.

Reference checks are a useful tool to ensure confidence in who you are dealing with, and therefore should be undertaken by any organisation, especially those employing for roles in high security environments. Examples of industries with higher security risk include education, finance, aviation, healthcare, transport, and housing.

As far as employment is concerned, it is always best to conduct a check on any employee looking to join your organisation, regardless of the industry. Roles that cater to venerable members of the community, such as schools or retirement homes, must have a thorough reference check process to ensure safety for everyone within the organisation and to meet required government standards.

What type of reference check is right for my organisation?

There is no one size fits all when conducting a reference check, there are many factors to consider, such as the industry of your organisation, the depth of history that you require from an individual, or the required standards set in law that you must meet. The main element to consider is the depth of the background search you need to conduct. For example in an education or financial employment situation, a higher level of reference check will be required to ensure safety levels are maintained, or important/private information remains secure. Whereas this may be a slightly lower standard for industries such as retail or construction, where the security risks tend to be lower.

How can I send my own reference checks?

VettingGateway is an online tool designed by vetting experts to reduce your organisations manual reference checking workload for you, with a broad variety of existing reference check templates created to suit businesses of all sizes, industries, and budgets, all of which meet required security and government standards.

Our reference checks also provide fully customisable features to suit your required check level, all of which include automated follow up messages if not completed by candidates, as well as candidate consent attached to every check. Our reference checks are easy to create and send, and are designed to save you time, manual effort and to reduce any difficulty meeting required standards by law. Discover our diverse range of available reference checks.

In Conclusion…

Reference checking and meeting required government standards is incredibly important for every organisation. If you wish to eliminate your organisations manual reference checking burden, while ensuring required standards are upheld… Discover how VettingGateway can help by contacting our expert team for a chat, or by visiting our FAQ’S page for answers to any more of your questions regarding reference checks.


The information Provided by VettingGateway in this blog was published on the 20/07/2021, 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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