What is the Purpose of a BPSS Check? - An Expert's Guide

BPSS authorization is a requirement for certain individuals in the UK. Learn about its purpose & how it helps reduce risk of illegal workers & identity fraud.

What is the Purpose of a BPSS Check? - An Expert's Guide

BPSS authorization, also known as the Basic Personnel Safety Standard, is a requirement for certain individuals in the UK. It plays an essential role in ensuring national security, combating identity fraud, and preventing the employment of illegal workers. By following the rigorous BPSS verification process and adopting RICE principles, both employers and candidates contribute to protecting national security and confidential information, creating a safe and reliable work environment for all. BPSS controls were created to help reduce the risk of illegal workers, identity fraud, and protect national security.

These checks are usually conducted prior to hiring and are a standard level of control in the communications, energy, and finance sectors. It is also clear that many companies are now reflecting and completing the four key elements of the BPSS standard, with a focus on continuous controls, as they have realized that a single control only provides an evaluation of one person at a time. The main objective of BPSS authorization, according to the HMG BPSS guide, is to act as a sensible and precautionary measure aimed at “confirming the identity of individuals (employees and contractors) and providing a level of assurance as to their reliability, integrity, and trustworthiness”. Ensuring that candidates successfully pass the BPSS certification helps to protect organizations, reduce the risk of illegal workers, and effectively combat identity fraud. The BPSS control consists of four essential elements - often referred to by the acronym RICE - and successful approval requires that candidates successfully pass each element.

By meticulously examining these four elements, BPSS verification provides employers with essential information for making informed hiring decisions. The responsibility for applying BPSS controls to a candidate generally lies with the human resources function; however, the government recommends that human resources work in conjunction with security units and, if possible, with legal advisors and procurement staff. When employees change organizations, the new employer may accept an existing BPSS along with their own recommended checks. There is free software available that makes the BPSS verification process more efficient while maintaining compliance.

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