How Secure are your Staff Checks?


12th March 2004

BSI has recently revised the British Standard for Security Screening of Security Personnel (BS 7858:2004). This code of practice is becoming increasingly important to protect people, goods or property by ensuring the integrity of personnel is both verified and maintained.

Confidence in employees is key for all businesses, particularly when staff is in charge of vulnerable people or the security of valuable assets. Recent high profile losses in major UK airports demonstrate why it is imperative for companies to ensure that security staff has been subject to the most rigorous checks.

The Standard’s application is not limited to security staff and, with employee theft on the increase, comprehensive checks on all personnel can prevent substantial profit loss. Employee theft costs the retail industry £426 million*. This represents approximately 36 per cent of the total losses for the retail industry through theft. Checking staff backgrounds, in accordance with the most recent codes of best practice, is becoming increasingly valuable for all businesses.

Marc Edney of BSI Business Information notes: "While no system can ever provide absolute security it is important for businesses to demonstrate that they have ensured, as far as possible, that the background and integrity of personnel is established and maintained. This British Standard provides the most effective means of enabling companies to do that."

BS 7858:2004 improves on the 1996 version. The revisions take into account the Private Security Act 2001 and the Data Protection Act 1998. It also provides up-to-date advice on how to deal with the new types of ID such as the photocard driving licences, and updated and expanded sample reference documents.

For a copy of the Standard BS 7858:2004 please contact Customer Services at BSI Business Information on tel: 020 8996 9001 or email:

* Source: British Retail Consortium 2000.


For more information please contact:

Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330