Guide

Pre-employment checks

Advantages of pre-employment checks

Pre-employment checks are an important part of the recruitment process.

They help you to:

  • comply with the law by ensuring the employee has permission to work - and remain - in the UK and has not been barred from carrying out the job - eg for roles working with vulnerable groups or holding the position of director
  • check that the potential employee is suitably qualified or skilled for the job
  • assess whether the potential employee is suitable for the job - eg for roles working with vulnerable groups or security roles
  • check that the employee is able to carry out the job - though you must ensure you do not discriminate in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Types of checks

There are a range of checks you can make, some of which are compulsory and others which may be desirable. The type of checks that can be carried out include:

You must ensure your checks are not discriminatory (for example, a health check that discriminates against disabled people and is not necessary for the job) and do not discourage people from applying for the job. For more guidance, see how to prevent discrimination and value diversity.

You can make any job offer conditional on the outcome of pre-employment checks.

A conditional job offer does not become a binding employment contract until both parties have agreed to it and can be withdrawn if the conditions are not met. See withdrawing job offers where checks are not satisfactory.

You should carry out your checks as quickly as possible once a conditional offer has been made.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides protective security advice. This is for companies and organisations that deliver the UK's essential services.

Read CPNI advice on screening job applicants.