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December 6, 2023
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Announcing Our Partnership with HR Ninjas – Elevating Background Screening Standards

Verifile is delighted to announce our newest partnership with HR Ninjas, the UK’s most vibrant online community for HR professionals. This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to raising the bar in the world of background screening. We aim to achieve this by promoting compliance, best practice methodology, and enhanced user experience. 

The HR Ninjas Community

HR Ninjas is renowned for its dynamic and extensive network of over 30,000 HR professionals. Starting as a small group of 30 members in 2017, they have grown into the UK's largest free HR community, offering invaluable resources such as a highly engaged Facebook Community Group where HR professionals can connect and get support, free HR job postings, and a Jobs Club that connects HR professionals directly with employers.


Verifile’s Expertise in the Partnership

As the new subject matter expert for background screening within the HR Ninjas community, the Verifile team is excited to bring our specialised knowledge and services to a broader audience. Our partnership is geared towards empowering HR professionals with the insights needed for effective employee verification.

The Critical Role of Background Screening

Today, thorough background screening is essential for mitigating insider risks and workplace safety issues such as violence, bullying and harassment, as well as safeguarding reputations and facilitating productivity. Our collaboration with HR Ninjas underscores our mutual commitment to enhancing recruitment processes by providing data that enables companies to make informed hiring decisions.
At Verifile we are committed to providing precise and accurate data analysis, conducted with thorough investigative rigour. Despite our focus on data precision, we are proud of our human-centric approach, understanding the significant impact of the recruitment process on both candidates and employers. We offer global, premium service with a strong emphasis on human interaction and support.

Advantages for HR Professionals

This partnership offers HR Ninjas’ members direct access to Verifile’s extensive background screening expertise. 

If you’re not part of the HR Ninjas community yet, we invite you to apply to join and gain access to these exclusive benefits and resources. We’ll see you there!

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November 11, 2023
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DBS Checks: Police Performance Information

The current average time taken to process all DBS applications across England and Wales is:

  • Enhanced – 11.8 days
  • Standard – 1.5 days
  • Basic – 1.3 days

The main reason for delay will be if an application needs to be referred to the police service. Although police performance remains strong, some forces are processing work outside the normal timescales expected.

Why do checks go to the police?

For Enhanced DBS checks only, applications will be sent to a police force if there’s a potential match against the names on the application form and police systems. This means that even if an applicant has always resided in one area of the country, their check can be sent to a police force in another area that holds details of a person with the same or similar names to the applicant.

The only exception to this is if the individual is applying for a role that involves working in their own home, such as a foster carer. In this case, even if there is no potential match, the application will still be sent to relevant police forces and law enforcement agencies, so they can carry out a check on other individuals who reside at, or frequent, their home.

Throughout this process, the police may need to gather information from other organisations. There are other instances where DBS checks may be delayed, such as missing, unclear, or incorrect information. Any issues on an application form, such as missing or incorrect information will flag a ‘conflict’ and the application will come back to DBS to clarify the information by contacting the employer, RB, or the applicant. This will inevitably increase the length of time the DBS check takes.

If there is a match

Description automatically generatedIf there is a match on the Police National Computer (PNC), or against the data held by police forces or law enforcement agencies, we’ll send the application to relevant police forces or law enforcement agencies.

If there is no conflict, the forces will check for any information they hold that is relevant to the specific workforce the applicant is applying to work with, for example, the child workforce. If there is no information, the application comes back to DBS.

If they do hold information, they will assess the information’s relevance to the workforce. They will decide if it is relevant and should be disclosed on the DBS certificate. Most of the time, certificates do not contain any ‘approved information’, as the police have decided not to disclose any information. However, they have still had to spend time reviewing the information before that decision can be taken. These checks can take a bit of time, especially if there are several forces involved.

Police performance

Of the 52 police forces and law enforcement agencies (e.g., National Crime Agency) that DBS commissions to carry out checks on their behalf, DBS sends 3 million checks per annum to forces. Of those:

  • on average it takes 21.3 days for the police to return a check that has been sent to them
  • 60% of aged cases, held by forces at the beginning of the month are completed by the end of the month
  • 6 forces (Derbyshire, Dyfed Powys, Hampshire, Kent, North Yorkshire, Sussex) representing 13% of the total checks sent to forces, are experiencing delays

These forces are not expected to return within SLAs until the first calendar quarter of 2024, as the actions taken to improvement, for example, recruitment and subsequent training, will take time to show an improvement in performance. We are working closely with the police on a number of measures which have been put in place to improve performance.

Factors affecting performance

​There are several other factors which can cause delays in forces returning checks within the SLA, including:

  • a high demand for our services
  • assessment of the information they hold, including in some cases obtaining legal advice on whether it appropriate for employment purposes
  • offering representations or responses from representations, which can result in further information being required

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October 12, 2023
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“What’s in a name?” Why background screening matters

Verifile: Celebrating two decades of safer screening processes

Recently, during a training exercise, our team was commended for discovering a surname mismatch. The name on the ID the candidate had loaded onto our platform didn't match the one on their application form.
Why does it matter? A detail like this might seem small, but it can mean the difference between a safe hire and a liability. Cases like this can have severe consequences.

How the Huntley case transformed UK background checks

It’s 20 years this year since the conviction of Ian Huntley, the school caretaker who was found guilty of the murder of ten-year olds, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. 
Huntley had applied for a job at Soham Village College using his mother's maiden name, "Nixon." A comprehensive check under his actual surname would have revealed a criminal record. 
If this information had been available during the recruitment process, it’s unlikely Huntley would have been appointed to the role, potentially preventing the tragic outcome.
This case changed how checks are processed in the UK. The disclosure of an applicant’s mother’s maiden name became mandatory when conducting criminal records screening.

Why comprehensive checks matter

These stories are fundamental to our mission here at Verifile. It was actually a name discrepancy incident that led to the founding of Verifile back in 2004. 
While working for Brinks Israel as a driver, Saguy Unger (real name Ilan Kupperman-Segal) drove away with five million Shekels. Unger had applied for the job with Brinks under a false name in order to conceal his criminal record. 
This story is even more incredible when you consider the company Unger was working for provided armed security services. Our Founder and CEO, Eyal Ben Cohen, realised, if a security company wasn’t aware their employee posed a risk, there was obviously a need for a more effective background checking system.

The hidden dangers of name inconsistencies in hiring

On the surface, a name omission or discrepancy may look like an innocent oversight – and sometimes it is. But given the outcomes in the stories mentioned above, can you run the risk of not fully checking your prospective employees, including every “persona” and identity they’ve had?
The bureaucracy and ‘red tape’ around background screening can feel intrusive for candidates and cause additional hassle for employers but it's important not to lose sight of the ‘why.’ 
When it comes to hiring, a name is more than just an identity. At Verifile, our two decades of experience have taught us how important it is to dive deep into a candidate's history. Even a small discrepancy can be a red flag.
These steps are crucial. They ensure every individual entering your organisation has been thoroughly vetted and is who they claim to be. A missed detail could be the difference between a safe hire and a liability that could have severe consequences for your organisation.

Verifile: Celebrating two decades of safer screening processes

For us, obsessing over discrepancies, omissions and typos within data can sometimes feel
like a thankless task (and pointing out people’s mistakes doesn’t make you popular!). But we
are proud of the work that we do. 
Verifile will celebrate 20 years of incorporation next year. We are deeply committed to delivering products and services that consistently offer our clients peace of mind.
Making the world a safer and more honest place to work has been in our DNA from the start. We take pride in how far we have come, and are excited for the future.
Here’s to the next 20 years, and the partnerships with customers that we’ll create along the way.

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