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Special Report Check point Onfido’s Eamon Jubbawy considers the importance of vetting new staff.

Cleaning positions frequently involve a high degree of trust – a building owner does not want to have to keep a watchful eye over a cleaner’s every move but instead be reas- sured that the cleaner can be left to satis- factorily perform his or her job without supervision. Background checking acts as a way of screening potential cleaning oper- atives to reveal facts that may lead you to question whether he or she can be trusted.

But what sort of checks can a cleaning company carry out to help inform this deci- sion?


One obvious way of vetting cleaning opera- tives is to collect references. Written confir- mation that a cleaning operative has been previously allowed unrestricted access to

Checks allow a company to advertise that all their cleaners have been 'vetted' and can be trusted.

buildings and that no issues were encoun- tered is positive evidence that he or she can be trusted. It is vitally important, however, to ensure that references are validated and not simply taken at face value. Fromour own data, we have found that roughly 9%of applicants have provided false employers or fabricated non-existent jobs.Moreover, referencesmay not be available in all cir- cumstances and, in any case,more clean- ing companies are finding that they prefer to run additional checks as part of the vet- ting process.

Criminal records

Checking criminal records is one option, and is legally required in some circum- stances - for example, if a cleaner will be working in a school or at a care home. There are different levels of DBS (formerly CRB) available: Basic, Standard and En- hanced. As a rule of thumb, unless the candidate will be working somewhere in contact with children or vulnerable adults, then cleaning companies will generally only be permitted to carry out a basic criminal records check. This will show any unspent convictions within the past five years. These checks can be a useful vetting tool

because it will reveal, for example, whether a candidate has a string of past convictions for theft, which could raise some doubts as to whether he/she can be trusted to be un- supervised in a building. Criminal records checks often take several weeks to be re- turned and so, in circumstances where they are not legally required, an alternative form

Continued on Page 30. l JUNE 2014 l C&M l 19

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