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Pre employment screening policy

Last reviewed on 02 August 2018

Here at the Co-op, we want to provide a safe working environment for everyone and make sure that everyone we recruit has the required qualifications and experience. This is why we do checks on everyone who’s offered a role with us – whether as a permanent or temporary colleague, an agency worker or a contractor. These checks will depend on what role you’re applying for, but you’ll know what checks we’ll do before you apply for the job.

Crucial bits

We’ll do checks on everyone who’s offered a role with us. This includes our existing colleagues who are applying for new roles internally – but only if the new role needs different checks to your existing one. So, if you’re staying put or moving within the check category that your role’s already in, then you won’t need to have any more checks done.

Just so you know, if you apply for a new role and a check we do tells us things that have implications for your current role with us, we’ll talk to you about this. This could mean that we can no longer employ you in your existing role.

If you’ve worked with us before, but it’s been more than 12 months since you left, you’ll need to go through the checks we do for any external candidate. If you’re returning to us within 12 months, then you’ll only need the checks if the role you’re applying for needs different checks to your previous role.

The checks we’ll do will be different depending on the role you’re applying for. Each role has a check category, so we’ll only complete the checks listed below. We’ll tell you throughout the application process what checks the role will need, so you’ll know what to expect before you apply.

As a minimum, everyone will need to provide evidence of their right to work in the UK. There’s more information, including what documents we need to see, in the Eligibility to Work in the UK Checks Policy.

The checks are performed for and on behalf of the Co-op by our partner, Vero Screening. Any offer of employment made to you will be conditional on successful completion of the checks needed for your role. These checks will need to be completed before you start working with us, unless your role is in a ‘model office’ environment and therefore you won’t have access to ‘live’ data or systems.

The checks we do for each role category are;

Minimum – Roles that have no access to sensitive customer, member, colleague or financial information.

  • Right to work in the UK check

Standard – Roles that tend to have some but limited access to customer, member, colleague or financial information

  • Right to work in the UK check
  • 3 year employment verification check
  • Professional qualifications and/or memberships of professional bodies check – but only if these are a mandatory requirement of the role

Enhanced 1 – These roles require a financial stability check in addition to Standard level checks due to the role holder’s extensive exposure to confidential personal and sensitive financial information and/or responsibility for Store turnover

  • Right to work in the UK check
  • 3 year employment verification check
  • Financial stability check
  • Basic criminal record check – (for roles within Co-op Insurance only)
  • Professional qualifications and/or memberships of professional bodies check – but only if these are a mandatory requirement of the role

Enhanced 2 – These roles require reputational checks in addition to Standard level checks due to the particular reputational risk the role holder presents through working with vulnerable individuals or through access to customer, member homes

  • Right to work in the UK check
  • 3 year employment verification check
  • Basic criminal record check
  • Media check (‘Focused’ for roles in Co-op Funeralcare, ‘Adverse’ for all other roles)
  • Professional qualifications and/or memberships of professional bodies – but only if these are a mandatory requirement of the role

Enhanced 3 – These roles require extensive pre-employment checks to be conducted due to the level of both reputational and sensitive data access risk inherent in senior roles, and/or due to regulatory requirements to demonstrate the role holder is ‘fit and proper’

  • Right to work in the UK check
  • 6 year employment verification check
  • Financial stability check
  • Basic criminal record check
  • Standard DBS criminal record check (For grade A and SIMR roles only)
  • Media check (‘Focused’ for roles in Co-op Funeralcare, ‘Adverse’ for all other roles)
  • Regulated references and FCA registered checks (if applicable)
  • Character reference
  • Directorships and Non-Executive Directorship compliance check
  • Financial Sanctions check
  • Application form and CV check
  • Professional qualifications and/or memberships of professional bodies – but only if these are a mandatory requirement of the role

As well as this, all roles within our Insurance business – whatever check category they’re in – will need a check against the CIFAS database. Roles in Legal Services and our Legal function, will require a SRA check.

If you’ve lived and worked abroad during the screening period (3 or 6 years) then we’ll carry out international screening.

In addition to the above, a series of Yes/No self-declaration (also known as fitness and proprietary) questions will be asked regarding your previous financial, criminal and professional history for comparison against subsequent check results, but only if these checks are being done as part of the screening.

If you need further support

If you’ve got questions about the checks that will be needed for the role you’re applying for, speak to our HR Shared Services Onboarding team.

You can read the pre-employment screening process for more details.