IT workers are some of the best rewarded professionals in the world, with good reason. It is very rare to find a business or public institution which does not rely on IT systems somewhere along the line; even the very few that do trade with people and other businesses that are IT reliant. 

With such a valuable workforce, many employers like to have their IT staff on hand in order to best react to problems, install live updates and generally keep businesses competitive and / or robust. For this reason, an IT professional can quite often find themselves called upon to relocate, either temporarily or permanently, according to business need. In order to do this, they may well need a ready-to-go DBS clearance certificate.

Patterns of IT Employment

There is a long standing trend of public and private organizations outsourcing at least some of their IT work, often to companies in other countries. This is often because that work is cheaper when carried out by foreign workers, especially if their countries’ currency is of a low value compared to that of the employers’. Millions of IT and telephony jobs have been created in India, for instance, for just this reason. Even if people relocate from India to a country like the USA, the fact is that their training and expertise are not expense the employer has to take into account.

This trend for IT workers to leave countries like India is now seeing a reversal, however. There are now so many successful IT providers in the subcontinent that it has become a destination for these workers in its own right. Depending on the actual host nation, it may be that workers do not need as strict criminal record checks to obtain work as they would at home.

Need for IT Worker Checks

Although police checks are usually associated with teachers and health workers, in fact IT professionals can cause damage to individuals’ and organizations’ well being. As technology is so deeply embedded throughout society, any IT worker who has a dishonest agenda could be in a position to commit a whole range of crimes. Not only that, but it is likely that any fraudulent or invasive activities are likely to go unnoticed in the short term. This type of “invisible” crime costs industries trillions of dollars a year, and has ruined the lives of many unsuspecting victims.

Employing the wrong person in an IT position can ruin the employer. Most such positions involve access to confidential data, from personnel files to financial systems and accounts. It is often the case that IT workers are hired to ensure such systems and data are secure; in which case, the employing organization is uniquely vulnerable. Indeed, there are many reported cases of criminal gangs infiltrating public and private bodies by means of having one of their number unwittingly recruited, or approached once in the job.

Levels of Police Checks in IT

Unlike other professions, the legalities of employer checks for IT jobs have yet to be properly defined. In large part, this is because the term “IT” covers a wide range of skill sets and qualifications; in fact, a reliable figure is 21 discreet job descriptions. For recruitment to other professions, the potential employer has to satisfy the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that the job in question warrants a particular type of search; this is to protect the applicant under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA). Many IT jobs are hard to define under these terms.

IT Recruitment Post-Brexit

As with many other facets of the economy, the effects of Brexit are rippling through the IT industry. While the UK has a long tradition of excellence in the sector, graduates and other trained personnel are finding it harder to obtain work in the country. This is thought to be because of uncertainty as to the future dominance of the City of London as Europe’s primary financial hub. As well as bankers and lawyers, the City has long been responsible for employing highly trained IT workers.

In this scenario, and with IT jobs unlikely to mean employers were unlikely to apply for Enhanced DBS checks, recruitment has been quite a smooth process. If this work begins to move from London to, say, Frankfurt, applicants may find themselves having to satisfy a new range of criteria. For the time being, however, a clean Basic DBS check will satisfy most UK employers of IT workers.