Here at CAS, we set great store in the fact that our clients’ security is our priority. We always strive to improve our processes to keep documents and data physically safe and electronically secure. In a new series of blogs, we’re going to be taking a closer look at some of the ways in which we can demonstrate our commitment to total security.
One key element in our security processes is in our choice of document-handling staff. Our clients need to know that the people transporting, storing and scanning their documents have the highest levels of personal integrity. That’s why we ensure that they all undergo checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS checks). As the process of DBS checks changed slightly in October 2017, we thought we’d take this opportunity to detail what this involves. And we’ll be able to show why these checks are a plank of our security systems.
DBS checks: the mechanics
The DBS is a government agency attached to the Home Office. It merged the functions of the former Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority in 2012. DBS checks allow employers in England and Wales to have the criminal record history reviewed for people working, or seeking to work, in certain positions and in specific situations. You might still hear people refer to ‘CRB checks’, the older system which was carried out by the CRB during the period 2002-2012.
In the UK, people who have previously been convicted of a crime are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. This act is intended to give convicted criminals a second chance, as their convictions are regarded as ‘spent’ after a certain rehabilitation period. This period is automatically determined by the sentence imposed by a court. A request for a person to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions, is categorised as an ‘exempted question’. Due to data protection requirements, only certain organisations are eligible to ask an exempted question. However, CAS’s services themselves are subject to our clients’ own data protection requirements. Therefore, we are entitled to ask such an exempted question for our document-handling staff.
Our recruitment processes secure us the best staff
Under the DBS checks process, there are two levels of criminal record check. CAS uses a standard DBS check, which provides details of an individual’s convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings recorded on police central records. This includes both ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions. (Organisations which work directly with children and vulnerable adults can request an enhanced check to provide an added level of assurance).
As part of our recruitment process, we will review the DBS check for the individual involved. If we were to find that a potential employee has a conviction, we would then make a judgement as to their suitability to handle documents. Ultimately, our primary duty of care is towards our clients’ documents and the data which are contained within.
Your documents, your peace of mind
Our document-handling professionals are thorough and fast, with clear and comprehensive processes to allow them to deliver our services. As an example, here are the steps they take if you choose our scanning-on-demand service. Once you have indicated that you need a digital copy of a file, it is identified, retrieved and prepared for scanning. They remove extraneous items such as paper clips and staples, and individually scan each page, including any additional items such as added notes and post-its. After they are scanned, the files are coded and the digital record added to your virtual record library. The original records are then returned to their storage box.
In the next blog in this series, we’ll be taking a closer look at another plank of our quality assurance, our Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system. In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about any of our services, then contact one of the CAS team today.
About CAS document storage and management
CAS provides comprehensive and secure document storage and management, scan on demand, and facilities management services. For more than 20 years CAS have worked with NHS Trusts, Financial Services providers, and corporate and private clients. Our head office is just four miles from the City of London, supported by our advanced storage centres across the UK. CAS has an impressive array of International certifications (ISOs), which prove our compliance with the strictest national, European and international laws. They also demonstrate our commitment to provide innovative systems on security, confidentiality and quality control in keeping your files safe and well managed.