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Sailing through the screening process for IT contractors

Our last blog on pre-employment screening gave an overview of some issues and concerns raised by the process. Companies are taking the screening process for IT contractors more seriously than ever before – while some IT contractors can be reluctant to comply.

This blog will help you sail through the screening process quickly.

Simple checklist

The best way to speed up the procedure is to come prepared. Having to provide basic information or documents at a later date is one of the main reasons why screening processes can become protracted. Here is a simple checklist of what you should bring with you when being assessed for an IT contract:

–          Photo ID (passport or driving licence)

–          Visa details (if you are from outside the EU)

–          Proof of UK address (as well as previous addresses for the last five years)

–          Details of previous employment or contracts (for the last five years)

–          Academic and professional qualifications

Bringing this information with you is particularly important if you are seeking a contract at a financial company, as the firm will need to follow the screening process strictly.

Checklist for a financial firm

Because of the increasing amount of regulation facing financial companies, it is important to remember to bring some additional information with you. Here is what you should be prepared for:

–          Criminal record checks

–          Details from gaps in employment (receipts, invoices or birth certificates to prove parenthood etc.)

–          Referee details for character references (non-family members)

Moreover, if you are seeking a contract in the public sector, be prepared to provide this information on top of answers to specific security questions, in order to receive special clearance. This is particularly relevant for any work undertaken with the MoD or armed forces.


Screening processes are becoming stricter and more protracted – some checks at financial firms can take up to eight weeks to complete.

However, it’s important to remember that the company carrying out the checks would never deliberately draw them out.

Nevertheless, if the pre-employment screening is being outsourced and you feel the process is being unfairly extended, you could raise the issue with the HR department.

The best way to get through the process as quickly as possible is to come prepared with the above details and documents. Beyond that, if you have any concerns about how long the procedure is taking, there’s no harm at all in asking for an explanation.

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