What is a Pre-Employment Screening (PES)?

A Pre-employment screening (PES) is a background check that takes place before you are able to start working for your employer. Nearly all banks and financial institutions require a PES-screening and it is often already stated in the job vacancy.

It is essential that financial institutions are safe and operate with integrity. For this purpose, the DNB therefore assesses the trustworthiness of the highest management and supervisory board members. Banks carry out this check for their own employees. Your function will determine how extensive this check is. According to the Financial Supervision Act, these employees may only start work if the bank has made an assessment of their trustworthiness. This assessment is the so-called pre-employment screening. This integrity requirement applies not only to employees employed by the bank, but also to temporary staff, seconded employees and freelancers.

The exact details of the pre-employment screening differ per bank. A number of our clients have outsourced this pre-employment screening to Total Solutions. In that case, we go through established procedures before employees can start.

The PES often comprises two parts:

  1. Identity and qualification check

As agency, we only propose candidates whose identity and qualifications have been checked. To this end, Total Solutions has developed a procedure that complies with the laws and regulations required. This check consists of:

  • Identity check. Passport or ID is verified for authenticity and whether you are who you say you are. A scan is made of your passport, that we certify and save in a secure environment.
  • Qualification check: our clients also want us to verify the qualifications. And so, we request that you provide the original certificates of your highest, completed education. These too will be scanned, certified and saved in a secure environment.
  1. Further screening

If you are offered a position by one of our clients (permanent, temporary, seconded, or freelance), further screening will follow:

  • Application for a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG). A VOG can be requested from the local council. In the VOG you must indicate the purpose of the application. The purpose of the application also partly determines the aspects that will be screened.
  • Reference Check: many of our clients require confirmation from your last employer on your CV that you actually worked there.
  • Integrity Check: your previous employers will also be asked to sign a form confirming your integrity.
  • BKR screening: The BKR registers all loans and credit, including any defaults, of individuals in the Netherlands. If someone is heavily in debt or is registered as a defaulter, this can constitute an integrity risk.
  • You will also be asked to sign compliance and confidentiality documents and sign the banker’s oath.

Screening conditions

A PES screening is sensitive because you have to share confidential information. For the GDPR privacy legislation, the PES screening of Total Solutions falls into the category of legitimate interest. Justification is based on the fact that the prospective employer is legally obliged to check its employees for integrity and trustworthiness.

Protection of Personal Information Act

Both Total Solutions and the bank or financial institution work in accordance with the GDPR guidelines for the PES screening. This means, among other things, that Total Solutions and the employer have taken adequate measures to protect this information. There is also a duty to report to the Dutch Data Protection Authority in case of data leaks.

Do you have to undergo a PES screening for your future employer? Don’t worry, it is simply to verify that the information you have provided is correct. Although we need a lot of personal information, we are required by law to handle this information with care.

If you are unsure about a PES screening, then it is advisable to discuss this in advance. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to lose.

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