A professor from the University of Birmingham has advised a group of MPs that background checks should be a requirement for anyone looking to purchase a drone, saying that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to be lethal.
Professor David Dunn, a leading expert on drones, explained that at the moment people can buy these devices straight off the shelf and authorities have no idea where they then go, the Daily Telegraph reports.
He warned that it is inevitable that a drone would bring down a plane one day unless tougher rules are brought in, also noting that the sky is now so full with these UAVs that it’s just pure chance that an air accident hasn’t happened yet.
Appearing in front of the Science and Technology select committee, Mr Dunn argued that it would help police if a system of licensing drones was brought in, assisting them in identifying possible terrorist and criminal users.
“You can go an buy a gun (in the US) and not have any training and that is where we are in the UK right now.
“These things are potentially lethal and we are allowing people to buy them off the shelf without any background checks, without any licensing and without any idea of where they go thereafter,” he said.
At the end of November this year, drone operator registration will become a legal requirement, with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) anticipating that the system will go live in October. As of November, it will also become a legal requirement for anyone operating a drone to pass an online test.
While it may yet be some time before background checks for drone use become a reality, there can be no denying how useful background screening companies can be for all sorts of industries.
The aviation sector, for example, needs security procedures in place to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff members. All airports in the UK are required by the CAA and the Department of Transport to carry out the appropriate checks, including screening of contractors and employees working airside.
Recommended checks for this particular industry include basic disclosure, international criminal record checks, five-year work history, character references, right to work, proof of address, proof of ID and gaps of more than 28 days.
The education, childcare and healthcare sector also makes extensive use of these kinds of checks, essential because of working directly with vulnerable people – many of whom are elderly or children. Suggested checks include credit enquiries, right to work verification, education and credential verification, employment and activity verifications, reference checks and criminal record checks.
Enhanced DBS checks are vital for anyone working in education and healthcare, in order to ensure the safety of patients, staff and children. These checks will reveal any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands or relevant police data.
Official government stats show that around two per cent of staff members applying for a DBS check between 2015 and 2016 had convictions that affected their ability to work safely around children.
3 background check FAQs
What does a check consist of?
A candidate’s background will be investigated based on criteria set out by the employer in question. Each type of check will reveal different information pertinent to that check and candidates should seek clarification from the company requesting the check to understand what searches are being carried out.
How far back do checks go?
The depth of a check will depend on the type of data returned and the location of said data. Other searches such as verification of employment may not be legally time limited and defined by the company requesting the background check. Candidates can contact the employer for an understanding of the depth of search.
Why do employers carry out these checks?
Companies generally don’t assume that someone applying for a job is lying on their application or CV and that’s not what these checks are about. They’re often the last step taken by employers to make sure that they’re making a good hiring decision, as well as protecting the company from numerous potential risks.
If you’d like to find out more about this kind of service, get in touch with us today.