What are background checks?

A background check is a very broad term but it is information that is compiled on an individual using any type of service combination. Any of the following services can be a part of a background check:

  • Criminal records
  • Driving records
  • Employment Verifications
  • Education Verifications
  • Credential Verifications
  • Credit Reports
  • Drug Screening
  • Sex Offender search
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) search
  • General Service Administration (GSA) search
  • Global Screen or terrorist Watch List report
  • E-Verify search
  • Social Security Number Trace
  • Personal References
  • Professional References
  • International searches

How do I know if a background check company is credible?

A background check provider should be a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Please visit NAPBS to find a list of background companies that are members of the association.

Validity Screening Solutions is an industry expert that features a satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy for any reason, your money is refunded…you can’t go wrong with that.

What is a complete or comprehensive background check?

Most of the time it will depend on the position that the individual will be applying for or whether it is for employment purposes, placing students into programs, volunteering or contract workers.

Different positions may need specific checks. For instance, an accounting position would need a comprehensive seven year criminal search, a sex offender registry search and a credit report.

Although what a comprehensive background check entails could depend on many factors, it is recommended that all background checks should include the following services as a core; live criminal records searched for a minimum of seven years, a Social Security number trace and a multi-state sex offender search that searches all state sex offender registries.

Who should you conduct a background check on?

Background checks are most commonly conducted when an individual is applying for a job or applying for a school program. Many hospitals, banks, not for profit organizations, small businesses, municipalities, school districts, Colleges and Universities will conduct background checks on every applicant that applies. They will use the results of the background check to narrow the candidate pool.

Colleges and Universities will conduct background checks on their students in order to place them in a program that may need to place students in a hospital or healthcare setting. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) instituted regulations that students going into hospitals, home health agencies, clinics and other types of health agencies, must have a background check completed. For more information on the JCAHO organization please visit their web site.

How much should a company expect to pay for a criminal background check?

You should expect to pay around $50.00 for a basic background check that would include live criminal searches for a seven year period, a Social Security Number trace and a multi-state sex offender registry search.

Are all screening companies the same?

NO. Many companies conduct database searches which do not contain up-to-date criminal information and can contain information that employers cannot use against an individual in a hiring decision. You need a company that knows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and understands what is compliant, so that you don’t have to. You want to make sure that the information that you receive on a background check is information that belongs to the individual and that you can use it in the capacity that you need to. Your background check company should access your situation and customize a program to fit your needs.