Submitted by DataScreening
Many people and companies don't know the process of how each background check company gets their information. Before I got into this industry, I didn't know and I really didn't care either. HR professionals and employers mostly care about (and really are only informed about) cost, turn-around time, and customer support. Today, information is passed so easily and frequently, no matter if it is false or if it is true. The fact of the matter is that any information that is online must first be entered by a human being. And there are many limitations and laws as to what can be shared in a background check for employment purposes. Algorithms and software can’t correct mishandled data.
The methods how data is retrieved, stored, and reported can be quite different and can be the difference of your company being in compliance or not. How would you know if the background check company that you are using is following the proper procedures to produce the records that you are getting back?
Accreditation through the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) means you don't necessarily have to worry about that. It means that you are working with a background check company that has passed a rigorous onsite audit that can take over a year to complete; and that is conducted by an independent auditing firm, meticulously going over all of their policies and procedures in 6 critical areas:
- Information Security
- Legal & Compliance
- Client Education
- Researcher & Data Standards
- Verification Services
- Business Practices
Legal & Compliance, Client Education:
Many companies don't even know if they are out of compliance when it comes to background checks. That is usually because the background check company that they use isn't knowledgeable about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, doesn't have the technology to offer proper compliance tools, or they simply did not inform the employer of their legal FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) obligations. With an accredited company, you can be assured they will be able to assist with any compliance issues to help you avoid any legal ramifications.
Business Practices & Accuracy:
How a background check company obtains information and how it presents it to an employer can be drastically different. A background check company that is accredited means they have gone through a rigorous audit process to ensure their methods will give you the most accurate and up to date records as possible. Relying on database records only, often leads to reviewing outdated and false information that can lead to improper hiring decisions and even legal action for the employer.
Part of the accreditation process is a detailed audit of the data security, process and storage methods. A background check company must demonstrate, in writing and in real time, the highest security measures with regards to: system configuration, anti-virus, firewall, and router configuration, encryption and password protection, access control, electronic & paper data retention, storage, and disposal, as well as physical security. This ensures all data and processes are secure and well protected with extreme security standards.