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Sample Request for Proposal (RFP)
for Background Screening Services

Download PDF Version of Sample RFP for Background Screening Services

This sample Request for Proposal (RFP) is provided by Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) to assist employers, Human Resources, and Security Professionals in selecting a provider for employment screening services. 

Dear Service Provider,

You are invited to submit a proposal for providing our firm with pre-employment background screening services. Please submit all responses directly to the following address: {Place your contact person, company name, company address, and telephone number here.}

Please note the following:

All proposals must be received by the followings date: {Add date}

All bids must be submitted in writing. Faxes are not accepted.

  1. Employer reserves the right to accept or reject any bid in its sole discretion and is not obligated to choose to lowest bid.
  2. Proposals must remain valid for a period of 180 days.
  3. Please direct all questions and comments to the person indicated above only.
  4. Communication with any other individual may be considered grounds for disqualification.
  5. The bid will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Proven Ability to meet needs.
    • Turnaround time commitment.
    • Customer service.
    • Price.
    • Supplier personnel.
    • Understanding of legal requirements.
    • Infrastructure, including the system for tracking and reporting.
    • Ease of reading screening reports.
    • Additional services provided.
    • Quality and completeness of product provided.
    • Knowledge of the process involved.

Respondent Information:

  1. Name of screening firm.
  2. Year established.
  3. Ownership structure.
  4. Primary business location.
  5. Primary contact.
  6. Phone.
  7. E-mail.
  8. Website.

I.  Services offered

  1. Indicate if you provide following services, and describe them and your methodologies.
    • County felony and misdemeanor records.
    • Multi-state/multi-jurisdictional criminal database.
    • Credit reports.
    • Social Security Number (SSN) traces.
    • Driving records.
    • Federal records.
    • Employment verification.
    • Education verification.
    • Professional license.
    • Sex offender search.
    • Terrorist databases.
    • International criminal searches.
    • International employment and education verification.
    • Others.
  2. Do you utilize the services of any subcontractors to fulfill criminal record searches, or any other search?  If so, identify the methods used including quality control procedures.
  3. Do you use databases for any searches? If so, please describe:
    1. The nature of the database.
    2. Any limitations on the usage of the database.
    3. Any legal compliance issues, such as Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Section 613.
  4. Please describe any quality control procedures you follow to ensure accuracy in your reporting of results.
  5. Please describe your dispute rate from consumers, your dispute process, and how that information is used for quality control.
  6. Does your firm have national capabilities? Describe.
  7. Does your firm have international capabilities? Describe.

II.  Turnaround Time

  1. What is your turnaround time for each of the services above?
  2. Describe your methodology to ensure turnaround time of reports.
  3. Are you able to generate turnaround time reports for each order that is placed and for each search conducted?
  4. Do you notify employers if there is a delay and how long?
  5. Is there a performance guarantee?

III.  Reporting Format and Technology

  1. Describe the software or online system utilized by your firm.
  2. Do you utilize third party software?
  3. How does an employer send an order to your firm?
  4. How is an employer informed of results?
  5. How is an employer kept advised of status?
  6. What protection do you provide to keep customers limited to their candidate’s data only?
  7. Please describe your ability to integrate with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or HR Information Systems (HRIS).
  8. Please describe your ability to accept online candidate consents.
  9. Please provide a sample report.
  10. Please describe management reporting tools.

IV.  Legal Compliance

  1. Describe your understanding of the laws that govern pre-employment screening and your methodology for compliance with those laws.
  2. How does your firm keep updated on applicable federal and state laws affecting employment screening?
  3. Do you maintain a guide to applicable laws in all 50 states?
  4. Describe what assistance you will give us, if any, in legal compliance.
  5. Describe how you keep your clients updated on important legal changes.
  6. If there is a criminal case found, who determines if it is reportable and describe the methodology used to determine whether it is reportable.

V.  Privacy and Security

  1. Does your firm have a Privacy and Data Security policy?  If so, please provide.
  2. Describe your security and data protection practices, including any third party certifications.
  3. Does your firm send Personally Identifiable Information (PII) outside of the United States for either for domestic or international screening?   If so, please describe in detail.
  4. How do you vet new clients to ensure your services are in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)? Does your firm utilize any home based workers who have access to PII about an applicant? If so, describe the process and describe how personal and identifiable applicant information is protected.
  5. Does your firm utilize home operators to complete employment and education verifications?  If so, describe the process and describe how personal and identifiable applicant information is protected.
  6. Does your firm have a Service Organization Control SOC 2 Privacy designation issued in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)?
  7. Is your firm aware of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework launched by the Department of Commerce and European Commission in 2016 to comply with European Union (EU) data protection requirements and how it will affect screenings of applicants from the EU?
  8. Has your firm received notification from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) that its self-certification of adherence to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework is approved and effective?

VI. Customer Service

  1. Do you provide any customer training or continuing education?  If so, please describe.
  2. Do you provide an account executive that will handle our account?
  3. Do you have an internal trouble ticket system? If so, describe how it works.
  4. If there is not a trouble ticket system, describe your internal methodology to ensure that customer service issues are addressed in a timely manner and that there is follow-through.
  5. Describe your problem escalation procedures in the event of a service issue.
  6. Describe your account set-up and implementation procedures and timelines.
  7. What are your hours of service?
  8. How do you measure customer satisfaction what is your customer satisfaction rate?

VII. About Your Firm

  1. Please describe the background and experience of your firm.
  2. Please provide a short biography of the principals of your firm.
  3. Do you require a contract?
  4. Are there set-up fees?
  5. Can we set up a customized screening program?
  6. How do you handle billing an employer with multiple locations, or different departments?
  7. Do you have errors and omissions issuance? Describe.
  8. Please list representative clients.
  9. Please list three references. To the extent possible, choose references that have needs like our firm. Please provide full contact information.
  10. Is your firm a member of the trade association for background firms, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)? If not a member, do you certify that you adopt and agree with their goals and standards?
  11. Has your firm been accredited by the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP)? If not, are you currently in the process of obtaining an NAPBS accreditation?
  12. If your firm is not accredited by NAPBS, is your firm in compliance with the NAPBS Accreditation guidelines and how do you determine that? If not in compliance, please indicate in detail the steps being taken to be in compliance with NAPBS accreditation standards.
  13. Describe how you train your employees.
  14. Describe how you keep your employees updated on legal issues affecting screening.

VIII. Pricing

  1. Please provide pricing for each item listed above.
  2. Do you have any package plans? Please describe.
  3. Are there any other costs or expenses we should know about?

IX. Other Advantages

  1. Are there any other advantages in selecting your firm to provide pre-employment background screening services?
  2. There are many firms that provide this service. Why should we choose you?


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Certified with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners ESR's SOC 2 Audit Report confirms it meets high standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for protecting customer information PCI-DDS Compliance Privacy Shield Framework Services Perfromed in the USA Safe Hiring Manual Founding Member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners