National Association of Professional Background Screeners to Release Study Affirming Accuracy of Background Checks

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has announced in press release that a recent study of background screening companies affirms the accuracy of background checks and refutes a report recently issued by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) that accused background screeners of routinely making mistakes. The NAPBS report, scheduled to be released later this summer, found that 98 percent of background screening providers surveyed encountered consumer disputes less than 5 percent of the time out of millions of background checks performed annually, and more than 95 percent of those disputed background check reports were ultimately found to be accurate. The NAPBS press release is available at:

The NAPBS study, validated by market research agency Mathew Greenwald & Associates in Washington D.C., is a response to a report from the NCLC released in April 2012, ‘Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses,’ that examined the accuracy of background checks. The NCLC report claimed that 65 million Americans with criminal records were “forever tarnished and unemployable as a result of background checks.” While the NCLC report portrayed the background screening industry as indifferent to the accuracy of data by stating “evidence indicates that professional background screening companies routinely make mistakes with grave consequences for job seekers” the report also noted that “actual accuracy rates are not possible to obtain.”

In the press release, the NAPBS states that the report included “several inaccurate points” and that the NCLC fails “to offer critical empirical data to back up its findings.” According to NAPBS, the NCLC allegation that criminal background checks make it more difficult for workers to obtain employment is not supported by the facts since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “has stepped up enforcement against employers who discriminate based on criminal history.” Furthermore, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) – another name for a background screening company that prepares “consumer reports”– must follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information in a background check report.

While the NCLC report contends that the FCRA “fails to adequately protect consumers when it comes to employment screening,” the NAPBS believes the report “ignores existing law that requires background screening organizations to provide the consumer with a free copy of their consumer report” and also mandates that consumer disputed reports “must be re-investigated within 30 days.” In addition, employers using background screening firms “must follow specific adverse action procedures spelled out in the FCRA” that give job applicants a fair chance to dispute the finding in the report and protect them from being denied employment based on inaccurate or incomplete background check information. The full NCLC report is available at:

“Given the complexities of background checks, the NAPBS study reveals an astoundingly high accuracy rate that shows how incredibly inaccurate the NCLC report was,” commented Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’ “Also, even the few inaccurate reports could be beyond the control of background screening firms due to courts not updating records or identity theft.” To address what he calls “erroneous information and unfounded conclusions” in the NCLC report, Rosen wrote the article ‘Consumer Group Report on Inaccurate Criminal Background Check Reports Loses Impact Due to Lack of Objectivity and Errors’ that is available at:

In 2010, the NAPBS – a non-profit trade association founded in 1993 to represent the background screening industry – launched the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) to promote best practices, awareness of legal compliance, and the development of standards that protect consumers in the employment screening industry. The NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the application process and ensures that a background screening organization seeking accreditation meets or exceeds measurable standards of competence. To become accredited, background screening organizations must pass a rigorous onsite audit conducted by an independent auditing firm that examines policies and procedures related to six critical areas of screening:

  • Consumer protection,
  • Legal compliance,
  • Client education,
  • Product standards,
  • Service standards, and
  • General business practices.

Any U.S.-based employment screening organization is eligible to apply for NAPBS accreditation. A copy of the standard, the policies and procedures, and measurements is available on the NAPBS website at Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background check firm headquartered in the San Francisco, California area – has achieved NAPBS accreditation by successfully proving compliance with the BSAAP standard. For more information about accreditation, visit To learn more about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ – at, call 415.898.0044, or email

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About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information, empowering employers to make informed safe hiring decisions for the benefit for our clients, their employees, and the public. ESR literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percentage of screening firms. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit, call 415.898.0044 or 888.999.4474 (Toll Free), or email

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at