Use of NAPBS Accredited Background Screening Firms by Employers Picking Up Steam

Given the increasingly complex legal environment, employers in 2014 will be faced with the challenges of ensuring that a background screening provider utilizes best practices to be in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance for the use of criminal records, and applicable state laws as well as accuracy.  The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) has introduced a rigorous accreditation program for screening firms that is confirmed by an on-site independent auditor and is a way to ensure an employer is dealing with a knowledgeable professional. This is Trend Number Five of the 7th Annual Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) ‘Top Ten Background Check Trends’ for 2014. For more information about the trends, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.

Since background screening firms are largely unregulated, employers face a challenge in choosing a screening firm.  Although federal agencies in Washington are charged with some oversight of background checks and some states have licensing rules, as a practical matter anyone can set up an office and web site and claim to be a background firm. Each year, U.S. employers, organizations, and governmental agencies request millions of consumer reports to assist with critical business decisions involving background screening. Background screening reports, which are categorized as consumer reports, are currently regulated at both the federal and state level.

Since its inception, the NAPBS – the non-profit voice of the screening industry – has believed that there is a strong need for a singular cohesive industry standard and has created the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). Governed by a strict professional standard composed of requirements and measurements, the BSAAP is striving to become a widely recognized “seal of approval” that brings national recognition to Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – the official term for background screening firm – and represents a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.

The NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the application process and is the governing accreditation body that will ensure the background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed a measurable standard of competence. To become accredited, a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent auditing firm, of its policies and procedures as they relate to 58 clauses divided into six critical areas of the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP): Consumer Protection, Legal Compliance, Client Education, Product Standards, Service Standards, and General Business Practices.

Founded in 2003 as a non-profit trade association, the NAPBS represents the interests of more than 700 member companies around the world that offer tenant, employment, and background screening. NAPBS provides relevant programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry, and presents a unified voice in the development of national, state and local regulations. Any U.S.-based employment screening organization is eligible to apply for accreditation. More information about accreditation is available on the NAPBS website at http://www.napbs.com/. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) has successfully proved compliance with the BSAAP and is formally recognized as NAPBS Accredited for an employment screening agency. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com.

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

LesRosenPhoto_Aug2012_SmallWhiteBorderFounded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in the San Francisco, CA-area in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.