Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Given the increasingly complex legal environment surrounding background checks, employers need a background screening provider that utilizes best practices to be in compliance with laws for screening. A background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is well versed in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and numerous state laws for screening. This blog is the second in a six part series about NAPBS Accreditation. For previous blogs about NAPBS Accreditation, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/accreditation/.
Legal compliance is just one part of the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) created by the NAPBS for Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), the technical term for background screening companies. The BSAAP contains 58 clauses that CRAs must follow to be NAPBS Accredited. The clauses are divided into six sections: 1.) Data Information and Security, 2.) Legal Compliance, 3.) Client Education, 4.) Researcher and Data Product Standards, 5.) Verification Service Standards, and 6.) Miscellaneous Business Practices. This blog will focus on ‘Section 2: Legal Compliance’ which contains seven clauses.
‘Section 2: Legal Compliance’ of NAPBS Accreditation designates people within the CRA who can offer expertise on the FCRA, state laws, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). Section 2 also requires that a CRA shall not engage in bribery or fraudulent activity to obtain preferential treatment from a public official, provide clients with all federal FCRA-required documents, and obtain a signed agreement from clients in which they agree to meet the requirements of the federal FCRA and applicable state laws. The seven clauses in ‘Section 2: Legal Compliance’ for NAPBS Accreditation are as follows:
- 2.1 Designated Compliance Person(s) – The CRA shall designate an individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for CRA’s compliance with all sections of the federal FCRA that pertain to the consumer reports provided by the CRA for employment purposes.
- 2.2 State Consumer Reporting Laws – The CRA shall designate an individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for compliance with all state consumer reporting laws that pertain to the consumer reports provided by the CRA for employment purposes.
- 2.3 Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) – The CRA shall designate an individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for compliance with the DPPA that pertain to the consumer reports provided by the CRA for employment purposes, if the CRA furnishes consumer reports that contain information subject to the DPPA.
- 2.4 State Implemented DPPA Compliance – If the CRA furnishes consumer reports that contain information subject to the DPPA-implementing statutes in a particular state(s), the CRA shall designate an individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for compliance with state implementations of the DPPA that pertain to the products and services provided by the CRA for employment purposes.
- 2.5 Integrity – CRA shall not engage in bribery or any other fraudulent activity to obtain preferential treatment from a public official.
- 2.6 Prescribed Notices – CRA shall provide client all federal FCRA-required, FTC-prescribed documents which the federal FCRA mandates be provided to client by the CRA.*
- 2.7 Agreement from Client – Before providing consumer reports to clients, CRA shall obtain a signed agreement from client (referred to as “user” in federal FCRA) in which client agrees to meet the requirements of the federal FCRA, and applicable state and federal laws.
* For Clause 2.6 Prescribed Notices the federal FCRA-required documents are prescribed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as of January 1, 2013.
According to the ‘Accreditation’ page on the NAPBS website, the BSAAP has become a widely recognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to an employment background screening-affiliated organization for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. The governing body for the accreditation program and future personnel certification is the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC). For more information about NAPBS Accreditation, please visit http://www.napbs.com/accreditation/.
Founded in 2003, the NAPBS – “The Voice of Screening Professionals” – exists to promote ethical business practices, compliance with the FCRA, equal employment opportunity, and state and international consumer protection laws relating to the background screening profession. The NAPBS provides educational programs aimed at empowering members to better serve their clients, while adhering to standards of excellence in the background screening profession. For more information about the NAPBS, please visit http://www.napbs.com/.
Founded in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – “The Background Check Authority®” – is a nationwide background screening firm accredited by the NAPBS located in the San Francisco, California-area. ESR’s SOC 2 Audit Report confirms it meets high standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for protecting consumer information. ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen also wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual.” For more information about ESR, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit http://www.esrcheck.com.
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