Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The general business practices of a background screening firm go a long way in making sure that company performs accurate and thorough background checks. A background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has business practices that ensure proper character of owners and employees, worker training, quality assurance, and responsible parties. This blog is the last in a six part series about NAPBS Accreditation. For previous blogs about NAPBS Accreditation, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/accreditation/.
Business practices are 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 6: Miscellaneous Business Practices’ which contains 12 clauses.
Under ‘Section 6: Miscellaneous Business Practices,’ anyone charged with enforcing company policy must be found free of any crimes involving “dishonesty, fraud, or moral turpitude.” Section 6 also covers procedures to ensure the accuracy and quality of all work product and training for all workers on confidentiality, security, and legal compliance practices. Clause 6.10 even requires a criminal records check on all employees at least once every two years for the duration of their employment. The 12 clauses in ‘Section 6: Miscellaneous Business Practices’ for NAPBS Accreditation are as follows:
- 6.1 Character – Owners, officers, principals and employees charged with the enforcement of company policy must consent to undergo a criminal records check and be found free of convictions for any crimes involving dishonesty, fraud or moral turpitude.
- 6.2 Insurance – CRA shall maintain errors and omissions insurance. If CRA does not maintain errors and omission insurance, CRA must self-insure in a manner compliant with its state’s insurance requirements.
- 6.3 Client Authentication – CRA shall have a procedure to identify and authenticate all clients prior to disclosing consumer reports or other consumer information. The procedure shall require the CRA to maintain written records regarding the qualification of each client who receives consumer reports or other consumer information.
- 6.4 Vendor Authentication – CRA shall have a procedure to identify and authenticate all vendors prior to disclosing consumer information. The procedure shall require the CRA to maintain written records regarding the qualification of each vendor who receives consumer information.
- 6.5 Consumer Authentication – CRA shall develop and implement requirements for what information consumers shall provide as proof of identity prior to providing file disclosure to the consumer. The CRA shall maintain procedures to document the information used to identify each consumer to whom file disclosure is provided.
- 6.6 Document Management – CRA shall have a written record retention and destruction policy pursuant to the federal FCRA.
- 6.7 Employee Certification – CRA shall require all workers to certify they will adhere to the confidentiality, security and legal compliance practices of the CRA.
- 6.8 Worker Training – CRA shall provide training to all workers on confidentiality, security and legal compliance practices of the CRA.
- 6.9 Visitor Security – CRA shall utilize a visitor security program to ensure visitors do not have access to consumer information.
- 6.10 Employee Criminal History – CRA shall conduct a criminal records check on all employees with access to consumer information when such searches can be conducted without violating state or federal law. These searches shall be conducted at least once every two years for the duration of their employment. Criminal offenses shall be evaluated to determine initial or continued employment based upon their access to consumer information and state and federal laws.
- 6.11 Quality Assurance – CRA shall have procedures in place to reasonably ensure the accuracy and quality of all work product.
- 6.12 Certification – CRA shall have on staff one person designated to oversee and administer the certification process and future compliance by the CRA, including enforcement of the standard by all concerned. This person shall be vested with the responsibilities and authority attendant to this task, and shall be the CRA contact for the auditor and certification related matters for NAPBS®.
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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