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Background Check Trends

Written By Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder & CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) accreditation program for background screening firms will reach a tipping point and become standard criteria for selecting a vendor in 2015. The NAPBS exists to promote ethical business practices and compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and state and international laws related to background screening. This trend is number 4 on the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) 8th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2015.’ For a list of background check trends, visit

The “tipping point” is the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development that is often considered to be a turning point. Per the NAPBS, currently 10 percent of NAPBS members who are eligible to seek accreditation have been accredited in accordance with the background screening profession’s only accreditation program, the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). Since not all screening firms belong to the NAPBS, the overall industry rate is less than 10 percent, but that number is certainly an indication that accreditation has reached a tipping point where the trend seems irreversible. There is no good reason for an employer not to use an accredited screening firm and numerous reasons why employers should utilize an accredited firm.

Given the increasingly complex legal environment, employers in 2015 will be faced with the challenges of ensuring that a background screening provider utilizes best practices to be in compliance with laws for screening. 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 check firm.

Only the NAPBS offers an accreditation program for background screening firms in the United States, which are also known as Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs). 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 is the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC).

The 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 NAPBS accredited, a CRA must pass a rigorous onsite audit conducted by an independent auditing firm of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas of the BSAAP: Consumer Protection, Legal Compliance, Client Education, Product Standards, Service Standards, and General Business Practices. More information about NAPBS accreditation for CRAs is available at

Each year, U.S. employers request millions of background check reports to assist with critical business decisions. Background screening reports, which are categorized as consumer reports, are currently regulated at both the federal and state level. However, it must be noted that accreditation is not a guarantee of compliance or performance by a particular company in a particular circumstance. It is an indicator that the company receiving accreditation has established written policies and procedures and has demonstrated proof that their business practices follow those policies and procedures which meet or exceed the accreditation standards.

About National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)

Founded in 2003 as a non-profit trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – ‘The Voice of Screening Professionals’ –represents the interests of member companies around the world that offer background screening. NAPBS empowers members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry while presenting a unified voice in the development of national, state, and local regulations. NAPBS helps screening companies share their mission of legal compliance, ethical business practices, consumer protection, education, and legislative/regulatory advocacy. For more information, visit

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

Founded in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – has successfully proved continued compliance with the BSAAP and is recognized as NAPBS Accredited. ESR founder & CEO Attorney Lester Rosen was the chair of the committee that founded the NAPBS and served as its first co-chair. As part of NAPBS accreditation, all ESR employees are re-screened once every two years for the duration of their employment. Located in the San Francisco, California area, ESR is a nationwide accredited background screening firm that provides effortless legal compliance, proven expertise, and results clients can trust. For more information, visit


Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) will present a complimentary webinar hosted by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen titled ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2015’ on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Noon Pacific Time. To register for this webinar, please visit the registration link at