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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Criminal record information gathered by public record researchers at the county court level is an important part of background checks. A background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) seeks high standards from these researchers and ensures those standards will be met through a set of policies that deal with data products used for background checks. This blog is the fourth in a six part series about the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).

‘Researcher and Data Product Standards’ is the fourth of six sections of the BSAAP created for Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – the technical term for background screening companies – along with ‘Consumer Protection,’ Legal Compliance,’ ‘Client Education,’ ‘Verification Service Standards,’ and ‘General Business Practices.’ The BSAAP contains 58 clauses that CRAs must follow to be NAPBS Accredited. The ‘Researcher and Data Product Standards’ section contains the eight clauses below as listed on the NAPBS website:

  • 4.1 Public Record Researcher Agreement – CRA shall require a signed agreement from all non-employee public record researchers. The agreement shall clearly outline the scope of services agreed to by CRA and researcher, including jurisdictions covered, search methodology, depth of search, disclosure of findings, methodology and time frame for communication and completion of requests, methodology for confirming identity of subject of record(s), confidentiality requirements, and reinvestigation requirements.
  • 4.2 Vetting Requirement – CRA shall have procedures in place to vet or qualify new public record researchers.
  • 4.3 Public Record Researcher Certification – CRA shall require public record researcher to certify in writing that they will conduct research in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws, as well as in the manner prescribed by the jurisdiction which maintains the official record of the court; never obtain information through illegal or unethical means; and utilize document disposal and/or destruction methods pursuant to the federal FCRA.
  • 4.4 Errors and Omissions Coverage – CRA shall obtain proof of public record researcher’s Errors and Omissions Insurance. If public record researcher is unable to provide proof of insurance, CRA shall maintain coverage for uninsured and/or underinsured public record researcher.
  • 4.5 Information Security – CRA shall provide a secure means by which public record researcher will receive orders and return search results.
  • 4.6 Auditing Procedures – CRA shall maintain auditing procedures for quality assurance in regard to their active public record researchers.
  • 4.7 Identification Confirmation – CRA shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy when determining the identity of a consumer who is the subject of a record prior to reporting the information. CRA shall have procedures in place to notify client of any adverse information that is reported based on a name match only.
  • 4.8 Jurisdictional Knowledge – The CRA shall designate a qualified individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for understanding court terminology, as well as the various jurisdictional court differences if CRA reports court records.

Governed by a strict professional standard of specified requirements and measurements, the BSAAP is becoming a widely recognized seal of achievement that brings national recognition to background screening organizations.  This recognition will stand as the industry “seal,” representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. To learn more about the BSAPP, visit

Founded in 2003 as a not-for-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. To learn more about the NAPBS, visit

To read other blogs in this series, visit

ESR Achieves Re-Accreditation with NAPBS

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) has announced that Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) successfully demonstrated continued compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) and is recognized as BSCC-Accredited. To learn more about Accreditation, read the ESR News Blog “Employment Screening Resources Achieves Background Screening Credentialing Council Re-Accreditation.”

Founded in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a global background check firm headquartered in the San Francisco, California area. ESR is a strategic choice that consistently delivers fast, accurate, affordable, and compliant information through innovative and highly integrated solutions. ESR is accredited by the NAPBS® and is audited yearly for SSAE 18 SOC 2® Type 2 compliance, a distinction held by a small percentage of background screening firms. To learn more about ESR, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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