Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Policies and procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy when obtaining, recording, and reporting verification information for their clients is important for background screening firms accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). Verifications of past education and past employment of job applicants are a necessary part of background checks. This blog is the fifth in a six part series about the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).
‘Verification Service Standards’ is the fifth 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,’ ‘Researcher and Data Product Standards,’ and ‘General Business Practices.’ The BSAAP contains 58 clauses that CRAs must follow to be NAPBS Accredited. The ‘Verification Service Standards’ section contains the 11 clauses below:
- 5.1 Verification Accuracy – CRA shall maintain reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy when obtaining, recording and reporting verification information.
- 5.2 Current Employment – CRA shall have procedures in place to contact consumer’s current employer directly only when authorized by client and/or consumer.
- 5.3 Diploma Mills – When attempting educational verifications from known or suspected diploma mills, CRA shall have reasonable procedures in place to advise client of such.
- 5.4 Procedural Disclosures – CRA shall provide full disclosure to clients about general business practices regarding number of attempts to verify information, what constitutes an “attempt,” locate fees, fees charged by the employer or service provider and standard question formats prior to providing such services.
- 5.5 Verification Databases – If CRA compiles and stores employment or education verification information for sale, CRA shall have procedures in place to ensure that data is accurate at the time information is provided to end user and have procedures in place for handling consumer disputes.
- 5.6 Use of Stored Data – If CRA provides investigative consumer reports from stored data, CRA shall have procedures in place to ensure the CRA does not provide previously reported adverse information unless it has been re-verified within the past three months, or for a shorter time if required by state or local law.
- 5.7 Documentation of Verification Attempts – CRA shall have procedures in place to document all verification attempts made and the result of each attempt, in completing all verification services.
- 5.8 Outsourced Verification Services – CRA shall require a signed agreement from all providers of outsourced verification services. The agreement shall clearly outline the scope of services to be provided, verification methodology, documentation of verification efforts, disclosure of findings, time frame for communication and completion of requests, confidentiality requirements, reinvestigation requirements and other obligations as furnishers of information under the federal FCRA.
- 5.9 Conflicting Data – Should CRA receive information from the verification source subsequent to the delivery of the consumer report, and as a direct result of the initial inquiry, that conflicts with originally reported information, and that new information is received within 120 days of the initial report, (or as may be required by law), CRA shall have procedures in place to notify client of such information.
- 5.10 Professional Conduct – CRA shall train all employees engaged in verification work on procedures for completing verifications in a professional manner.
- 5.11 Authorized Recipient – If CRA is requesting verification by phone, fax, email or mail, CRA shall have procedures in place to confirm that verification request is directed to an authorized recipient.
Governed by 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 www.napbs.com/accreditation/.
Founded as a not-for-profit trade association in 2003, the NAPBS represents the interests of more than 880 member companies around the world that offer employment and tenant background screening. NAPBS Member companies are defined as “consumer reporting agencies” pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and are regulated by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). To learn more about the NAPBS, visit www.napbs.com.
To read other blogs about the NAPBS, visit www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/napbs/.
ESR Is Accredited by the NAPBS
Founded in the San Francisco, California-area in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a global background check firm that is accredited by the NAPBS®. ESR also undergoes annual SOC 2® audits to protect the privacy, security, and confidentiality of consumer information. ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” (3rd Edition published in January 2017). To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.
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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