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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Business practices that ensure proper character of owners and employees, worker training, and quality assurance are mission critical for background screening firms accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). The business practices of a background screening firm are the foundation that helps them perform accurate and professional background checks. This blog is the last in a six part series about the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).

‘General Business Practices’ is the sixth 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 ‘Verification Service Standards.’ The BSAAP contains 58 clauses that CRAs must follow to be NAPBS Accredited. The ‘General Business Practices’ section contains the 12 clauses below:

  • 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 Responsible Party – 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®.

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

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

To read other blogs about the NAPBS, visit

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

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.

© 2017 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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