The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has made an attempt to bring order to the Wild West of background screening companies. According to its materials, the NAPBS has established an accreditation program, the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP), to advance “professionalism in the employment screening industry through the promotion of best practices, awareness of legal compliance, and development of standards that protect consumers.”
Background screening companies that voluntarily participate in the BSAAP agree to follow the NAPBS’s Standards and to submit to an auditing process. If all background screening companies followed the NAPSB Standards, many elements of which simply require compliance with the FCRA, there would be many fewer errors on criminal background reports.
Notable elements of the NAPSB Standards
- The [consumer reporting agency] CRA shall have procedures in place for handling and documenting a consumer dispute that comply with the federal FCRA.
- When reporting potentially adverse criminal record information derived from a non-government owned or non-government sponsored/supported database pursuant to the federal FCRA, the CRA shall either: A) verify the information directly with the venue that maintains the official record for that jurisdiction prior to reporting the adverse information to the client; or B) send notice to the consumer at the time information is reported.
- The CRA shall designate an individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for compliance with all state consumer reporting laws that pertain to the consumer reports provided by the CRA for employment purposes.
- The CRA shall have procedures in place to inform clients that they have legal responsibilities when using consumer reports for employment purposes. The CRA shall recommend that clients consult their legal counsel regarding their specific legal responsibilities.
- The 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. The CRA shall have procedures in place to notify client of any adverse information that is reported based on a name match only.
- The CRA shall designate a qualified individual(s) or position(s) within the organization responsible for understanding court terminology, as well as understanding the various jurisdictional court differences if the CRA reports court records.
- Should the 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), the CRA shall have procedures in place to notify the client of such information.
We wholeheartedly endorse the NAPBS efforts to promote best practices in our industry… and take it a step further. Each and every report we run is checked for compliance before delivery to you. This helps to ensure that you have the right information on which to base hiring, tenancy and other decisions.