For those that are not familiar with National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) accreditation program. The accreditation is an important seal of approval that all companies should look for when choosing a background screening provider. It is the only program in our field that proves a provider’s procedures are compliant with industry best practices and affirms industry knowledge and expertise. To become accredited, consumer reporting agencies must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent inspector, of their policies and procedures as they relate to the following critical areas:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Consumer Protection
  • Information Security
  • Organizational Integrity and Ethics
  • Ability to Train and Educate Clients
  • Accuracy and Depth of Products
  • Quality and Accuracy of Public Record Researchers and Background Specialists
  • Employees’ Background Check Expertise

Many screening companies talk about commitment to quality, but the accredited firms were willing to put in the money, the man-power, the hours, the effort, and the resources to actually earn accreditation. Upon achieving accreditation, all accredited firms come to the same conclusion: the accreditation process resulted in more efficient operations and made them even better equipped to take care of their clients.

Four reasons why you should choose an accredited screening provider

  1. Accredited firms are committed to quality: Earning accreditation is no joke. It involves demonstrating compliance with all 58 clauses that cover six categories including “Data Information and Security,” “Legal and Compliance,” and “Client Education,” among others. A firm has to comply with all 58 clauses to earn accreditation. It’s all or nothing; there’s no B+ rating.  After the application process, once a company is ready, it submits to a desk review of all its policies and procedures, and then it undergoes a site audit by a third party auditor.
  2. They operate above industry standards. Achieving accreditation comes down to demonstrating that the firm’s operations meets or exceeds industry best practice. 
  3. They take security and privacy concerns seriously. Having the best technology and IT team is only half the battle. It’s absolutely critical to have ongoing staff training, effective processes, and tight procedures in place and executed on a daily basis to ensure employees are protecting the sensitive information they work with day in and day out.  Most data breaches don’t result from external intrusions but rather internal oversight and failed controls.
  4. They focus on compliance. If you order background checks, you should know that there are regulations around creating and using those reports. The screening firm that produces those consumer reports as well as the employers that use them to make hiring and retention decisions must comply with both federal and state laws.  Accreditation means the background screening firm understands and is adhering to their legal duties and can help you understand your responsibilities as well.

And exactly what does all of this mean to you, the employer?  Simply put, using an accredited firm translates into higher quality background checks, better customer service, stronger client education, and less risk for your hiring decisions.  Now you know what separates the men from the boys.

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