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Background Screening Glossary of Terms

By: Vanessa Mitchell Tuesday, 10 October 2023

10-10-23 Glossary of Terms Blog

This is your all-in-one reference guide for everything background screening! From criminal records to verifications; from drug testing to Form I-9. The easier it is to understand your background report, the better your hiring decision will be!

The Background Screening Glossary of Terms will quickly become your go-to when requesting and using a background report - whether you're new to background checks or a seasoned veteran!

The Glossary includes:

  • Criminal Record Terminology
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • General Background Screening
  • Form I-9, Audits and E-Verify
  • Agencies related to and governing background checks
  • Compliance Terms

From A…

Address History – A list of addresses associated with an individual used to drive a variety of

background screening services, such as selecting jurisdictions for a criminal record search.

Adjudication, Adjudicated – Occurs when a decision is made by the court in a criminal or civil case.

Adjudication Withheld – Court decision that does not result in formal conviction pending successful completion of probation.

Adulterated Specimen – A drug/alcohol screening specimen that has been deliberately tampered with.

Adulterant – A Substance ingested or added to urine in order to prevent detection of drugs/alcohol.

Adverse Action – A decision that adversely impacts the subject of a background report based all or in part on the results of the report.

Alias Name – Alternate name that an individual


…to Z (or actually W) this Glossary will ensure you are an expert at all things background screening!

Warrant – Order of a court or law enforcement issued when an individual failed to appear in court, is in contempt of court or has an outstanding balance of fines owed.

Wet Signature – Hand-written signature (pen and paper).

Workers Compensation History – Summary of worker compensation claims filed in a specified state.


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As a consumer reporting agency, we cannot act as your attorney or give you advice. This blog is informative and not all-encompassing. It is not meant to provide legal advice. You must consult qualified legal counsel to ensure you are maintaining a compliant program.

Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa Mitchell

Passionate blogger dedicated to making your life easier when it comes to background screening.