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How-To Guide: Audit Your Background Screening Program

By: Vanessa Mitchell Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Guide - Audit Your Background Screening Program

Who You Partner with Matters!

Working with a reliable Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) is crucial to remaining compliant, decreasing turnaround time, and streamlining your process. To ensure you are working with reliable CRA, answer the following questions:

  • Are they a member of National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)?
  • Do they maintain compliance criteria?
  • Are they up-to-date with Industry Regulations?
  • What services and solutions do they offer?
  • Does the scope of their services reach beyond background checks in order to streamline processes?

Are You Consistent?

FCRA Compliance requires that employers are consistent when conducting background checks. There are three areas you should consider when evaluating consistency.

Background check for the position, not the individual - Are you performing background checks based on the position and not on the individual? Perform the same background checks for every applicant interviewing for that particular job. If you run alias names on female applicants, you must also run alias names on male applicants. Evaluate you current processes to determine if are consistent in your background checks.

Equal and Non-Discriminatory Drug Testing - Mandatory employee drug and alcohol screening must be non-discriminatory and equal for all employees. Does your drug and alcohol screening policy clearly outline enforcement? Are you consistent with types of drug and alcohol screening events such as:

  • Pre-employment
  • Post Accident
  • Reasonable Suspicion
  • Random Retention
  • Annual Retention

Uniform paperwork and processes - Clear and concise processes are almost important as the search itself. Processes must be consistent for each employee or applicant. Is your process non-discriminatory? Is your paperwork without errors? (This is very important with Form I-9)


Are You Meeting Compliance Standards?

Meeting compliance standards is equally important as the background check itself. Professional background screeners are very familiar with federal regulation under the FCRA, which inherently helps keep you compliant. However, it is important to understand FCRA requirements for yourself in addition to other legislation and guidelines that could impact what products you can run, what information you can use to make a decision and how you need to proceed with making decisions.

As an end user of the background report, it is your responsibility to make sure your operations adhere to all applicable laws. Evaluate your processes to ensure compliance starting with the follow areas:

Consent Form - Prior to running a background check, you must have permissible purpose, you must notify the applicant of intent, and you must obtain consent. Does your consent form contain the required forms and summary of rights? Does your CRA offer a compliant online consent form?

Adverse Action - If you disqualify an applicant due to a background check result, you are required to follow multiple steps in the Adverse Action Process. Are you sending both pre and post adverse action letters? Are you sending the letters in the correct timelines? Do the letters contain the required forms and summary of rights? Does your CRA offer these services?

Ban-The-Box - requires that an employer may not use a criminal conviction history of a potential applicant until a conditional offer of employment has been presented to the applicant. This includes prohibiting the “box” on a job application which asks whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime.

Salary History Ban - prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history or using salary history to assign compensation.


Are You Timely?

Know the various factors which could impact the timeliness of your onboarding process. Delays in background screening or Form I-9 can create backlogs, waste, mismanagement, chance of losing top talent, and running the risk of fines. Evaluation of these 2 steps is critical during an audit:

Background Checks - What is the timeline in which the background checks are ordered? Is it consistent and efficient? What is your CRA’s standard turnaround times once the report is ordered?

Form I-9 - Is your employee completing Section 1 of Form I-9 on the first day of employment? Is the employee providing documents by the 3rdday of employment? Are you completing Section 2 of Form I-9 by the 3rd day of employment? Not following timelines for Form I-9 can result in audits and fines.


Are Your Processes Streamlined?

 Integrations – Integrations are an essential part of every onboarding process.

  • Speed up your processes.
  • Decrease your risk for errors.
  • Increase efficiency during audits.
  • Benefits your budget.

 ATS and HRIS Systems

  • Do you utilize an ATS (applicant tracking system) or HRIS (human resources information system).
  • Does your CRA offer integrations into ATS and HRIS systems?
  • What other partners does your CRA utilize in order to streamline processes?

 Form I-9

  • Does your CRA offer a compliant and easy-to-use online Form I-9 Management Tool?


The Choice Difference

Trustworthy - Choice Screening is proud to not only be a member of NAPBS, but maintains high standards of excellence in our industry. We are passionate about simplifying the hiring process by giving you the solutions to attract top talent. From applicant tracking, to background screening, to Form I-9 and post hire services…we’ve got you covered!

Consistent - Choice Screening’s team creates solutions and services in order to keep you consistent when performing background screening. Our customizable background check packages, integrations, and screening programs will help you to remain uniform and non-discriminatory with your applicants and employees.

Compliant - Our team of thoroughly trained experts received FCRA advanced certification and are continuously learning about the ever-changing background screening industry. Because of this, our clients will stay informed about industry regulations, compliance, and more. But we don’t stop there…our Director of Compliance along with our skilled software engineers create solutions in order to keep you compliant! One-on-one training, quarterly newsletters, our Blog and social media are a few of the ways we keep our clients informed about news, regulations, and industry transformations.

Punctual - Choice Screening’s standard turnaround time for background checks is 24-48 hours. We consistently meet and exceed our goals all while maintaining the upmost standards for accuracy.

Streamlined - Choice Screening is proud to offer several integrations into Applicant Tracking Systems and Human Resource Information Systems and we are always adding more to meet your needs. We also integrate with industry leading drug and alcohol screening companies, and education verification solutions in order to bring you accurate results in a timely manner.


Key Takeaways!

  • Create policies that are consistent and non-discriminatory.
  • Evaluate your process to ensure you are up-to-date on compliance standards and industry regulations.
  • Evaluate your turnaround times for efficiency.
  • Utilize ATS/HRIS Integrations to streamline processes.
  • The Choice Difference = Background Screening You Can TRUST!


As part of any good hiring strategy, partner with a background screening provider you can trust, stay informed, and do not forget to consult legal counsel. Please note: this blog is not all-encompassing and not meant to provide legal advice.

Topics: audit

Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa Mitchell

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