The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (now renamed the Professional Background Screening Association – PBSA) recently announced that Crimcheck has achieved NABPS accreditation. This followed Crimcheck’s successful completion of the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).
The BSAAP is a rigorous process which is used to determine whether a company fits PBSAs’ strict accreditation standards. It is carried out by the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) and represents the gold standard for background screening companies.
By receiving PBSA accreditation, Crimcheck joins an elite group of few companies which have passed through thePBSA. There currently only 62 background screening companies in the US which are NAPBS accredited. Given that the NAPBS has around 700 member companies, receiving the accreditation is something quite remarkable.
According to the NAPBS website, its accreditation program was introduced for two main reasons. The first was an indication by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it desired more regulation of credit reporting agencies. The FTC suggested that an internal accreditation system by associations like the NAPBS would play a critical role in their regulation efforts.
The second was a demand by NAPBS members for recognized standards and processes within the industry. Such standards would create benchmarks against which background checking companies could gage their operations. They could also provide objective basis on which employers could judge background screening services.
The NAPBS therefore set up the BSCC to not only establish accreditation standards, but also evaluate background checking companies. The BSCC set up a rigorous set of standards which are now entailed in the Background Screening Accreditation Program (BSAP).
The PBSA contains a strict and thorough combination of practices, processes and commitments which a company must have in place. These represent the best practices for background screening companies.
There are six critical areas in which a company is evaluated:
- Legal compliance
- Consumer protection
- Client education
- Service standards
- Product standards
- General business practices.
The evaluation is carried out by an independent audit firm – which rigorously examines the company’s policies, procedures and practices. For a company to receive accreditation, it needs to meet or exceed a minimum standard of competence. The bar is set so high that only 15% of US background checking companies have been able to pass the BSAP and obtain NAPBS accreditation.
Therefore NAPBS accreditation represents a “seal” of approval for a background screening company. It shows that the company has achieved the highest standards in the industry. The fact that Crimcheck has achieved NAPBS accreditation shows that its services entail the best practices in the industry.
Good News For Employers
“We are pleased to have achieved NAPBS accreditation”, said Loren Yadeski, CEO of Crimcheck. “It shows that our rigorous approach to background checking has finally been acknowledged. I am thankful to our staff for working tirelessly to make that this dream a reality.
“This accreditation is actually great news to our clients – the employers,” added Jeri Johansen, “it means that they can now enjoy our services with confidence that they are getting the best services possible.
For employers, NAPBS accreditation typically offers confidence in a company’s background screening services.
It means that the services are up to standard in three respects:
The first is legal compliance.
Over the last two years, numerous organizations have been slapped with class action lawsuits over Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. The lawsuits have arisen because the organizations carried out background checks which failed to comply with FCRA regulations. Many organizations have had to pay millions of dollars to settle the class actions.
NAPBS accreditation can provide an employer with the assurance that their background checks will not be tainted with legal violations. This is because legal compliance is one of the key tenets on which the accreditation is based. An accredited company is therefore well placed to not only comply with all legislations, but also advise their clients on how to ensure that their processes are compliant.
The second is accuracy of background checks.
Most background check-related lawsuits actually begin with erroneous background check reports. Typically, this arises when the reports throw up erroneous criminal records. When employers make drastic decisions on the basis of such reports, they end up getting sued.
NAPBS accreditation reduces the likelihood of such errors. This is because in order to get accredited, companies have to demonstrate a commitment towards excellence, professionalism and thoroughness. They also have to demonstrate best practices in carrying out background checks. Part of the audit process involves crosschecking the accuracy of their credit reports. An accredited company is therefore more likely to produce accurate reports.
The third is in terms of privacy and data protection.
The recent spike in data breaches hasn’t spared the background checking industry. In 2014, a background checking company was tricked into sending private information of millions of Americans to a fraudulent company based in Vietnam. The data ended up being sold to identity thieves. Basically, selecting a sloppy company can expose an employer to such data breaches – with serious security consequences and possible lawsuits.
NAPBS accreditation can provide an employer with some level of assurance about a company’s data protection capabilities. This is because part of the accreditation process involves an information security audit. This includes aspects like data security, electronic access control, password protocols, physical security and record destruction. Although it is impossible to rule out data breaches, accreditation means that a company has many externally vetted security measures in place.
In a nutshell, NAPBS accreditation can offer employers an assurance that a background checking company is capable of providing reliable services. Given the recent spike of background check related class actions and lawsuits against employers, such an assurance is what responsible employers now look out for.
By getting NAPBS accredited, Crimcheck has now cemented its position as one of the truly reliable background checking companies. When combined with its track record of providing quality services and its reputation for offering customized solutions, the accreditation places it among top background checking service providers in the industry.
The PBSA was formed in 2003 as a not-for-profit association with the aim helping background screening companies to share best-practices. It is currently composed of more than 700 companies from around the world which offer employment, tenant and background screening. PBSA provides a number of programs aimed at fostering ethics, compliance and best practices in background screening. It is also deeply involved in the development of local, regional and global standards. More information about PBSA activities can found on its official website, https://www.pbsa.org/.