Why Use an NAPBS Accredited Firm as a Background Screening Provider?
What’s all that ruckus you ask, well PreCheck’s been celebrating. If you haven’t heard, in early May 2013, we were awarded industry accreditation from the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). As the individual responsible for coordinating the accreditation effort in my firm, I could go on and on about the labor, the hours, the effort, the blood, sweat, and tears. But other than those who’ve suffered through a similar plight and emerged victorious, no one would care. Those of us who’ve borne the responsibility of spearheading any audit or accreditation effort recognize in each other the soul-draining effects of that monolithic project. And if we come out of it alive and kicking, we gain instant membership into a brethrenhood of survivors—a special breed, we are.
So I won’t bore those non-members of this elite-class with the gory details of accreditation, but I will share why it even matters. As an employer using or looking for a background screening firm, why does NAPBS Accreditation matter?
Now, it’s crossed my mind to deliver the expected marketing spiel about “the benefits of accreditation,” but since I have this opportunity to tell you in my own voice, let me give it to you straight. My pledge to you in this piece: no marketing fluff. I will keep this as simple and straightforward as possible as not to waste your time or insult your intelligence. As the person in my company who lobbied for accreditation and who saw it through, this is my list of why I think employers should use an NAPBS accredited firm.
Top 5 Reasons to Use an NAPBS Accredited Firm for Background Checks
- 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.
All 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.
- They operate above industry standards. Achieving accreditation comes down to demonstrating that the firm’s operations meets or exceeds industry best practice. This part is pretty straight forward. If the firm wasn’t up to snuff, it had to implement a better way.
- They take security and privacy concerns seriously. Again, it’s easy to make unverified promises about privacy protection. And 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.
- 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.
- They are committed to their industry. You may think accreditation is strictly about an individual firm distinguishing itself from its competition in the sea of background check companies. That’s absolutely true. But you should also know that for those of us who are active members of NAPBS, like myself, we are in fact rooting for our colleagues in the industry to reach accreditation as well. We know the more firms that get accredited, the more the public will understand that ours is an industry that is committed to doing things right. In the long run, after many more companies have become accredited, it’ll be apparent which firms aren’t making the cut, whether they can’t or simply can’t be bothered.
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. There you have it, employers. Now you know what separates the men from the boys.