In 2003, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) was founded to promote the cause of objective third-party screening services. The organization also provided guidance to background check professionals about maintaining ethical standards and staying on the right side of the law while conducting their candidate screening exercise.
NAPBS was re-named as Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) in 2019.
A certified background check is vital to hire. Less than 3% of the thousands of consumer reporting agencies you could partner with are accredited. That means that 98% of background check companies are under no obligation to provide you with accurate information. These companies don’t have certifications that protect your company’s interests or your employee’s rights—Leaving you liable.
Each year, U.S. employers request millions of background checks. And each year, improper background check practices result in thousands of FCRA lawsuits and millions owed by employers.
Accreditation is an important seal of approval to look for because it offers unbiased validation that we are actually doing what we promise. The best way to ensure an accurate and efficient onboarding process is to work with an accredited screening company.
What is PBSA Accreditation?
PBSA Accreditation means consumer protection, a commitment to best practices, and compliance with state and federal laws.
This seal of approval comes from The Professional Background Screening Association. (PBSA). Governed by a strict and thorough set of professional standards and requirements, this program is the widely recognized seal of approval. Having PBSA accreditation recognizes an employment screening organization’s commitment to achieving excellence through high standards.
To qualify, consumer reporting agencies must pass rigorous onsite audits of their policies and procedures. The accreditation process is a demanding and labor-intensive exercise in patience, perseverance, organizational efficiency, and attention to detail—that is why many background screening companies don’t bother.
If you have compliant practices, then an PBSA accredited company is for you.
Why is Accreditation Important?
A screening company’s PBSA accreditation shows more than just organizational integrity. It shows the ongoing commitment to protect the interests of your company and the rights of your employee.
PBSA Accredited background screeners have proven expertise, a positive compliance history, and systems in place to align with current State and Federal regulations. The background screening company must show a documented understanding of, and compliance with, all federal and state laws that pertain to hiring decisions.
Imagine what could happen if you partnered with a non-accredited screening company to perform a background check on one of your employees. That screening company might give you information connected to a different individual with the same name. This bad information could lead to the loss of a great hire or could even leave your business liable.
How Does It Benefit Your Business?
Employers need to know that while there are many ways to perform a background check, some of these ways are a waste of time and resources—so some companies could take advantage of you.
A quick Internet search for “background check” will produce many companies. Be wary of claims to provide a “free” or “immediate” background check on anyone in the country. Sometimes companies perform searches with limited or incomplete records, using sources that are available to the public. The information that you get from these companies may not be very reliable.
Not all background checks are the same. Working with a PBSA accredited ﬁrm translates into higher quality background checks, better customer service, stronger client education, and less risk for your hiring decisions, as well as supporting your commitment to minimizing risk in the workplace.
How Do You Know If a Company Is Accredited?
Be sure to ask your employment screening partner about their accreditation status. You can also look for the seal on their website.