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NAPBS Accreditation: What it is and Why it Matters

So, you've decided to bring in an outside company to perform background checks on potential new hires.   As such a company, we applaud your decision for many reasons.  Feel free to browse through other blog posts here at CNet Technologies if you would like some insight into those reasons.  However, now you have to determine what company to hire for your pre-employment screening.  This can be tricky, particularly if it's your first time.

Fortunately, there's a fairly easy way to guarantee that the organization you are considering is above board.  The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has established a system by which to audit and accredit background screening companies that will help ensure that they are following important legislation and doing everything possible to prevent their clients (potentially you) any undue difficulties.

What is the NAPBS?

NAPBS_logo

Founded in 2003, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners established and enforces standards of ethics and performance for background screening companies, and also advocates for the interests of those companies.  The core members of NAPBS "are defined as 'consumer reporting agencies' (CRAs) pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and are regulated by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)."  The members range from small businesses to large corporations and number more than 900 organizations performing millions of background checks each year.                                                                                      

How Does Accreditation Work?

To become accredited by the NAPBS, a company must submit to a thorough inspection by an independent auditing firm secured by the association, in a process known as the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).  This firm will examine the company's processes and procedures as they relate to the six primary areas of NAPBS focus:   Information Security, Legal & Compliance, Client Education, Researcher & Data Standards, Verification Services, and Business Practices.  Only those companies that rigorously adhere to the strict standards of the NAPBS will achieve accreditation.  NAPBS accreditation applies for five years, with a surveillance audit conducted after three years to ensure that standards are being maintained.  Five years after the original accreditation, the process will repeat.

What Does It Mean for Me?

Hiring a NAPBS accredited company means that you have chosen an organization that is upstanding and trustworthy enough to submit itself to the high standards of the BSAAP and dedicated enough to adhere to it. Additionally, they have wisely allowed an organization oversight to their continuing operations, ensuring that they will continue to uphold these high standards.   

By ensuring that your background screening partner is adhering to the rules and regulations of the FCRA, FTC, and CFPB, the NAPBS helps protect your organization from missteps of the sort that can easily lead to costly litigation.  Further, they ensure that your partner in pre-employment screening is offering you the high quality of service reserved for the companies that are good enough to bear the NAPBS seal.