Study Confirms Accuracy of Background Checks


The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has announced the results of a recent study affirming the accuracy of background checks and refuting a report issued by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) that accused background screeners of routinely making mistakes.

The NAPBS report, scheduled to be released later this summer, found that 98 percent of background screening providers surveyed encountered consumer disputes less than 5 percent of the time out of millions of background checks performed annually, and more than 95 percent of those disputed background check reports were ultimately found to be accurate.

The NAPBS study, validated by market research agency Mathew Greenwald & Associates in Washington D.C., is a response to a report from the NCLC released in April 2012, titled Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses, which claimed that 65 million Americans with criminal records were “forever tarnished and unemployable as a result of background checks.” The report also said that “actual accuracy rates are not possible to obtain.”

According to NAPBS, the NCLC allegation that criminal background checks make it more difficult for workers to obtain employment is not supported by fact since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stepped up enforcement against employers who discriminate based on criminal history. And, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires background screening companies to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information in a background check. The FCRA also requires employers using background screening companies to follow specific adverse action procedures that give applicants a chance to dispute the contents of reports and protect them from being denied employment based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

“The NAPBS study reveals an astoundingly high accuracy rate that shows how incredibly inaccurate the NCLC report was,” commented Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources and author of The Safe Hiring Manual.