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How Often Are Background Checks Updated?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Mar 08, 2019

Background Check Updates

To individuals and businesses alike, background checks can be a mystery. Where are consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) or background screening companies getting their information? How accurate is the data? Is there a reason to update a background check on an employee? Just how well do you know your employees? At VeriFirst, our mission is to be a trusted and transparent screening provider so let's dive into these questions.

How often are background checks updated and where is the information coming from?

Where Do Background Checks Come From?

Consumer reporting agencies or background check companies obtain their information from a variety of sources. There isn't one single database that contains every bit of data on every individual. Some of the data is provided when applicants fill out applications, send resumes or fill out other required forms for employment. Education and employment records come from the schools and employers themselves. Credit reports are supplied by credit bureaus. Criminal records are obtained at the federal, national, state, county and local level, including a number of databases, court records and watch lists.

Do Background Checks Get Updated?

The databases and other sources that contain background check data are updated at various times. For instance, education records are typically stagnant unless the applicant is still in school. Employment records change as often as the applicant switches jobs. Creditors may report new information to credit bureaus every 30 days. Criminal records are a little bit tricky because there is no national criminal database and fingerprinting doesn't always reveal accurate data. Depending on the jurisdiction, state, county or local court records may or may not be reported to the FBI database. Because the actual background data can be updated daily, weekly or monthly, CRAs like VeriFirst go directly to the source to obtain information on applicants. 

See also: What's included in a National Criminal Background Search?

Should I Rescreen My Employees for Updated Information?

VeriFirst recommends rescreening on an annual basis if the job or position warrants it. We also make recommendations to our clients when developing a rescreening policy. For instance, you may consider rescreening for updated information if:

  • Long term employees were never screened
  • An employee is taking on new responsibilities (such as driving, having access to financial records, etc)
  • There was violence in the workplace, a workplace accident or the employee is suspected of violating substance abuse policies

In these cases, the employee's background check information (driver's license records, credit history, criminal history, drug testing) needs to be updated. Other searches can be excluded on the rescreen if they’ve already been requested during the initial hire. For example, there would not be a need to re-run Employment Verification or Education Verification as that data has not changed.

Work with VeriFirst for Updated Background Checks

At VeriFirst, we check and double check for accurate data on background checks. We do all of the leg work required to obtain the most up-to-date information so you can be confident that you know who you're hiring.

In addition, VeriFirst provides a complimentary Online Consent platform for applicants and employees to authorize the background check. The consent language can be customized to include language allowing the periodic re-screening of the employee, or if the company chooses to obtain a new consent form, we can automatically send it to the employee on an annual basis. This process helps maintain FCRA compliance for the employer.

Let us know how we can help!

Topics: Human Resources, Types of Background Checks