Don't Lose Your Quiz Results!

Your quiz progress and results have not been saved, so if you leave the page, you'll have to start over.


Print Results Close This alert will not appear again.
Know Your Candidate. Select With Confidence.

Call us at 877-439-3900

Get Graded - Take the Background Screening Quiz!

About the Quiz
There are 10 questions that can be answered with Yes, No or I Don't Know. It's okay to answer "I don't know." We'll help you determine your process and practices in your current program during your free assessment! Depending on your answers, you will receive a letter grade in addition to best practices for each topic covered.


Tools to Help with the Quiz
Collapse Tools

Defined Terms - Questions may reference terms, practices or regulations relating to background screening; we've defined them for you. Just hover over the underlined term to reveal the definition.

Examples - When possible, we have provided examples for each question to assist you with recognizing if your organization does or does not follow that practice.


Quiz Progress:

Question One:

The quality of the screen matters. Not all background checks are the same. Does the scope of your screen include these recommended minimum requirements for background screening?

Address History Trace (AHT)
Why it's important: Because an AHT creates a profile of an individual's residence history; this profile determines what jurisdictions should be searched.

County Searches
Why it's important: Because county courts are considered the official court of record; most cases are filed and maintained here, meaning the most complete and accurate information is located at the county level.

Nationwide Criminal Record Locator
Why it's important: Because supplementing a county search with databases casts a wider net and helps find more records.

National Sex Offender Database
Why it's important: Because searching every available sex offender registry in real-time provides maximum protection from registered sex offenders gaining access to your applicants. A database-only search of sex offender registries could have gaps because of infrequent updates.

Screening Tip: Don't depend on applicants to provide their past addresses. An AHT is a better means to uncovering a person's residence history.

Question Two:

Do you use a national database, state repository or the FBI database as a primary source?

Examples of using these databases as a primary source:
In Washington state, many schools screen applicants via the database of the Washington State Police only.
In Louisiana, many districts fingerprint applicants, checking records against their state repository and the FBI database.

Why it's important: Because screens should NOT consist of database searches only; it should be a combination of county level and database searches.

Screening Tip: When using a national database as one of many sources, any records found should always be verified at the court of record to ensure the record does belong to your applicant and you have the most current data.

Question Three:

Names really matter in background screening. Do your searches include AKAs?

Why it's important: Because everyone doesn't always use the same name! And not every applicant will provide all AKAs. Having as many possible names to search increases your chances of finding records that may have otherwise been missed.

Screening Tip: Automated AKA searches help you find more relevant records than just searching names provided by an applicant.

Question Four:

Does your background screen include an "instant" check?

Examples of Instant checking:
Visitor management systems often include an instant background check by swiping a driver's license.

Why it's important: Because anything instant is rarely reliable.

Screening Tip: Instant checks often produce false alarms, wasting time and resources. Never depend on an instant check as a reliable method for screening.

Question Five:

Does your background screening process include paper registration, release or consent forms that require applicants to provide personally identifiable information (PII)?

Examples of Paper PII Trails:
Many districts require applicants to complete a paper registration form that may ask for their full name, address, SSN and DOB. The paper form then must be submitted.

Why it's important: Because paper forms are a real hassle; forms floating around with PII could fall into the wrong hands, potentially leading to risk of identity theft.

Screening Tip: Protect the privacy of applicants by providing an online portal where applicants can enter their own information.

Question Six

Do you offer a dispute process for applicants if they have been precluded based on their criminal background check?

Examples of Dispute Process:
Districts may send a copy of the report to anyone who was denied employment due to their background check and would also provide a means for them to respond to the report, either online, in person or by mail.

Why it's important: Because reports can sometimes be inaccurate. Depending on the source of the data, it may be incomplete. The offense may not even belong to the person in question as well. It's best to make decisions based on reliable and complete information.

Screening Tip: Have a clear appeals policy documented in your screening program so that applicants understand what steps to take to initiate a dispute.

Question Seven

Do you provide, upon request, a copy of the background check to applicants who have been denied employment?

Why it's important: Because applicants have a right to know what information on the background check may be preventing them from being accepted.

Screening Tip: During the registration process, provide information to applicants about how they can request a copy of the report.

Question Eight

Do you or a third party send Adverse Action notification letters to those who do not meet applicant guidelines?

Examples of Adverse Action notifications:
If a report uncovers an offense that would disqualify an applicant, FCRA requires a Pre Adverse notification to include the FCRA Summary of Rights and a copy of the report so that the individual may respond to the report prior to being adversely affected.

Why it's important: These notifications are required by the FCRA; non-compliance is monitored by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and can result in fines. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to correct erroneous records.

Screening Tip: Automate Adverse Action notifications via a third party; meaning less paperwork for you and ensuring compliance.

Question Nine

Do you require a new background check for applicants at least every 24 months?

Why it's important: Because even if someone had a clean record two years ago, doesn't mean he or she has remained law abiding. People change; people get caught. A background check is simply a picture at that moment of a person's history.

Screening Tip: Rescreening is a best practice preventative for catching anything that occurred since the last screen. You can't depend on applicants to disclose any arrests, even if it is a policy.

Question Ten

Do you provide a visual card or credential which indicates that a volunteer's background check is approved and current?

Why it's important: Events that require volunteers can often be large and chaotic. Visual cards help identify who should be present and - more importantly - who should not.

Screening Tip: Volunteer cards can minimize the administrative burden of keeping up with Volunteer lists and sign-ins at events.
Print Results

Quiz Results

Based on the answers you submitted, your screening program receives:

Below you will find the best practice answers to each question. BIB created this quiz and best practice answers because of our commitment to quality screening in schools. If your score is not where it should be, or your risk exposure appears great, talk to us. We will gladly go over the questions where your program fell short. You can also sign up below to receive best practice updates and resources from BIB.




Question 1

The quality of the screen matters. Not all background checks are the same. Does the scope of your screen include these recommended minimum requirements for background screening applicants with access to vulnerable populations?

Address History Trace (AHT)
Why it's important: Because an AHT creates a profile of an individual's residence history; this profile determines what jurisdictions should be searched.

County Searches
Why it's important: Because county courts are considered the official court of record; most cases are filed and maintained here, meaning the most complete and accurate information is located at the county level.

Nationwide Criminal Record Locator
Why it's important: Because supplementing a county search with databases casts a wider net and helps find more records.

National Sex Offender Database
Why it's important: Because searching every available sex offender registry in real-time provides maximum protection from registered sex offenders gaining access to your students. A database-only search of sex offender registries could have gaps because of infrequent updates.

Answer: Yes, Your Screen Needs Each of These

There is no substitute to county level searches based on a jurisdictional profile created by an Address History Trace. A professional grade screen and the minimum recommendation for quality screening for any applicant with access to vulnerable populations should include all of these.

Question 2

Do you use a national database, state repository or the FBI database as a primary source?

Examples of using these databases as a primary source:
In Washington state, many schools screen applicants via the database of the Washington State Police only.
In Louisiana, many districts fingerprint applicants, checking records against their state repository and the FBI database.

Why it's important: Because screens should NOT consist of database searches only; it should be a combination of county level and database searches.

Answer: No, You Should Not Use a Database as a Sole Source

First, a nationwide, state or FBI database are just that, databases of collected data. These repositories are not the source of the data! In the case of a state database, arrest and disposition information must be sent by the county or local institution to the state. The FBI then must depend on each state to send it information. They are not collectors of data; they are receivers, meaning that the data is often stale, incomplete or missing. There is no nationwide database that covers every county in every state in the U.S. At best a national database may cover about 40% of the U.S. - the completeness and accuracy of this data cannot be certain unless verified at the court of record.

Additional Information to Keep in Mind Regarding Nationwide, State and FBI Databases:

  • Using a nationwide database as a means of discovery then verifying at the court of record is not a substitute for county level searches.
  • Counties like Maricopa in Arizona (Phoenix) DO NOT report to any repositories; any information about cases in this jurisdiction must be found at the county court. This county represents a population of over four million.
  • The U.S. Attorney General's Report on Criminal History Background Checks stated, "Notwithstanding disclaimers to the contrary, [FBI Background Check users] erroneously view the fingerprint-based record from a government repository as always current and reliable."
  • 23 states report that less than 60% of their arrest records include final disposition. (2010 U.S. Justice Department Study)
  • Misdemeanor offenses may be missing from FBI databases altogether because many states are not mandated to report these, and these arrests often do not include fingerprinting of the subject.
  • Many databases lack dispositions or final outcomes. It can take 665 days for a state to report a disposition to the FBI.

Question 3

Names really matter in background screening. Do your searches include AKAs?

Why it's important: Because everyone doesn't always use the same name! And not every applicant will provide all AKAs. Having as many possible names to search increases your chances of finding records that may have otherwise been missed.

Answer: Yes, Always Include AKAs

AKA searches are designed to detect information that may otherwise be overlooked because the candidate used a nickname, maiden name or other name variation. Many court and arrest records must be searched by name, as no other identifiers like DOB are included. Social Security numbers are rarely included in court records and are not used to search - another misconception in the process of background checks.

Allowing the applicant to provide the AKA names places the accuracy of the data on the applicant. This is data that may be omitted either intentionally or by mistake. AKA automation and name variation conducted during the screen is the best way to catch all records associated with an individual.

Question 4

Does your background screen include an "instant" check?

Examples of Instant checking:
Visitor management systems often include an instant background check by swiping a driver's license.

Why it's important: Because anything instant is rarely reliable.

Answer: No, You Should Not Use Instant Checks

There are significant dangers to using such a screen. An "instant" check is name based check against a database that is typically stagnant and updated infrequently.

Further, there is no vetting process in an "instant" check, meaning any record found has not been verified at the court of record to determine a final disposition or if the record actually belongs to the applicant in question. Not only does this type of search create a false sense of safety, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that in the event adverse information is to be reported on an applicant's background report, it must be "complete and up to date."

Question 5

Does your background screening process include paper registration, release or consent forms that require applicants to provide personally identifiable information (PII)?

Examples of Paper PII Trails:
Many districts require applicants to complete a paper registration form that may ask for their full name, address, SSN and DOB. The paper form then must be submitted, sometimes at the school level.

Why it's important: Because paper forms are a real hassle; forms floating around with PII could fall into the wrong hands, potentially leading to risk of identity theft.

Answer: No, You Should Not Use Paper Forms that require PII

Using paper forms in a background screen program has several risk factors:

Personal Data Security: Applicants are submitting personal information on a form that has to travel to many different sources: parent to child to teacher to office. There are many opportunities for this personal data to be exposed. There is also the need to safeguard these paper forms while they are in the possession of the school as well as ensure that are destroyed properly.

Errors in Entry: Paper forms indicate that manual data entry is being employed. With manual data entry, there is always the risk of error, which could lead to either missing records or pulling incorrect records.

Question 6

Do you offer a dispute process for applicants if they have been precluded based on their criminal background check?

Examples of Dispute Process:
Districts may send a copy of the report to anyone who was denied employment due to their background check and would also provide a means for them to respond to the report, either online, in person or by mail.

Why it's important: Because reports can sometimes be inaccurate. Depending on the source of the data, it may be incomplete. The offense may not even belong to the person in question as well. It's best to make decisions based on reliable and complete information.

Answer: Yes, You Should Offer a Dispute Process

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that applicants should be provided recourse to dispute any information found on a record that they allege is incorrect. The FCRA considers volunteers the same as employees.

Question 7

Do you provide, upon request, a copy of the background check to applicants who have been denied employment?

Why it's important: Because applicants have a right to know what information on the background check may be preventing them from employment.

Answer: Yes, This is Mandatory

If you do not provide an applicant a copy of the report, you could be in violation of The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which states that applicants have a right to request and receive a copy of their report. You are required to provide them with this notice.

Question 8

Do you or a third party send Adverse Action notification letters to those who do not meet applicant guidelines?

Examples of Adverse Action notifications:
If a report uncovers an offense that would disqualify an applicant, FCRA requires a Pre Adverse notification to include the FCRA Summary of Rights and a copy of the report so that the individual may respond to the report prior to being adversely affected.

Why it's important: These notifications are required by the FCRA; non-compliance is monitored by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and can result in fines. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to correct erroneous records.

Answer: Yes, This is Mandatory

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that if an adverse action occurs due to information on a background check, the individual should receive Adverse Action letters, which provide information on disputing any information found in the report.

Question 9

Do you require a new background check for applicants at least every 24 months

Why it's important: Because even if someone had a clean record two years ago, doesn't mean he or she has remained law abiding. People change; people get caught. A background check is simply a picture at that moment of a person's history.

Answer: Yes, You Should Rescreen

Best practices recommend an annual rescreen prior to each new school year. Districts should have a policy in place that requires any approved applicants to notify the organization if they are charged with any offense that would violate the background screen policy. However, organizations cannot simply depend on the individual divulging such information. Annual rescreens are an effective way to reduce risk associated with the wrong individuals accessing organizations and their vulnerable populations.

Question 10

Do you provide a visual card or credential which indicates that a Volunteer's background check is approved and current?

Why it's important: Events that require Volunteers can often be large and chaotic. Visual cards help identify who should be present and - more importantly - who should not.

Answer: Yes, You Should Provide Credentials

Employing ID cards for approved Volunteers is a great benefit. These cards are a quick way for Volunteers to be identified as approved when they are on campus.

Print Results