Who should utilize this service?
Is it legal?
Does it invade privacy?
Does it discourage good applicants?
Is it difficult to implement?
Does it delay hiring?
How do I know the results are accurate?
How do I conduct a search?
How long does it take to get reports?
How is NAPS, Inc. qualified to do this?
How up-to-date is the information I will receive from you?
Are there any costs involved in joining your services?
Is it cost effective?
If I am looking for a search not listed on your website, can you help me?
What are some of the statistics & rulings related to not screening applicants?
What searches should be included for an effective screening program?
How do I decide whether to run a county, statewide or federal criminal search?
Do I Need To Get A Signed Release To Run A Background Check?
Do I Need To Fax You The Release My Applicant Signed?
What If I Decide Not To Hire Or Rent To The Individual?
How Long Will Completed Reports Be Stored In Your System?
How does the consumer dispute the results?
What is Negligent Hiring?
What is Negligent Retention?

Learn from yesterday, live for today,
hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.


- Albert Einstein


Who should utilize this service?
In general, the information is provided to employers or rental property owners/managers who intend to use the information for an FCRA-permitted purpose. In addition, every business can benefit by managing risk through background screening. Our clients represent a wide variety of industries and range in size from small proprietorships to multi-million dollar corporations. Renting to someone or hiring someone poses inherent risks by exposing you and all of your tenants, employees, visitors and customers to someone who may not have been honest with you when you initially screened them. Our services are not provided to home-based businesses. If you operate your business from your home, you will not be granted access to our services.


Is it legal?
Employers have an absolute right to conduct lawful Applicant Screening in order to hire the best-qualified candidates. A federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) balances the right of employers to know whom they hire with an applicant's right of disclosure and privacy. Under that law, the employer first obtains the applicant's written consent to be screened. In the event negative information is found, the applicant must be given the opportunity to correct the record. Employers should set up a consistent policy so similarly situated applicants are treated the same.


Does it invade privacy?
No. Employers can find out about only those things that an applicant has done in his "public" life. For example, checking court records for criminal convictions or calling past employers or schools does not invade a zone of personal privacy. Employers are looking only at information that is a valid and non-discriminatory predictor of future job performance. Employers should take steps to maintain confidentially within their organization, such has keeping reports in a separate file from the personnel files.


Does it discourage good applicants?
Employers who engage in screening do not find that good applicants are deterred. Job applicants have a desire to work with qualified and safe co-workers in a profitable environment. A good candidate understands that applicant screening is a sound business practice that helps a firm's bottom line and is not an invasion of privacy or an intrusion.

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Is it difficult to implement?
For an overburdened HR, security, or risk-management department already handling numerous tasks, outsourcing Applicant Screening can be done very quickly and effectively. NAPS can set up the entire program and provide all the necessary forms in a short period of time. NAPS, Inc. employs an Internet-based system that speeds up the flow of information and allows an employer to track the progress of each applicant in real time.


Does it delay hiring?
No. Applicant screening is normally done in just 48 to 72 hours. Most of the information needed, must be obtained by going to courthouses, calling past employers or schools. Occasionally there can be delays that are out of anyone's control, such as previous employers who will not return calls, schools that are closed for vacation, or a court clerk who needs to retrieve a record from storage. Furthermore, an organization that is careful in its hiring practices should find a lower rate of "hits" during applicant screening checks. There are a number of steps a firm should take to ensure safe hiring well before a name is submitted. These techniques include making it clear your firm does applicant screening checks in order to filter your applicant pool, knowing the "red flags" to look for in an application, and asking questions in interviews that will sort out problem candidates.


How do I know the results are accurate?
A full internal review of results is conducted before they are reported to the customer. Any discrepancy in results is sent back for further oversight before it can be reported.


How do I conduct a search?
Once you sign the NAPS, Inc. FCRA user agreement and undergo the site inspection of your commercial business location, you are able to run searches with us. Any search conducted must have a signed release from the person being checked. Searches can be ordered via XML Interface, fax, email, and computer remote software or over the Web.


How long does it take to get reports?
In most cases results will be returned in 24-72 hours. In some cases, employer assisted verifications; county court clerk or state repository searches may have delayed results and can take a little longer. Our daily status reports will keep you updated as to the current status and reason for delay.

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How is NAPS, Inc. qualified to do this?
NAPS, Inc. is a federally regulated Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for the purpose of providing tenant and pre-employment screening information in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal guidelines, confidentiality and mandates as stipulated within applicable statutes.


How up-to-date is the information I will receive from you?
Our results are gathered directly from the source, at the time of request. NAPS, Inc. provides the most current up-to-date information available. We maintain no proprietary database of static information. Going to the primary source every time ensures you receive the most accurate and reliable information possible.


Are there any costs involved in joining your services?
NAPS, Inc. is obligated under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and the national credit bureaus to make sure any Motor Vehicle Driving Records, Social Security Number Verifications or Credit Reports we provide, are being utilized by our clients, strictly in compliance with the permissible purpose of tenant screening or employment screening. The national credit bureaus require any new or potential clients to abide by the following before gaining access to credit reports:

  • Client must have a secure, commercial office. We cannot provide consumer reports to clients operating out of their homes or in an unprotected office location.
  • Client must agree to have their office inspected by a third party inspector for all locations where Consumer Reports will be delivered. We invoice a one-time inspection fee, typically $75-100 depending on the location of the office. (High-volume users may have this fee waived under certain site restrictions) Clients who relocate their office must undergo a re-inspection, conducted at the new address.
  • Client must provide a verifiable and valid business license, charter, tax ID statement, current tax records or articles of incorporation.
  • Client must provide NAPS with a signed and properly worded release form from the applicant for any motor vehicle driving record, social security number verifications or credit reports that are ordered. NAPS can provide a proper release form upon request.

Is it cost effective?
Applicant screening will typically cost less than the expenditure of a new employee on his or her first day on the job. That is a minor cost compared to the damage one bad hire can cause. Employers typically only screen an applicant if a decision has been made to extend an offer. It is strange that some firms will spend hours shopping for the right piece of office equipment and at the same time try to save money by not adequately checking out a job applicant, which represents one of their most important and sizable investments. The bottom line is that problem employees usually cause most employee problems, and your money is well spent to avoid these problems in the first place.


If I am looking for a search not listed on your website, can you help me?
We are always adding additional services, if you request something related to employment that we can't help you with, we will refer you to someone who can.

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What are some of the statistics & rulings related to not screening applicants?
Employers in some industries using criminal record checks as a part of their hiring process are finding that 1 out of every 9 applicants has a criminal record. According to the US Department of Justice, acquaintances or individuals well known to the victims committed 54% of violent workplace crimes reported. Relatives of the victims committed only 1% of violent workplace crimes.


What searches should be included for an effective screening program?
For your convenience, we have developed some general recommendations that will help you avoid the liability of negligent hiring. To make sure your objectives will be fully met, give us a call to discuss your organization's purpose for screening and desired results.

Entry level: SSN, Criminal Record, Driving Record (MVR), Prior Employer Verification, and Drug Screen.
Warehouse / Production:
Credit Report, Criminal Record, Driving Record (MVR), Prior Employer Verification, Workers' Compensation*, and Drug Screen *Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies that the prospective employer may inquire into workers' compensation history only after a job offer has been made.
Management: Credit Report, Criminal Record, Civil Search, Prior Employer Verification, Education Verification, Driving Record (MVR), and Drug Screen. Additional searches, as appropriate: Education, Credential and License Verification.
Employees never checked before: SSN (or Credit Report on employees handling valuables), Criminal Record, Driving Record (MVR) for Drivers and Drug Screen.
Periodic Checks: A regularly scheduled check of Driving Records, Drug Screen or Credit Report may reveal changes in behavior that might require some corrective action or attention. - Driving Records should be checked at least twice a year - Access to drugs or valuable items? Credit check and random Drug Screen at least every three months.


How do I decide whether to run a county, statewide or federal district criminal search?
County and Statewide searches involve criminal records containing similar misdemeanor and felony conviction information, while federal records will involve crimes, such as, those against the government, financial institutions, mail fraud or large scale criminal activities and others. While County and Statewide products will generally yield the same case information on a subject and Federal searches will only be found at the federal court level, your chances of finding criminal record information will be greater if you follow these simple guidelines:

If you are relatively certain your subject was tried for a criminal offense in a particular county, choose that county for a criminal records search. This is where the actual court records are filed and are hand-checked by our qualified court records researcher.

If you are relatively confident your subject was tried for a criminal offense in a particular state, but are unsure of which county, or if the subject has moved around the state several times, try a statewide criminal search. This search has a much wider geographical focus and will likely cover every county courthouse in the state. A statewide criminal search is more cost-effective than ordering several county criminal searches. However, each state has different requirements regarding how quickly counties need to report court record information. Please note: not all states require their county courts to report information to their statewide criminal repository. Therefore, statewide searches should not be solely relied upon. In addition, statewide criminal record information may not be available in all states. The most comprehensive search will be a combination of county, statewide and federal searches.

The biggest difference between statewide and county criminal records has to do with how quickly criminal records are made available and whether or not enough information is supplied to the state to properly identify your subject. When a person is convicted of a criminal offense the trial takes place at the county level. When a person has been convicted, this court record information is generally filed and made available at the county courthouse shortly after the conviction. However, the county courthouse may not report this criminal record information to the statewide criminal repository for several days or weeks. Each state has different requirements regarding how quickly counties need to report court record information. Further, if local authorities arrest a subject and the nature of the crime is under the jurisdiction of the federal authorities, you will need to order a district federal court search to find the record.


Do I Need To Get A Signed Release To Run A Background Check?
Yes, In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act you must have the applicant's express written permission to access any of their background check information when making a decision. You must keep this signed release form on file for at least three years if you do not rent to or hire the individual. If you do rent to or hire the individual, you should keep their signed release form in their file for as long as they remain a tenant or are employed with your organization. For more information on disclosure and authorization, click here.


Do I Need To Fax You The Release My Applicant Signed?
Generally speaking, no. There are a few searches where we require a signed release form in order to complete your request. From time to time, under our reseller compliance contracts, we may request copies of the documents for audit purposes. We prefer to receive a copy of the release, at the time of request, in order to meet the timeliness of an audit and eliminate the need to request a copy from our customer.

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What If I Decide Not To Hire Or Rent To The Individual?
Then you will be required to follow the FCRA guidelines for taking pre-adverse and post adverse action against the individual. This is unquestionably one of your most important responsibilities and failure to abide by these requirements may lead to fines and or imprisonment. For more information on how to comply, click here.


How Long Will Completed Reports Be Stored In Your System?
Web-based clients have the capacity to archive results for future retrieval so you will never have to worry about losing a completed background check. For all other clients, all of your completed reports are stored indefinitely. Therefore, access to previous reports is simply a phone call away.


How does the consumer dispute the results?
Our office is not routinely notified and is unaware when a client takes adverse action against a consumer. Therefore, when a consumer believes the reported information is inaccurate or requires further investigation, our client must refer the consumer to NAPS to ensure the accuracy of the item or, in the case of inaccuracy, removal of the item in dispute. Under the laws of the FCRA, consumers have the right to dispute the accuracy of our information and may do so in writing or FAX by downloading our Applicant Request for Disclosure/Dispute Form, or by contacting our office via email: dispute@nationalaps.com. Consumers can view our written commitment to ensuring their rights are protected under the FCRA by clicking here.


What is Negligent Hiring?
Negligent Hiring is the failure to properly screen employees. It is the common term referring to the trend of courts holding employers liable for the acts of their employees. This stems from the concept that the background of the employee contains facts that should have disqualified them for the position in which they were placed.


What is Negligent Retention?
Retaining an employee after the employer became aware of the employee’s unsuitability, thereby failing to act on that knowledge.

Companies, large and small, understand the benefits of providing a safe and secure living or workplace for their employees, tenants, shareholders, and communities where they operate. A key element is to uncover as much about the individual before hiring or renting to them. A company who has performed a thorough background check on its applicants is more likely to hire a highly skilled person who will prove to be a tremendous asset or a responsible and reliable tenant. Unfortunately, absent a sufficient background check, that same employer or landlord runs the risk of exposing his or her organization to someone who could ultimately become the organization’s greatest liability.

Employers can and are being held liable for the willful misconduct of their employees, even if the employee’s actions occur outside the scope or place of employment. In the last few years more lawsuits have been on the rise. These lawsuits typically arise when an employee commits an unlawful or improper act of conduct.

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LEGAL NOTICE: NAPS is not acting as legal counsel and cannot provide legal advice. Customers should recognize the importance of working with counsel to develop an employment/tenant screening program specific to their needs. NAPS encourages its customers to work with their legal counsel to ensure that client’s policies and procedures related to the use of CRA-provided information are in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.


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