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What Types of Background Checks are there?

Apr 30, 2017

There are many different types of background checks that may be required for certain positions, both in the corporate world and in public service. Below is a summary of the types of screenings and their sources of information.

Different Types of Background Checks

Background checks for employment 

These are among the most common types of background checks. Checks typically cover criminal history, social security number verification, education verification, and character references. Pre-employment background checks vary based on the employer. Some jobs require specific checks, such as driving records for employment in trucking.

Criminal Background Checks 

Criminal background checks include county, state, and/or federal records. Criminal records will include information regarding, arrests, convictions, court records, warrants, sex offenses, and incarceration records.

Unfortunately, not all states have county records on file. However, all state courts will have records of all crimes prosecuted at the state level. Most national background checks actually search each state’s database as access to national databases is restricted. Interestingly, only 46 states actually have electronic databases. Court records must be reviewed in person in Delaware, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Tenant Background Checks 

Many landlords or property management companies will require background checks for potential tenants. A typical review is done of criminal records and recent credit reports.They may also contact past landlords and/or personal references.

Childcare Background Checks 

Childcare workers undergo extensive screenings.Requirements vary by state, but most include state criminal background checks, state and federal fingerprint checks, a child abuse and neglect list check, and state and federal sex offender checks.

Volunteer Organization Background Checks 

NGOs and religious organizations tend to screen volunteers who will be working with vulnerable populations, such youth and the elderly. Criminal records and personal references are most commonly used, though it varies by organization. 

Gun Sales Background Checks

Any one purchasing a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee must have a background check done using the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.

Security Clearance Background 

Jobs that require security clearance, particularly government jobs, require extensive screenings. In-person interviews will likely accompany multiple background checks.

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