Top 10 Police Background Check Disqualifiers

In our fast-paced and increasingly transient, global society, ensuring the safety of our citizens in our companies, institutions, and organizations is more paramount than ever.  

Applying the same due diligence to the background screening process as you would to the hiring process is key to safety and security.

However, given that the background screening industry is highly unregulated and not standardized, police disqualifiers are the best possible criteria to not only screen for criminal records and potential danger but to ensure the best possible background check.  

To start, here is a list of the most common police background check disqualifiers:

  • Felony convictions

  • Serious misdemeanors

  • Current drug use or past drug abuse

  • Dishonorable discharge from military service

  • Bad credit history

  • History of domestic violence

  • Not clean driving license

  • Unreported past crimes

  • Past or current gang affiliations

  • Poor employment record

  • Incorrect, false or incomplete information given on the application form

Top 10 Police Background Check Disqualifiers

To further ensure the best possible background check, here are 10 criteria to follow when evaluating the best background check companies:


1. Define the best background check

A comprehensive background check includes social security number verification to validate identity, address history, and alternative names, as well as a multi-state or national criminal database search AND county criminal search.

The scope of the search should extend as far back as the records allow (possibly 10-30 years depending on the jurisdiction).


2. Instant Information is not comprehensive; Criminal databases are a tool, not a criminal background check

There is not a single criminal database, even the FBI database, containing all criminal records. 

Over half of U.S. states provide limited information to proprietary criminal databases which include the Department of Correction and sex offender registry records.

Some states provide records from select counties and a handful of states provide criminal data from their Administrative Office of the Courts. 


3. Evaluate cost as an investment in your people’s safety 

Background checks do not have to be hugely expensive, but those that are $7 or less do not ensure a comprehensive search and do not qualify as up-to-date under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  

4. Search as extensively in the past and recent future as possible

Though the background screening industry standard is 7 years, it is critical that the search provides an accurate snapshot of the applicant’s background.

A sex offender with a record of more than 10 years old is crucial information, so filtering records through national, state, and county criminal databases, as well as through the FCRA is essential.  

Click here for more on background checks from Safe Hiring Solutions.


5. Check all names and aliases

Searching the name provided is simply not enough. Including alias names to mitigate the risk of an unsuitable employee, volunteer, or vendor/visitor is key

6. Criminal database configuration for DOB and Name-Match 

Proprietary databases are usually configured to search with name and DOB.

However, many states do not provide full DOB’s when they report records, with some providing no DOB and others providing partial.

If a database is configured for full DOB, then data from these states will often be excluded.

Using a database that is configured to search for a name and DOB match, then research and void the DOB and look for name-match only. 

7. Screening employees handling sensitive data 

The background screening process for this type of employee or a visitor who has a higher level of access than another is simply not enough.

The screening process must include individual interviews with the hiring supervisor and the head of the company/organization/institution, an additional extensive background check including references, employment and education background checks, credit reports, national and state criminal background check including criminal database, federal courts, and ALL counties of current and past residence, and motor vehicle records.  

8. Handling the sensitive data for background check processing

All organizations should maintain an ongoing security certification of their online system like CyberTrust, or SAS 70 Type II or SSAE 16 which exceeds the requirements of the standard SAS 70. 

9. Providing educational information on legal compliance

Background screening firms, which are defined as Consumer Reporting Agencies under the FCRA, are required to have a service agreement with all of their clients that address issues related to FCRA compliance.

Because of the amount of information and its complexity, it is key for end users to have access to online training tutorials, webinars, sample forms and information provided here to help comply with the FCRA, EROC, and state and local laws. 

 10. Individual, personal service over automation

Having a Client Services Representative responsible for processing reports, answering questions via email or phone and ensuring reports are processed in a timely manner is a key differentiator.  

Setting the highest standards for workplace and school safety starts with implementing the most comprehensive background check possible used by our law enforcement. 

Implement comprehensive background checks

Leveraging the most cutting-edge technology for identity verification (such as biometrics for palm and facial recognition), as well as for visitor management software, are also critical differentiators when evaluating the best possible background check companies.

We expect our law enforcement to set the highest standards to protect and serve us, so establishing the same standards in our workplaces and schools is the best way to protect and serve your own people.  

Whether it’s your employees, students, ministry, patients… ensuring their safety starts with the background check.

For more on how you can implement comprehensive background checks in your business, click here.