Assess allows you to define adjudication rules across your team, hiring location, or company. Use the Assess page to:
- Understand Assess values
- Understand the hierarchy of rules
- Set Eligible record display
- Create a new ruleset
- Assign rulesets to Geos, Programs, or Segments
- Publish your ruleset
- Duplicate rulesets
- View previous versions of rulesets
Checkr Assess allows you to streamline your team’s adjudication process by defining rules by which returned records will be evaluated. When displayed in the Checkr Dashboard, these records will then be tagged to indicate the result of this preprocessing.
Note: Only Admins and Adjudicators will see record-level assessments in the Dashboard.
When a report is complete, any records that have not been filtered by PAM are matched against your eligibility criteria rules, and assigned an outcome: “Eligible”, “Review”, or “Escalated”. The report is then assigned an overall outcome, based on the screenings included within it.
Rules may be created to evaluate Global Watchlist returns, Sex Offender Registry records, criminal, and Motor Vehicle Record returns. Records returned by Health Checks, Employment and Education Verifications, and other Checkr screening options which are not filtered by your Assess rules will be marked "Review".
The Assessment column on the Candidates page will list the results of these rules.
- Reports with no records returned will be tagged Clear.
- Reports with records returned that meet your criteria for Eligible, and without records that would be marked Review or Escalated, will be marked Eligible.
- Reports with at least one record marked Review, and without records marked Escalated, will be marked Review
- Reports with even one record marked Escalated will be marked Escalated.
Use the Assess page to define rules by which your eligibility criteria will be applied to candidate records. Then assign these rules to your Geos, Segments, or Programs to enforce standardized application across your adjudication teams.
Checkr Assess allows you to define adjudication rules which will be applied to records returned by criminal checks, employment and education verifications, motor vehicle records, criminal checks, and other Checkr screening options. Assess will then apply a color-coded tag to each returned record or screening result, and each candidate report with one of three Assessment values:
- Eligible: Your rules have determined that this record does not make the candidate ineligible for the position.
- Review: Your rules state that this record should be reviewed to evaluate whether it meets your adjudication criteria for the position.
- Escalated: Your rules have flagged this record as one requiring close evaluation before engaging the candidate.
Assess allows you to configure three types of rules:
- Fairness and Compliance Settings: Allow you to adopt certain predefined rules designed to align with emerging best practices and EEOC guidance on the consideration of criminal records. These rules may be applied globally across all criminal records.
- Lookback Period Rules: Allow you to set ‘age limits’ for each of 235 charge categories to be considered Eligible, Review, or Escalated. This allows you to customize your criteria by the age of the record, as well as the record type within each category.
- Custom Rules: Allow you to define custom rules which span charge categories, non-criminal screenings, lookback periods, and candidate age.
Hierarchy of rules
Checkr Assess follows a hierarchy of rules when a charge is assessed.
First, Checkr filters records based on compliance rules for your account. Then, if your account has enabled our Positive Adjudication Matrix, the rules from that Matrix are applied and filter any appropriate record from the report. Finally, your Assess rulesets are applied to any remaining records.
Assess rules are applied in the following order: First, your Fairness and Compliance Settings are evaluated. Next Custom Rules (excluding Counting Rules) are applied. Then, Lookback Period Rules are applied. When one of these rules is triggered, an assessment for the record is applied, and no further evaluation using these rules occurs for the record.
For example: If a record is marked Eligible by an implemented Fairness and Compliance Setting no other rule will be applied to the record. If a record is not evaluated by the Compliance Settings, but is marked Escalated by a Custom Rule, Lookback Period Rules will not be applied.
Counting rules are applied after all others, and are used to globally evaluate all returned records. When triggered, Counting rules may change the assessment of a record. For more information, please see Counting rules later in this document.
Set Eligible record display
To help reduce bias and enable your adjudicators to work more efficiently, Assess allows you to choose how records that are Eligible according to your rules are displayed or hidden in the default view of Records in the Checkr Dashboard.
Use the Settings window to select whether records marked Eligible by your rulesets should be Displayed, Concealed, or Removed. Select one of three options:
- Display Eligible records will display all records marked Eligible in their entirety in the Checkr Dashboard, Candidate Portal, and Report PDFs. These records will also be returned through the Checkr API.
- Conceal Eligible records in the Dashboard will include Eligible records in the Dashboard behind a "Show More" option. These records will be displayed in the Candidate Portal and report PDFs, and will be returned through the Checkr API.
- Remove Eligible records will remove Eligible records from all reports. They will not be included in the Checkr Dashboard, Candidate Portal, or report PDFs, and will not be returned through the Checkr API.
The Settings window provides examples of how these selections will appear in the Checkr Dashboard.
Create a new ruleset
Click Add a new Ruleset to create a ruleset.
- In the window that opens, enter a name for your ruleset, and click Create. This name must be unique within your account.
- Then, use the Assess Rulesets window to add a description, and define your Rules.
Set Fairness and Compliance Settings
The Fairness & Compliance Settings tab allows you to adopt predefined evaluation settings to quickly accept more records eligible for your hiring practices.
Use these settings to align your review procedures with EEOC Enforcement Guidance based on record outcome, severity, time since offense, and age at offense. These settings also reflect common compliance practices used by many employers, and allow your adjudicators to focus on a more fair evaluation of your candidates.
Click the caret to expand the bar for a more complete description of each option. Then, click the checkbox to indicate that you would like to apply the settings to your returned background check results. Records returned within the selected categories will be marked Eligible in the Checkr Dashboard. (Use the Custom Rules tab to create custom versions of these Settings for your account.)
The following options are available from the Fairness & Compliance Settings tab:
- Accept dismissed charges
- A dismissed disposition means the charge did NOT result in a conviction. This classification covers both dismissals and findings of non-guilt. For example, the court dropped the charge against the defendant or the defendant was found not guilty or responsible after trial.
- By allowing dismissed charges to meet your criteria, you can better align your evaluation practices to EEOC Enforcement Guidance that states the existence of a criminal record alone does not mean criminal conduct has occurred.
- Accept non-felony deferred / alternative adjudication charges
- A deferred or alternative adjudication charge has NOT resulted in a conviction. In most cases, deferred and alternative adjudications result in some form of court supervision instead of jail time and a criminal conviction. Upon successful completion, the charges are often dismissed.
- The entry of alternative judgment can show the court believes the defendant is a good candidate for rehabilitation and does not pose a danger to the community. By allowing non-felony dismissed alternative adjudication charges, you can better demonstrate your practice of giving careful consideration to the gravity of charges.
- Accept charges with less-than-misdemeanor severity
- These are the lowest level severity charges, such as infractions, may include both convictions and non-convictions, and are typically punishable only by fines.
- Removing lower severity charges from your evaluation can both expand your funnel and better align your practices to consider the gravity of the charge as the more important factor.
- Accept non-felony marijuana possession charges
- Marijuana possession is a specific category of criminal charges and can be either a conviction or a non-conviction. This classification does not include cultivation or sale.
- Removing lower level marijuana possession charges can help you to better align your evaluation practices with the changing landscape of legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use.
- Accept non-felony drug possession and paraphernalia charges
- Non-felony charges may be either convictions or non-convictions. This setting combines specific categories of criminal charges (Drug Possession, Intent to Possess Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Drug without Prescription) with severity (charge level).
- With this setting, you will allow lower level drug possession charges to meet your criteria, and help you to better align your practices with both job relatedness and charge severity.
- Accept charges older than 7 years
- The age of the charge itself is an important factor when evaluating candidates.
- By allowing charges that are older than 7 years to meet your criteria, you can align your evaluation practices to be consistent with a growing trend in state consumer protection laws and better demonstrate your policy that takes time since offense into consideration. Policies that create permanent exclusion from all employment based on any and all offenses are likely inconsistent with the business necessity standard and can create unintended consequences in the makeup of your workforce.
- Accept charges when candidate's age was under 23
- The age of the candidate at the time of offense is an important factor when evaluating eligibility. We can all acknowledge that our brains were still a "work in progress" when we were 18 years old.
- Selecting this option allows you to better align with the EEOC recommendation to consider factors such as the candidate’s age at the time of offense when determining employment for candidates with records.
- Accept pending charges
- Pending charges have not yet received a final adjudication (or outcome), and are either still being reviewed by the prosecutor or currently progressing through court.
- Allowing pending charges to meet your criteria helps you to avoid the possibility of disqualifying a candidate based on an assumption of guilt for a charge that does not yet have a verdict.
Set Lookback Period Rules
Use the Lookback Period Rules tab to configure lookback periods for 235 charge categories and 3 different charge severity classifications (felony, misdemeanor, and less-than-misdemeanor).
Lookback periods are measured as the number of years since the context date on a record. For criminal charges, the context date is the most recent event in the charge's history. For example, if the most recent event is the release date, the context date is the release date. If the most recent event is the arrest date, that is the context date.
By default, all charge categories are set to Review for your defined lookback periods. Importantly, setting an extended lookback period within Assess (such as 99 years) will not change your package scope configurations. For example, if you have ordered a 10 year scope package, extending your Assess Lookback configurations beyond 10 years has the effect of simply applying your defined assessment to all returned records within that category.
For each charge type, enter the number of years’ lookback period to define each Eligible or Escalated tag. Any records occurring between these two defined lookback periods will be set to Review.
Note: Click the charge type for a description of the category. These definitions are general descriptors for the charges identified within each charge category, and do not represent specific legal or statutory definitions for the crimes identified on consumer reports. Checkr recommends assigning lookback periods for each individual charge category.
For example, to define lookback periods for speeding records, click Vehicles & Traffic, then click Speeding.
Use the fields provided to enter lookback periods for charges more than the number of years entered in the Eligible column, and less than the number of years entered in the Escalated column. All charges falling between these two entries will be marked Review. Any cell without an assigned lookback period will default to Review.
For example: Enter “7” in the Eligible column, and “2” in the Escalated column to achieve the following result.
Note: To set a charge to always Eligible, enter “0” in the Eligible column. To set a charge to always Escalated, enter a “99” in the Escalated column.
In the following example:
- All Felony speeding records less than 7 years old will be marked Escalated, and all others will be marked Review. (Enter 7 for Escalated, and leave Eligible blank.)
- All Misdemeanor records more than 5 years old will be marked Eligible, less than two years old will be marked Escalated, and 2-5 years old will be marked Review. (Enter 5 for Eligible, and 2 for Escalated.)
- All speeding records that are less than misdemeanors will be marked Eligible. (Enter 0 for Eligible.)
Note: Escalated should be used sparingly, and is intended to indicate instances where you are unable to engage a candidate for legal or policy reasons.
Edit Lookback Period Rules
Once configured, click Export to export your Lookback Period Ruleset as a CSV. This CSV may be then be imported when creating new Lookback Rulesets.
Create Custom Rules
Custom Rules allow you to define rules which will apply across all charge categories and may include variables such as the number of offenses, the age of the record, and the candidate’s age at disposition.
Rules may include multiple conditions, all of which must be true to apply your selected Assessment.
Note: Escalated should be used sparingly, and is intended to indicate instances where you are unable to engage a candidate for legal or policy reasons.
Note: Custom rules will evaluate each charge for each candidate before your lookback period rules are applied. See Hierarchy of Rules for more information.
Click Create new rule to add a new custom rule.
- Enter a Rule name.
- Select an Assessment: Eligible, Review, or Escalated.
- Click Add a condition, and select a condition from the pulldown menu:
- Age at offense is
- Charge is
- Charge severity is
- Count is
- Disposition is
- Years since charge is
- MVR status was
- Registered on list
- Use the second pulldown menu to define the parameters of the condition. This menu will update automatically according to your selection in the first menu.
- Add more conditions to define your rule, and click Save.
Note: All conditions for a single rule must be met to resolve the selected Assessment.
Once saved, Checkr will display a synopsis of your rule. Use the icons to copy, edit, or delete the rule, if desired.
Use the Count is condition to define Custom Rules which will filter on the number of records returned for any selected category across the entire report.
Counting rules evaluate all records returned in a report and count those that match their conditions. The records on the report evaluated by count rules are not influenced in any way by other rules you may have (including Fairness & Compliance rules). The set of records counted by a triggered Counting rule may have their assessment changed. Counting rules may result in assessments for individual records changing from Eligible to Escalated or Review; they will never result in assessments moving from Escalated to Eligible or Review, or moving from Review to Eligible.
For example, create a lookback rule which states “mark speeding offenses more than 4 years old as Eligible", and a counting rule which states "Count is more than 3" with an Assessment of Review.
- If 3 speeding records greater than 4 years old are returned, they will be marked Eligible, but if 4 speeding records are returned, no matter their age, all four will be marked Review.
Or, create a Lookback rule which states “mark speeding offenses less than two years old as Escalated”, and a counting rule which states “mark fewer than 4 speeding offenses as Eligible”.
- If even one offense less than two years old is returned, it will be marked Escalated, and not Eligible.
While counting rules apply “Count is” logic across all returned records, counting rules will never result in an assessment which requires less review by your adjudication team than the assessment applied by your other Checkr Assess rules.
For compliance purposes, charges without a conviction disposition should always be reviewed. These charges should be reviewed and carefully considered before a final adjudication decision is made.
Non-Conviction charges include:
- Deferred/alternative adjudication
Assign rulesets to Geos, Programs, or Segments
After a ruleset has been published, assign it to the Geo, Program, or Segments to which it should be applied. You may also use the Assign Ruleset modal to make a ruleset the default for your account.
Note: Geos, Programs, and Segments may be assigned to only one ruleset at a time. If you assign one of these three entities to a ruleset, Checkr will automatically remove it from any existing rulesets to which it was previously assigned.
Click Assign Ruleset from the menu.
In the window that opens, select the entity to which the ruleset should be applied, then use the checkboxes to select specific entities.
Once saved, the ruleset will apply to the selected entities.
Note: Rulesets may be assigned to any number of Geos, Programs, and Segments. Create new rulesets only to define a new set of rules.
Publish your ruleset
Click Publish to save your draft, and activate your ruleset.
Please note that rulesets must be made the default for the account, or assigned to a Geo, Program, or Segment before they will begin assessing Reports.
Assess allows you to duplicate rulesets to use as the basis for new rulesets.
Select Duplicate Ruleset from the menu, enter a name for the new ruleset, and click Create.
View previous versions of rulesets
Assess records the settings for each published version of your rulesets, and allows you to review them at any time. Click into a ruleset, then select View Versions from the pulldown menu to open a window listing all published versions of the ruleset with the username and date of publication.