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
- Define global settings
- Create a new ruleset
- Assign rulesets
- 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.
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.
Note: Only Admins and Adjudicators will see record-level assessments in the Dashboard.
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".
Use the Assess page to define rules by which your eligibility criteria will be applied to candidate records. Then assign these rules to your Packages, Geos, Segments, or Programs to enforce standardized application across your adjudication teams.
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.
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 four 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.
- Custom Rules: Allow you to define custom rules which span charge categories, non-criminal screenings, lookback periods, and candidate age.
- 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.
- Count Rules: Allow you to define rules which are based on the number of times within a defined period of time that a selected record type appears in a candidate's background. These rules are applied across categories and other rule types.
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 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.
Finally, Count Rules are applied after all others, and are used to globally evaluate all returned records. When triggered, Count Rules may change the assessment of a record. For more information, please see Count Rules later in this document.
Define global settings
Use the Settings tab to define global settings for Assess.
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.
If enabled, these settings will be applied to all assessed records for your account.
- Display Eligible records: Displays records marked Eligible in the Checkr Dashboard, Candidate Portal, report PDF, and returns these records through the Checkr API.
- Conceal Eligible records in the Dashboard: Conceals records marked Eligible in the Checkr 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 APIs.
- Remove Eligible records: Removes records marked Eligible from all available report views. These records will also not be returned through the Checkr APIs.
- Hide charges with Assessment "Eligible" from the Pre-Adverse Action modal: Records marked Eligible will not be included in the list of records available for selection for a pre-adverse action on the candidate's report page.
- Auto-engage candidates when their report is assessed as "Eligible": Automatically marks candidates Engaged if their report is marked Eligible. If enabled, users must also select the Packages for which candidates assessed as Eligible will be marked Engaged.
Create a new ruleset
From the Assess page, 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 filter 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.)
Fairness and Compliance settings are grouped in the following sections:
- Charge Severity & Timing
- Charge Type
- Candidate Details
- Dismissed charges are eligible
- 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 be assessed as "Eligible", 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.
- Non-felony deferred / alternative adjudication charges are eligible
- 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.
- All pending charges are eligible
- 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 be assessed as "Eligible" 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.
Charge Severity & Timing
- Charges with less-than-misdemeanor severity are eligible
- 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 severity of the charge as the more important factor.
- Non-felony charges older than 7 years are eligible
- Charges can be either convictions or non-convictions. Under the FCRA, non-convictions (like dismissed charges) are reportable for up to 7 years, and convictions are reportable indefinitely. To help protect access to employment, some states restrict the reporting of all records (regardless of outcome) beyond 7 years.
- By allowing non-felony charges that are older than 7 years to be assessed as “Eligible”, you can align your evaluation practices to be consistent with a growing trend in state consumer protection laws and better demonstrate that your policy 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.
- All charges older than 7 years are eligible
- The age of the charge itself is an important factor when evaluating candidates.
- By allowing charges that are older than 7 years to be assessed as “Eligible”, you can align your evaluation practices to be consistent with a growing trend in state consumer protection laws and better demonstrate that your policy 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.
- Non-felony marijuana possession charges are eligible
- 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.
- Non-felony drug possession and paraphernalia charges are eligible
- 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 be assessed as "Eligible", and help you to better align your practices with both job relatedness and charge severity.
- Vehicle & traffic charges are eligible (excludes charges resulting in death and DUIs)
- This category includes all charges within the categories of Unsafe Operation, Speeding, License & Registration, Vehicle Equipment, and Parking. They do NOT include any charges related to Driving Under the Influence, Hit & Run Causing Death, or Reckless Driving Causing Death.
- With this setting, you will allow Vehicle & Traffic charges to be assessed as "Eligible", and help you to better align your practices with both job relatedness and charge severity.
- Public nuisance charges are eligible
- This setting assesses all charges in the Public Nuisance section as “Eligible”. This includes the following charges: Disorderly Conduct, Littering, Loitering, Maintain a Disorderly House, Noise Ordinance Violation, Obstruct Passageway, Public Urination, Unlawful Storage.
- This setting can help to better align your practices with both job relatedness and severity. Public nuisance charges have been critiqued as potentially discriminatory towards communities of color, persons with mental disabilities and domestic violence survivors.
- Prostitution charges are eligible
- This setting assess the following charges as “Eligible”: Promoting Prostitution, Prostitution, and Soliciting a Prostitute. It does NOT include the charge Prostitution Involving Minor.
- This setting can help to better align your practices with both job relatedness and severity. Prostitution charges can disproportionately discriminate against women.
- Charges when candidate's age was under 25 if the candidate is now over 28 are eligible
- The age of the candidate at the time of offense is an important factor when evaluating eligibility. Charges that occurred when the individual was 25 years old or younger will be assessed as "Eligible" if and only if the candidate is currently more than 28 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.
- Charges when candidate's age was under 18 are eligible
- The age of the candidate at the time of offense is an important factor when evaluating eligibility. Charges that occurred when the individual was 18 years old or younger will be assessed as "Eligible".
- 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.
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: 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.
- Select Applies to from the pulldown menu.
- Options include Criminal Charge, Education Verification, Credit Report, FACIS Search, and other Checkr screening types enabled for your account.
- 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 mark the returned records with the defined Assessment.
Once saved, Checkr will display a synopsis of your rule. Use the icons to copy, edit, or delete the rule, if desired.
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
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.
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.
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.
Note: Setting an extended lookback period within Assess (such as 99 years) will not change the scope of your Package. For example, if you have ordered a 10 year scope Package, defining an Assess Lookback period for greater than 10 years will only apply the defined Rule to any records returned by a 10 year scope Package.
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.)
Exporting 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.
Define Count Rules
Use the Count rules tab to define rules which will filter on the number of records returned for any selected category across the entire report.
Count rules evaluate all records returned in a report and count those that match their conditions. Count Rules are applied across all records, including those evaluated by your Fairness & Compliance, Custom, or Lookback Period Rules.
The application of Count Rules to records evaluated by other Rules may result in a change to their assessment. For example, Count 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.
Count Rule examples
For example: Create a Lookback Period Rule which states “mark speeding offenses more than 4 years old as Eligible", and a Count 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.
While Count Rules apply “Count is” logic across all returned records, Count 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.
After a ruleset has been published, assign it to the Geo, Program, Package, or Segments to which it should be applied. You may also make a ruleset the default for your account.
Selecting more explicit assignments (such as Package + Geo) will take precedence over more general assignments (such as Geo only). Rules will be applied in the following order:
- Package + Geo
- Package + Segment
- Account Default
Note: Geos, Programs, Packages, 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, Packages, 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 a ruleset 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.