Welcome to Checkr! >
We're happy to partner with you to make your background check process more efficient, reduce your compliance risk, and improve your candidates' experience. As you get started with Checkr, you'll probably do a task below:
- Order a report.
- Manage candidate statuses.
- Review reports.
This quick start guide outlines the steps for using the Checkr Dashboard. Other articles in this section detail the steps below and link to more information in the Help Center.
Quick start guide
- Create your account
- Get verified
- Set up your account
- Order a background check
- Track candidates on the Checkr Dashboard
- Review completed reports
- Engage or decline candidates
1. Create your account
You can create an account with Checkr in two ways:
- Use Checkr's website to create an account yourself.
- Work with work Checkr to create an account for you.
2. Get verified
Before you can request background checks, Checkr must first verify your account. Checkr uses the information you provide to verify that your business is legitimate and has permissible purpose. The verification process usually takes up to two business days.
3. Set up your account
After verification, Checkr emails your account's admin a link to access the account. Your admin then sets up your account, including your user roles and permissions, and your candidate work locations.
4. Order background checks
Users with admin or requester roles (usually recruiters at your business) can order one or more background checks.
5. Track candidates and reports on the Checkr Dashboard
After you order the background check, the candidate takes the next steps below:
- The candidate enters their personally identifiable information (PII). Each search requires different PII.
- The candidate reads the disclosures and consents to have a background report.
After the candidate consents to the report, the report appears in the dashboard with a Pending status. The Candidates page shows report status changes. Select a report to read returned records or results.
You can receive email notifications when a report status changes. Use the Account page in the Checkr Dashboard to define your email preferences.
6. Review a background report
All user roles can review background reports.
After a report completes, select your candidate's name on the Candidates page of the dashboard to open the report. The report shows all searches for that report.
7. Engage or decline candidates
Based on the information in the report, use the report's Actions section to select one of the two options:
- Engage: You reviewed the report and intend to hire or place the candidate.
- Pre-adverse action: You reviewed report information with the Consider status and decided that you intend not to hire or place the candidate based on that information.
Selecting Engage changes the candidate's status in the dashboard and adds their data to the analytics charts.
Select "Pre-adverse action" to begin Checkr's pre-adverse action process, email your candidate notice of their status, and provide guidelines to help you remain compliant through the process.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to preview key pages in the Checkr Dashboard: Candidates, Account settings, and Payment & billing.
Ready to keep learning?
Our free learning hub, Checkr Academy, offers quick video tutorials, product simulations, and live training webinars to help you get started with Checkr.
Checkr's background check process >
Conducting background checks is complex. To help simplify the process for you and your candidates, Checkr gathers the candidates' personally identifiable information (PII) for your searches.
The background check process has the steps below:
- You order a background check.
- The candidate receives an email requesting that they authorize the check and provide their information.
- The candidate enters their PII and electronically signs a disclosure, consent, and authorization form. This information securely transfers to Checkr and allows the background check to proceed.
- Checkr processes the information and conducts your searches, which usually take around 3-5 business days to process. Checkr searches private and public databases for records that match the candidate information below:
- Address history
- Birth date
- Full name
This process often requires manually searching public records.
- When the report is complete, Checkr posts it to the Checkr Dashboard for your review. If the candidate requested a copy, Checkr sends them one.
- You review the report and determine the candidate's eligibility based on your requirements. You decide whether to engage the candidate or initiate an adverse action.
Learn from Checkr experts
Go to our learning hub, Checkr Academy, to access video tutorials of the background check process.
Checkr candidate experience overview >
Whether you use Checkr's API or the Checkr Dashboard, the candidate experience is the same.
After you order a background check, the candidate takes the steps below:
- The candidate provides the relevant personally identifying information (PII) below:
- Birth date
- Driver's license number (for motor vehicle record (MVR) reports only)
- Email address
- Full name
- Phone number
- Social Security number (SSN)
- The candidate reads and acknowledges receipt of applicable forms and authorizations:
- A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation
- Other state and required disclosures as applicable
- Authorization for a background check
- The candidate decides whether to receive a copy of their background check after it completes.
- The candidate authorizes Checkr to complete the background check, which starts the background check process.
After the background check starts, the candidate can use the Checkr Candidate Portal to do the tasks below:
- Review the status of the pending report, or request a copy of the completed report.
- Submit additional information or clarification.
- Dispute the report if the candidate believes that it has inaccurate information.
Tell candidates to use the legal names that appear on their official documents. Using preferred names or nicknames delays the background check process.
A background check usually takes three to five business days to complete, but some take longer. Checkr isn't involved in engagement, hiring, or retention decisions and can't answer questions about adjudication.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn about the Checkr candidate experience. This experience includes the candidate background check application and Candidate Portal.
Candidates whose background check reports have records might take an action below:
- Contact you to provide evidence of rehabilitation or additional context for you to consider.
- Contact Checkr to dispute the report.
When a candidate disputes a report, Checkr pauses the adverse action process, if you started it. The report status changes to Dispute. You can't take additional action until Checkr investigates the dispute. After a candidate disputes a report, Checkr has 30 days to complete an investigation.
Checkr takes one of two actions after a dispute investigation:
- If information on the report is inaccurate or needs updating, Checkr updates the report and notifies you and the candidate about the change.
- If the disputed information is accurate and the report requires no changes, Checkr notifies you and the candidate that the original report is accurate and complete.
If candidates contact you about other issues, you can help resolve them.
- The candidate provides the relevant personally identifying information (PII) below:
Get credentialed to order background checks >
To comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state and local laws, Checkr must confirm the information below:
- Your business is legitimate.
- You have a permissible purpose to order background checks.
This process called “credentialing” usually takes up to two business days.
If Checkr can't confirm the information you provide, we send you a form requesting more information. Depending on your business, Checkr requests information like what appears below:
- Business address and phone number
- Business articles of incorporation
- Business legal name associated with employer identification number
- Business purpose
- Doing Business As (DBA)
- Number of employees
- State of incorporation
- Tax classification
- Tax ID or employer identification number (EIN)
After you complete the form and return it to Checkr, we review the form and your signed service agreement (MSA). If we need more information, we'll email you.
The FCRA has specified “permissible purposes” for which a background check report can be obtained. The most common permissible purpose for Checkr customers is employment.
When requesting background checks for an employment permissible purpose, you should:
- Gather candidates' consent in writing.
- Complete a two-step adverse process if you don't select a candidate for employment based on information in the background check report.
Non-employment permissible purposes include the ones below:
- Certain business transactions
- Credit extension
- Eligibility for a license or government benefits
- Insurance underwriting
All permissible purposes require consent from the person who is the subject of the background check. The adverse action process for non-employment background checks is less burdensome than the two-step process for employment permissible purposes. All permissible purposes generally require some form of adverse action notice.
Permissible purpose outside the United States
Background checks outside the United States also require permissible purposes though they might use different words. The permissible purposes allowed might vary from the FCRA. Consult your legal counsel about your permissible purposes for international background checks.
Set up your account >
After Checkr verifies your account, we email your designated account admin an invitation to log in to the Checkr Dashboard. After the admin logs in, they can use the Account page to add the email addresses below:
If you want multiple people in your organization to receive these notifications, use a shared email address.
- Support email: Candidates use this address to submit evidence of rehabilitation or other context during the adverse action process.
- Billing email: Checkr uses these addresses to contact you about invoices and other billing communication.
- Adverse action email: Checkr uses this address to send pre- and post-adverse action emails to candidates on your behalf. This address also receives notices when an adverse action email is undeliverable, such as if the address on file doesn't work.
- Technical contact: This address belongs to the primary person who communicates with Checkr about technical issues or updates to the Checkr API.
- Compliance contact: This address belongs to the primary person who communicates with Checkr about compliance issues or updates. Checkr also uses this address to send candidate dispute results, such as changes to a report.
The admin can also manage user permissions.
Learn from Checkr experts
Go to our learning hub, Checkr Academy, to access video tutorials of Checkr experts showing you how to get started with the Checkr Dashboard.
Learning on Checkr Academy >
Play the video below for an overview of Checkr Academy:
What is Checkr Academy?
Checkr Academy is our free learning hub where you can do the tasks below:
- Access on-demand videos and courses to help you learn and grow.
- Practice using Checkr through simulations.
- Register for live training.
- Find resources to help guide you to get the most from Checkr.
Who can access Checkr Academy?
Checkr Academy is free and available for everyone!
How do I access Checkr Academy?
Find Checkr Academy at learn.checkr.com or directly in your Checkr Dashboard in the "Product guides & videos" section in the bottom-right corner:
If you’re a Checkr customer, easily access Checkr Academy content by signing in with your Checkr Dashboard credentials.
If you're not a Checkr customer, sign up for a free Checkr Academy account to access all content.
Learn with us!
Go to Checkr Academy.
Curious where to start?
For Checkr customers
Check out our hottest videos
Get started: Order background checks, set up your Checkr account, and more
Learn about background checks for employment
Checkr terms and definitions >
613 notice: A notification to a candidate that information on their background check might negatively affect their job chances.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumer reporting agencies must take an action below:
- Give the candidate a 613 notice at the time of the report.
- Keep a strong process to ensure that public record data is current and correct.
address scope: The number of years of candidate address history that Checkr uses for criminal searches at the county or state level. For example, a 7-year address scope starts searches in counties from the candidate's past 7 years of address history.
adjudication: The process by which organizations reviewing returned background check reports decide whether to proceed with the candidate's hiring/engagement process based on the information in the background check report. From Checkr's perspective, the adjudication process ends with either candidate engagement or candidate adverse action.
- County civil search
- County search
- Federal search
- Global watchlist search
- National search
- Pointer search
- Sex offender registry search
- State search
alternative adjudication: A legal process in which the court postpones entering a final judgment while the defendant fulfills court-ordered requirements, such as probation or drug rehabilitation. This deferred judgment allows the defendant to demonstrate good behavior and potentially avoid a conviction on their record if they successfully complete the mandated action.
adverse action: The two-step process of notifying a candidate that they won't be selected for the role based on the background check results. The Checkr built-in adverse action process enables customers’ compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirements for adverse action in the employment context. The adverse action notice includes a copy of the report and allows a candidate time to dispute incorrect information in the report or provide evidence of rehabilitation. The adverse action notice also informs candidates of their rights under the FCRA and state and local laws.
Candidate Experience team: The Checkr Candidate Experience team directly supports candidates by phone, email, and Candidate Portal communication. The team answers questions and resolves issues with candidate background checks. Members of the Candidate Experience team are Candidate Experience Representatives (CXRs).
- The organization has a permissible purpose.
- The candidate provided proper consent for ordering the background check.
- The organization's use of background reports complies with all applicable laws.
Certification happens when the organization orders the background check, whether through the API or Checkr Dashboard. The master service agreement (MSA) also contains certifications.
Checkr Quality Assurance (QA) team: The Checkr QA team manually reviews certain background check reports before completion. To ensure reporting accuracy and completeness, these reviews might require additional research of record information or personally identifiable information (PII).
context date: The case event date necessary to calculate ages and times for records. Because municipalities document different information about cases, the same record type might show ages and times based on different context dates below:
- Suspension start
- Suspension end
deferred adjudication: A legal process in which the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a charge, but the judge defers a formal finding of guilt. If the defendant completes a probationary period with no violations, the judge might dismiss the charge.
exception: Internal-only Checkr term indicating that Checkr needs more information from the candidate, such as a copy of a driver license or their mother’s maiden name, potentially delaying report completion. Checkr contacts candidates directly to provide information that usually enables the background check to continue.
- Compliance laws restrict the reporting of some information.
- Organizations decide to limit the information that their reports return.
- The record identity doesn't match the candidate.
- The court dismissed the charge against the defendant.
- The court acquitted the defendant.
- The defendant completed a diversion program.
offline records: These physical records are available only in person at the courthouse, not electronically over the internet. Offline records must be retrieved in person, at specific locations, and during posted hours, typically by court researchers. There are two methods of offline record retrieval:
- Public access terminal (PAT): Members of the public can access records using a computer terminal at the court without a clerk.
- clerk-assisted search: Court clerks must retrieve the records.
online records: These digital records are available through publicly accessible online resources. These records are generally electronic and remotely available but might have access limitations. Online records might require a fee to access or have limited access hours. Online records might have limited case information.
personally identifiable information (PII): Information, such as name, Social Security number (SSN), birth date, mother's maiden name, or biometric records, that can be used to identify a specific individual.
The unauthorized disclosure of sensitive PII, such as an SSN, could harm the individual and/or be a compliance risk. Public records, phone books, corporate directories, and public websites contain nonsensitive PII.
pre-adverse action notice: The organization notifies the candidate in writing of the preliminary decision not to select them for the role or keep them in the role based on information in the background check report. The candidate receives a copy of their background check and other applicable notices and disclosures. Before the final decision, the candidate can respond to potential inaccuracies in their background check by starting a dispute or providing evidence of mitigation. The pre-adverse action notice must be provided in permissible-purpose background checks, including independent contractor and volunteer relationships.
post-adverse action notice: The organization notifies the candidate in writing of their final decision not to advance the candidate in the hiring process for employment permissible purposes background checks. This notification completes the adverse action process and happens usually 7 calendar days after the candidate receives the pre-adverse action notice.
salting: The process by which Checkr initiates searches with its vendors on previously discovered and verified records. When these searches complete, Checkr compares the results with those that were previously discovered. This process allows Checkr to test vendors' accuracy and comprehensiveness.
search scope: The number of years of record history that Checkr uses for records searches. The industry standard search scope is 7 years and searches records with filing dates within the last 7 years. Search scope might also be called lookback period.
These terms imply no legal commitments and are for informational purposes only.
Help candidates resolve issues >
Direct candidates to Checkr resources
Checkr provides self-serve resources to support candidates during and after their background checks.
Candidates log in to Checkr's mobile-friendly Candidate Portal using their PII. Candidates use the Candidate Portal to do the tasks below:
- Find the status of their background check.
- Access a copy of their completed report.
- Upload documents.
- Dispute a report.
- Download reports that are less than a year old. For older completed reports, candidates can request a copy from the Candidate Experience team.
Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn how candidates can access self-serve resources via the Candidate Portal.
Candidate Help Center
Checkr provides help documentation for both customers and candidates. Encourage candidates to visit the candidate Help Center for answers to common questions.
Checkr Candidate Experience team
The Checkr Candidate Experience team makes the background check experience personal, simple, and fast. The team works in the United States (US) and offers support in both English and Spanish. The team supports candidates any time after Checkr begins their background checks.
Refer candidates who contact you about the topics below to the Checkr Candidate Experience team:
- Email address update
- Incorrect birth date or SSN in application
- Nickname in application
Help resolve common issues
Background check status or completion
A candidate might contact you asking about their check's status or estimated completion. Account users with access to the candidate's report can provide the candidate with the information from the Checkr Dashboard.
Adjudicators, requestors, restricted admins, and admins can use the steps below:
- Open the Candidates page, and select the candidate and report.
- Scroll to the "Report information" section, and provide the candidate with the estimated completion date.
Credit report error
If the "Missing credit report reason" appears when the candidate enters their postal code, contact Checkr to adjust your permissible purpose.
A candidate might contact you because they can't select Continue during the quick verification.
Ask the candidate to use manual entry instead.
A candidate can use the Candidate Portal to schedule their own appointment for health screenings you order.
The candidate has seven days after receiving the invitation to complete their appointment. If the candidate doesn't complete their appointment, the report suspends and you must order a new one.
If the candidate contacts you about a missed appointment, you decide what to do next.
Inaccuracies on the report
A candidate might contact you to tell you their report is wrong.
If the report has inaccuracies or information updated since the report originally completed, refer the candidate to Checkr to dispute the report.
A candidate might contact you about updating their license status on their completed background report. Refer the candidate to Checkr to dispute the report.
If a candidate asks you about their accurate license status, refer them to their state’s DMV to learn how the DMV reports license status.
A candidate might contact you about violations that the state’s DMV reported. Reported motor vehicle violations cause a Review report status.
If the candidate contacts you about violations, refer them to their state’s DMV to learn how the DMV reports records on their MVR report.
If the candidate wants to dispute information on their MVR report, refer them to Checkr.
Requesting a new report
A candidate might contact you after a report completes to update information that might have caused a Review report status. Refer the candidate to Checkr to dispute the previously reported information. If other report information is outdated you can order another report at your discretion.
Update PII for pending or in-progress reports
Advise the candidate based on which information they need to change:
- Name or birth date: The candidate can contact Checkr with a photo of their driver's license or government ID.
- Social Security number: The candidate can re-enter their SSN in the Candidate Portal or contact Checkr.
- Phone number or postal code: Order a new background check so that the candidate can enter the correct information.
Candidates can't update PII for completed reports.