Help me understand what each report status meansRead More
The Candidates tab of the Dashboard has the status options below for candidates who have already begun the background check process.
The invitation link was sent, but the candidate hasn't responded yet and the report hasn't begun.
The report is processing. Most reports take 2-3 days to finalize, but some can take longer, often for one of the reasons below:
- Checkr is waiting for the candidate to submit information: Checkr required a form of documentation from the candidate to continue the report. Checkr contacts candidates for exceptions like these so that your background check process works smoothly.
- A County Criminal Records Check is in progress: Some County Criminal Records Checks take significantly longer than others, usually because the county processes search requests manually. Unfortunately, the County Criminal Records Check can't be expedited.
The report is complete without a result and ready for your review.
The report is complete with a Clear result and doesn't contain records or information you’ve identified as relevant.
The report is complete with a Consider result and contains information you might want to consider. This information might include criminal records, motor vehicle report (MVR) violations that don't meet your MVR criteria, Employment and/or Education verifications that weren't an exact match, or other records for your adjudicators to review.
The report is complete, and the candidate has contacted Checkr to dispute information on the report. Adjudication is blocked during the Dispute report status.
The reinvestigation timeframe for disputed reports is a maximum of 30 days. The compliance contact on your Checkr account receives an email after the reinvestigation.
The report can't complete because of missing information or incomplete searches. Checkr has contacted the candidate to submit additional documents. The report will continue after the information is confirmed. After a period of time, the report status automatically changes to Complete or Canceled. If you want the report to complete in its current state, you can use the Complete Now feature.
Some screenings have Suspended status indefinitely.
The report has a Canceled status if all screenings are canceled. If at least one screening has completed, the report has Complete status and indicates some canceled screenings.
The invitation link was sent, and the candidate didn't complete it in the allotted time. To continue with the candidate, you must send a new invitation. By default, invitation links expire after 7 days. Work with your Checkr Customer Success Manager to change the number of days your candidates have to respond to an invitation.
The Assess feature has the options below:
Reports with no records returned will be tagged Clear.
Reports with records returned that meet your criteria for Eligible, and with no records marked Review or Escalated, will be marked Eligible. In other words, your rules have determined that this record doesn't make the candidate ineligible for the position.
Reports with at least one record marked Review, and with no records marked Escalated, will be marked Review. In other words, your rules state that this record should be reviewed to evaluate whether it meets your adjudication criteria for the position.
Reports with even one record marked Escalated will be marked Escalated. In other words, your rules have flagged this record as one requiring close evaluation before engaging the candidate.
Can I change what I see on my fair chance dashboard?Read More
No, you cannot change the information displayed on your fair chance dashboard; however, the information you see is catered to your company based on metrics including, but not limited to:
- The number of background reports you run per year, and
- Your company’s Adverse Action rate (“Adverse action rate” = total candidates that your organization has initiated adverse action for / total reports with a status of “Consider”)
What are the definitions of the charges I see on our fair chance dashboard?Read More
The list below explains the charge categories you see on your fair chance dashboard. Understanding these categories can help you review records on your candidates’ reports. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance on reviewing records encourages considering contextual factors, such as the disposition of the record (e.g. pending, dismissed), the severity of the charge (e.g. misdemeanor vs felony), and the time that has passed since the conviction.
Pending charges: A pending charge means that nothing has been officially decided (i.e. there has not been a guilty or not-guilty finding) and the case is still ongoing.
Petty charges: Petty charges are the lowest level in severity, meaning the charge may not be serious in nature and may not be as relevant to your business or job type.
Charges over 7 years old: The more time that has passed, the less likely an individual is to commit another offense. Charges that are older than 7 years old have surpassed the statistical reoffense rate.
Charges from when the candidates were younger than 25 years old: The EEOC encourages employers to consider factors such as age at the time of offense when determining eligibility for candidates with records. Emerging science about brain maturation suggests that adolescent brains continue to mature well into the 20s. Additionally, according to many world organizations, like the United Nations, “youth” is defined as people younger than 25 years old. This means that candidates who were younger than 25 could be considered a “youth” at the time of the offense.
Who can see the data presented on our fair chance dashboard?Read More
The data within your fair chance dashboard is visible only to users in your organization that have permission to view analytics. This includes admin users and any other roles that have been given explicit permission to view analytics in the Checkr dashboard.
How can I tell how the report was ordered (report source)?Read More
Within the Checkr Dashboard, open a candidate report. Navigate to the Report Information section.
The report source will display as shown below:
Here is a breakdown of the various sources:
- API: Report was created from the Checkr API.
- Continuous check: Report was created automatically from a Continuous Check return.
- Form: Report was created from the Checkr Hosted Invite/Apply flow.
- Manual Order: Report was created from a manual order (customer enters candidate's PII) originating in the Checkr Dashboard.
- Recurrence: Report was created from a Subscription.
- Web: Report was created from a report ordered from the Checkr Dashboard.
What is the standard reporting period for Checkr background checks?Read More
The reporting period for both misdemeanor and felony records is at least 7 years. In some cases, Checkr will report older records if they are reportable according to state and federal law, easily accessible at the court houses, or if the record is deemed highly severe.
With the Positive Adjudication Matrix, you have the ability to limit the reporting period for all, or certain types, of criminal records.
Motor Vehicle Reports return data from at least 3 years back, though some states report older violations.
Employment verifications include verification of past employment for a maximum of 7 years, whereas education verifications only target the highest degree obtained.
What does it mean to "Engage" a candidate?Read More
The Engage feature is a way to track the candidates you have decided to move forward with after their report is complete. When you engage the candidate, no communication will be sent to them. “Engaged” is added to the status of the report.
For more information, also see: Review a completed Report
Help me understand the difference between a Clear vs. Complete statusRead More
Why does the status of some screenings show as Complete instead of Clear or Consider.
Checkr uses pointer searches operationally to generate other screenings. Some types of pointer searches, such as the SSN Trace and National Search, will result in a Complete status vs. a Clear or Consider status because they contain no actionable or reportable information for the customer.
Credit checks, like pointer searches, will also result in a Complete status when the information provided is successfully validated.
See What does the status of a report indicate? for more information.
How do candidates dispute the accuracy of their report?Read More
If a candidate believes their report is inaccurate or incomplete, they can:
- Visit the Candidate Portal to log a dispute
- Email or call our Candidate Support Team
- Mail in their dispute with any supporting documents.
Visit the Candidate Portal to log a dispute
From the Candidate Portal, they can click the following link:
Disputes are conducted in a process called a reinvestigation. During this process, Checkr reviews and verifies the contested information at the source to ensure maximum possible accuracy. During the reinvestigation process, the report is set to dispute status in the Checkr Dashboard and may not be adjudicated. (In other words, you can't Engage or Adverse Action until the reinvestigation is complete.)
In compliance with the FCRA, Checkr has 30 days to complete a reinvestigation. Checkr strives to complete reinvestigations as quickly as possible.
Once a reinvestigation is concluded, the report is taken out of dispute status and Checkr sends the candidate and the end-user (the Checkr customer) an email notification that includes the updated report and relevant information about the dispute process. Any user with the email preference for "Notify on report disputed" will receive this notification. Once a report is out of dispute status, the report can be adjudicated by the end-user.
Lookback periods and reportability: How far back are criminal records searched and what records will appear?Read More
This article will help you:
- Recognize what is included in the scope of a lookback period for criminal searches
- Understand why you might see a longer or shorter time period for certain records
One challenge of interpreting a background check is understanding the “lookback period” for the scope of a search versus what is reported on the criminal history section of the report. In other words, the question you may ask is, “How far back are records searched during a background check, and why would or wouldn’t I see certain information on the report?”
The answer to this question depends on the process used to search for records in multiple jurisdictions (such as county and federal jurisdictions), as well as the applicable legal requirements for that jurisdiction.
What’s included in the scope of a county criminal search?
Most of the United States’ 3,000+ counties make their records publicly accessible dating back at least seven years. Here “publicly accessible” means the records are available to be searched through a digital Public Access Terminal (PAT), a year-by-year index, or with assistance from a court clerk.
A common lookback period for county criminal court searches is to search for possible records that date back the last seven years, although in most states, a company may request searches that look for records beyond seven years.
What’s included in the scope of a federal criminal search?
Federal records are searched using the Federal Judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. Records are typically available dating back indefinitely, depending on the electronic-record keeping practices of a particular jurisdiction.
Why might the records that appear on the report be different from the lookback period?
There can be limitations in the age of the publicly available records. Each court jurisdiction maintains (and makes available) their records based on their own procedures, so the records that are available can vary depending on the court. For example, some county courts might only provide only 7-10 years of record information, while other county courts provide much older records.
There are also rules that affect what records can be reported on a background check. For example, there are rules for reporting convictions vs. dismissed records, or records that were ultimately expunged or sealed.
Some states limit the searching or reporting of criminal record information to seven years depending on the candidate, job, or employer/partner location. That means that even if the search looks for records going back indefinitely, only records from the last seven years can appear on a report. States that generally have a seven-year limitation include:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
For these states limiting the scope of how far back records can be searched or reported, the question of “what defines X years” can be complex to answer. For example, "seven years" could be defined as:
- Seven years from the date of disposition (like the conviction date); or
- Seven years from when the person was released from incarceration.
Depending on the availability of information, the seven-year counting period often begins on the later of these occurrences.
Can the lookback of a search or what is reportable change based on industry?
Certain regulated industries, such as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), may be required to enhance their search scope to the adult lifetime of an individual and may be exempt from state rules limiting the searching or reporting of information to seven years. These searches are referred to as “indefinite lookback” searches. Indefinite lookback searches can vary from county to county with respect to what can be retrieved.
We recommend that you consult with your counsel to review your policies, procedures and compliance requirements as it pertains to industry-specific lookback requirements of criminal record searches.
What does the request to submit a Candidate Story look like?Read More
What does the email look like when a candidate is asked to share a Candidate Story?
Here is an example of the request to submit a Candidate Story:
Once logged in, they will be asked to select whether they wish to provide general information, and/or select a specific record they wish to address. They are then provided a screen in which they can add their story, and upload any documents they wish to provide.
See Candidate Stories: Improving understanding of the past and present for more information.
Why don't I see a certain record on a background report?Read More
This article will help you:
- Understand which reporting restrictions prevent you from seeing records
- Determine why you may not see all possible criminal records reported
- Determine why you may or may not see dismissed records reported
If you don't see a certain criminal record on a background report, you may question whether the report is accurate. We recommend that you refrain from comparing our results against unvetted sources (like a mugshot database). Many of these unvetted sources and websites do not follow existing laws that pertain to background screening.
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) like Checkr must adhere to strict federal, state, and municipal regulations concerning what information we can report. These restrictions limit what can be reported in a pre-employment background check.
At the federal level, the FCRA restricts CRAs from reporting non-convictions (such as dismissals) that are over seven years old. Some states further restrict CRAs from reporting both conviction and non-conviction information.
Checkr automates reporting in line with each state’s requirements using our Compliance Engine to help you avoid seeing information that is not reportable. Keep in mind, however, that just because a particular record is reportable, that doesn’t mean you can legally consider the information. States and municipalities have specific laws (like Ban the Box laws and individualized assessment) regarding how end-users and employers use and consider criminal records during an employment pre-screening process.
We recommend you consult with your legal counsel on the specifics of the localities where you hire candidates. For more information on the scope of a search and reporting guidelines, see the following articles:
- How do background check reporting requirements vary by state?
- Lookback periods: How far back are criminal records searched?
If you have additional information about a specific record that did not appear on one of your candidate’s report, please contact Checkr Customer Support with the case details along with the location of the record, nature of the record, and any other important details. We will be happy to take a look.
How do I receive more information regarding a criminal record?Read More
Checkr receives criminal record information from multiple sources, such as:
- National criminal record databases
- State sex offender registries
- Global watchlists and sanction lists
- Federal offense databases
- County courthouse records
Different screening packages will include different sources. For more information on these sources, see "What is the difference between federal, national, and county checks?"
The information in a criminal record can vary from source to source, based on the type of offense, and the level of detail available on the court record.
The following information is typically included:
- Case number
- File date
- Court jurisdiction
- Name on record
- Charge type
- Arrest date
- Offense date
- Charge date
- Disposition date
- Sentencing information
Each county courthouse may define and classify charge types and dispositions differently, so if you come across a charge or disposition that you don't understand, the best practice is to research the name of the charge or disposition along with the county where it was found.
If your research isn't turning up any answers, or you're struggling with a tricky charge type or disposition, you can always contact us.
Can I print the results of a background check?Read More
Can I print the results of a background check?
To print the results of a report:
- Open the background check you’d like to print in the Checkr dashboard
- From the toolbar of your web browser, select File > Print
Can I create custom drug-specific rules using the adjudication matrix?Read More
How do I create custom rules for charges specifically related to possession and/or use of meth and/or heroin? Is it possible to write custom rules that are drug-specific?
Custom rules specific to heroin or meth charges are not currently available. Custom rules can be set for:
- Drugs-Sale & Manufacture
- Alcohol & Tobacco
- Drugs-Marijuana Possession/Use
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
To create custom rules for any of the above categories:
- From your admin screen, go to screening settings > adjudication matrix
- Edit the adjudication settings and scroll down to customize rules
See Screenings settings for further details.
Disposition classificationsRead More
A disposition is the final resolution of a criminal case, for example, a conviction or dismissal.
The following table illustrates the most common disposition categories, with examples of the most common dispositions returned in each respective category.
Deferrals and Alternative Adjudications
- adjudication withheld
- pre trial diversion
- prayer for judgement
- no contest
- paid fine
- nolo contendere
- nolle prosequi
- nolle prosse
- no file/information
Pending or Open Cases
- failure to appear
- waive preliminary hearing
- held to answer
- fugitive file
- fta warrant
- out of county warrant
- capias warrant
These sample dispositions are provided for educational purposes only and should NOT be construed as legal advice, guidance or counsel. Please consult with your legal counsel about your responsibilities under the FCRA and applicable state law. Checkr, Inc., expressly disclaims any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of the information provided.