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  • Help me understand Checkr packages

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    This article will help you understand:

    What is the difference between a screening and a package?

    A package is a defined set of screenings that will be run after a candidate authorizes their background check. For example, an Essential Criminal Package consists of the following screenings:

    What standard screening packages are available?

    Checkr offers a variety of packages at different price points.

    Checkr offers four packages which consist of a single, standalone screening:

    Checkr also offers several packages which provide common combinations of our most frequently requested screenings:

    Package

    Screenings

    Added value

    Basic+

    (previously Basic package)

    The Basic+ Criminal Package is a building block for all other screening packages. It contains searches commonly referred to as “pointer searches”. If these searches return “pointers” to possible data in specific counties, the report isupgradedand aCounty Criminal Check is initiated.

    Essential

    (previously Pro package)

    Basic+ Criminal Package

    plus

    In addition to performing screenings contained in the Basic+ Criminal Package, the Essential Criminal Package will perform county criminal checks for all counties returned in thepointer search as potential address history for that candidate over the last 7 year period. This includes any legally reportable felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending cases, and dismissed records.

    Professional 

    (new)

    Essential Criminal Package

    plus

    In addition to performing screenings contained in the Essential Criminal package, Checkr will perform Education and Employment Verification checks. This includes verifying a candidate's highest degree and current employer, respectively.

    International Basic+

    (previously International Criminal) 

    • International Criminal Check (or Adverse Media)
    • Global Watchlist Check

    Checkr's International Basic+ package is provided for candidates living outside the United States. 

    Please note: Pricing, candidate requirements and turnaround times will vary by country.

    International Professional (new)

    International Basic+ 

    plus

    • Employment Verification
    • Education Verification
    In addition to performing screenings contained in the International Basic+ package, Checkr will perform Education and Employment Verification checks. This includes verifying a candidate's highest degree and current employer, respectively.

    International Professional+

    (new)

    International Professional

    plus

    In addition to performing screenings contained in the International Professional package, Checkr will perform Identity Document Validation checks. This includes verifying a candidate’s passport, national ID, or driver’s license.

    Contact Checkr Customer Support for pricing. In addition to the cost of the background check, reports may be subject to various third-party access fees.

    As of June 1, 2022, Checkr no longer offers Standard and Premium Criminal Packages; however, customers who purchased Standard and/or Premium Criminal packages before June 1 will continue to see these package names on their account. 

    Can I customize a package?

    Additional screenings can be added to create custom packages that best fit your team’s needs. Checkr can add the following to any basic package:

    The following screenings can also be added as standalone checks or combined with others to create a comprehensive package:

    For a complete list of available screenings, see Screening Types

    Some customization options may not be available through partner integrations. Depending on the screenings selected additional setup time may be required.

    Which package is right for me?

    Each organization has unique needs. As a general rule of thumb, make sure the package includes comprehensive screenings suitable for the role. For example, if you’re hiring a driver you may want to include a Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) screening in the package.

    Reminder

    This does not constitute and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel regarding your compliance obligations and best practices.

    Who do I contact to add a new package?

    Existing customers can contact Checkr Customer Support to add a new package to their accounts. Those working with a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM), may also contact their CSM directly. New accounts must first be credentialed before running screenings. Additional setup time will be required for packages that include Drug and Occupational Health Screens and Employment Credit Checks.

    Can I add screenings to an existing package?

    To add a specific screening to an existing package, you must have the role of admin, restricted admin, or requester, and have the 'manage_order_add_ons' permission turned on.

    To learn more about what screenings you can add to an existing package, see Package add-ons: Add screenings to an existing package.

    Where can I learn about pricing?

    For information about package prices, visit the Checkr Package Pricing page

  • When would a candidate need additional paperwork outside of the screening pass to complete their screening?

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    Question

    When would a candidate need additional paperwork outside of the screening pass to complete their screening?

    Answer

    Candidates must complete additional paperwork (a custody control form) if they select a paper-based clinic during the apply flow. This paperwork will be mailed to the address they provide during the apply flow. 

    For more information about the screening process when using paper-based clinics, please refer to Screenings using paper-based clinics.

  • Why did the clinic refuse service to my candidate?

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    Question

    Why did the clinic refuse service to my candidate? 

    Answer

    Possible reasons that a clinic may refuse service to a candidate include: 

    • The candidate did not provide the required paperwork
    • The screening pass has expired
    • The candidate did not schedule an appointment

    For more information about required paperwork for drug and occupational health screenings, please refer to Screenings using paper-based clinics.

  • What is a pointer search?

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    Question

    What is a pointer search?

    Answer

    Not all screenings result in actionable information for customers. Checkr uses certain screenings operationally to generate other screenings. These are commonly referred to as “pointer searches” and serve an important purpose: to cast a wide net when conducting a comprehensive background check.

    Information returned in pointer searches is not always complete or up to date. For this reason, they should not be used to determine a candidate's eligibility, and Checkr takes steps to avoid facilitating such use by customers. These searches inform how Checkr conducts other screenings, and result in Complete, rather than a Clear or Consider outcome.

    Pointer searches include:

    • SSN Trace: provides verification that the SSN exists, what state it was issued, what year it was issued, and all known names (AKAs) and addresses associated with the SSN.
    • National Criminal Database Check: database search. Triggers county criminal checks, and may trigger municipal criminal checks, depending on the Package selected.
    • State Criminal Records Check: select states only.

    If these non-reportable searches return “pointers” to possible data in specific counties, a County Criminal Records Check is initiated. All felony and misdemeanor records identified on the National Criminal Records Check are verified at the source county courthouse.

  • What is the difference between national, federal, state, and county checks?

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    This article will help you:

    • Distinguish between Federal Criminal and National Criminal Database searches (which are often confused)
    • Set expectations about what each search is and isn’t
    • Use packages that include these searches more effectively

    Most background checks include some type of criminal records check, but the term “criminal records” can be ambiguous. One common area of confusion is the differences between Federal Criminal Checks and National Criminal Database Checks. These are different from County Criminal Checks, where most detailed records are found.

    Common myths about criminal search types

    Myth: Federal and National searches are the same.

    Fact: Federal and National Checks are not one and the same. Checkr's National Check covers a collection of nationwide databases, while a Federal search specifically finds criminal records in Federal jurisdictions.

    Myth: If you run a Federal or National search, you don't need to run county searches.

    Fact: Federal, National, and State Checks don't supersede County checks. In other words, they won’t find everything that a county criminal check will. For many criminal records, the county courthouse is the source of truth.

    Myth: The Federal search uses FBI or Department of Justice (DOJ) databases.

    Fact: None of these searches are FBI or Department of Justice searches. Unless there is a statute authorizing private industries to have access, only law enforcement agencies and private industries authorized by law (child care, financial institutions, healthcare) may access FBI data. FBI and DOJ searches can only be conducted through positive identification (such as fingerprinting), and have their own pros and cons compared to name-based background checks.

    National Criminal Database Check

    What it is: A database search of millions of records

    What it is not:

    • An FBI or Department of Justice search
    • A thorough search of Federal Criminal records

    Usage: Cast a wide net for potential records and serve as a "pointer" to other criminal checks.

    The term “National Criminal Database” is a bit of a misnomer, in that the check does not cover all of the United States, but it does query 1,800 databases covering approximately 900 million records.

    The National Criminal Database Check is used in virtually every criminal background check to find additional “hits.” Once a “hit” is identified, Checkr dispatches researchers to the county where the national criminal check shows a possible record to obtain:

    • Additional identifiers to confirm it belongs to the individual in question
    • Complete and up-to-date case information (such as disposition and status)

    A search of the National Criminal Database without county-level searches would be inadequate -- information found during the National Criminal Database Check is often not up-to-date or complete and is only used for pointer purposes. A county-level check would always be required to obtain complete and accurate information.

    For more information, see our article on National Criminal Database Checks.

    Federal Criminal Check

    What it is: A search of criminal records in Federal jurisdictions

    What it is not:

    • An FBI or Department of Justice search
    • A search of state or county criminal records

    Usage: Find Federal crimes for a more thorough search, especially in industries where crimes such as fraud or embezzlement are job-relevant.

    Federal Criminal Checks use the US Federal Government’s PACER criminal record system, which covers all 94 federal jurisdictions and includes crimes against federal employees, crimes committed on federal land, crimes that cross state lines, and other specific categories.

    It can be easy to confuse a “federal criminal check” with the “national criminal database” (described above) and state/county-level criminal searches. Unlike these other records, federal criminal records are only accessible through a specific federal criminal check.

    For more information, see our article on Federal Criminal Checks.

    State Criminal Check

    What it is: A search of statewide criminal databases

    What it is not:

    • An FBI or Department of Justice search
    • A thorough search of all records in every county

    Usage: To find additional criminal records in the candidate's state, outside of their home county.

    A State Criminal Check use statewide databases to discover criminal records. Many companies use State Checks to uncover additional records outside of the counties where the candidate has lived.

    Not all counties report into state databases, and each state database functions differently. For example, New York's state database includes reports from all counties by law, but California's does not. Because the county courthouse is the source of truth for most criminal records, we recommend running this search in addition to, not instead of, a county check.

    For more information, see our article on State Criminal Checks.

    County Criminal Check

    What it is: A thorough search of criminal records available at the county level, where most records occur.

    What it is not:

    • An FBI or Department of Justice search
    • A search of federal criminal records or national criminal databases

    Usage: Recommended for the candidate's home county (and potentially past counties of residence) to find the most thorough information on potential criminal records.

    County criminal records, which make up the majority of criminal offenses, are located in county courthouses across the 3,200 counties in the US. Thus, they will not be found in a federal check. Oftentimes the existence of a county criminal record is determined by conducting a search in the aforementioned National Criminal Database Check, which is used as a pointer to county or state records.

    All felony and misdemeanor criminal records, regardless of disposition (guilty, dismissed, etc.) and whose cases are tried in local jurisdictions, are housed at the county court.

    A comprehensive criminal background check should include county, federal, state, and national database searches, all of which are offered as part of Checkr’s checking packages.

    For more information, see our article on County Criminal Checks.



  • Which checks are included in my background check package?

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    This article will help you:

    This article is intended for users with Admin or Requester roles.

    Determine which checks are in your package

    A package refers to the checks conducted once the candidate authorizes their background check. You can view your selected packages within the Home section of the Dashboard. 

    When you order a background check package on the Checkr Dashboard, you'll see which checks it includes:

    Basic report package

    Most checks begin with a "basic" report package, which includes the most common searches:

    These searches cannot be run as standalone searches, and are always run as a group.

    Social Security Number (SSN) Trace

    The SSN Trace is run first, and provides information such as known names (AKAs) and addresses associated with the SSN.

    If a County Criminal Records Check is added to the package, data returned from the SSN Trace, such as previous addresses and possible aliases (when included in the screening package), is used as a pointer to search specific counties for records.

    Process: Credit Bureau records are checked against the name, date of birth (DOB) and SSN submitted by each candidate. 

    For more information, please see Social Security Number (SSN) Trace.

    Sex Offender Registry Check

    A nationwide search of all 50 states and the District of Columbia’s sex offender registry for all levels of registered sex offenders. Search includes type(s) of offense and identifiers, such as DOB.

    Process: A near instantaneous database search. All potential records are reviewed by Checkr’s professional QA team to ensure maximum possible accuracy in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    For more information, please see Sex Offender Registry Check.

    Global Watchlist Records Check

    Searches for terrorists and individuals excluded/barred by the US government and foreign entities. Also includes a sanctions search to identify individuals who are included in government sanction databases.

    Process: A near-instantaneous database search. All potential records are reviewed by Checkr’s professional QA team to ensure maximum possible accuracy in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    For more information, please see Global Watchlist Records Check.

    National Criminal Records Check

    A “pointer” database of over 900 million records is queried instantly.

    Process: A near-instantaneous database search, delays only occur when a record requires additional review by the QA team.

    Please note: this is different from a Federal Criminal Records Check.

    For more information, please see National Criminal Records Check.

    County Criminal Records Check

    The County Criminal Records Check is not a default screening in a Basic Criminal Screening, but if the report returns any pointers to possible data in specific counties, Checkr conducts County Level Verification to help ensure that public record information is complete and up to date in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    When potential records are identified in the National Criminal Database Check the report is automatically upgraded, a County-Level Verification fee is charged, and a County Criminal Records Check is initiated. All felony and misdemeanor records identified on the National Criminal Records Check are verified at the source county courthouse. 

    A County Criminal Records Check can be separately added to a package, and is conducted in different ways, for example:

    • Current County Check: In the county where the candidate currently resides.
    • Unlimited County Checks: In all counties where the candidate had a registered address during the past seven years.

    Please note: Applicable county-level pass-though fees may apply.

  • Help me understand Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH)

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    This article will help you understand:

    What is PATCH?

    PATCH is a Pennsylvania State Police Background Check. Click here to access the PATCH website.

    How does PATCH work?

    PATCH is a non-reportable pointer search that can be configured on a package via the State Criminal Search. If PATCH is set as your preferred Pennsylvania search, you can access the PATCH portal to retrieve the necessary documentation upon screening completion. Due to legal constraints, Checkr cannot directly surface the PATCH report. 

    Please note that PATCH results are not reportable. For example, a report can return as clear, despite being returned via PATCH. 

    How does PATCH appear on my candidate's report?

    If PATCH is configured on a screening package, Candidate reports in the Checkr Dashboard will include a link to the PATCH website where you can enter the candidate's information to retrieve their issued certification form.

    How does PATCH work with my criminal screenings?

    PATCH cannot be run as a standalone screening, it must be run in conjunction with a screening package. PATCH is run through the Pennsylvania state search screening. Please note that PATCH can only be run on candidates who currently or have previously lived in Pennsylvania. 

    To find a link to the PATCH request, view the State Search section of the completed report.

    Is there an additional cost?

    In addition to your package fee, there is a passthrough fee of $22.

    How do I add PATCH to my account?

    Please contact Checkr Customer Support.