Facts about Background Screening

What is a background Check?
A background check is the process of looking up and compiling data from both private and public sources for purposes such as:

  • Employment screening
  • Tenant rental agreements
  • Volunteer screening
“Background Check” is used as a generic term to cover a multitude of reports that may be compiled but these reports vary depending on the intended purpose of the user.

Why do Employment Background Checks?
Employers routinely request background checks for potential new hires and existing employees particularly for positions where employees may work with vulnerable populations or have access to consumers’ financial information.

The employer may want to make sure the candidate is telling the truth. It’s estimated that up over 40% of resumes can contain false or altered information, so, employers want to insure that what they are getting as an employee is what they were promised.

The employer may perform a background check to find out whether a candidate actually graduated from the college they said they did or to confirm that they worked at the previous employer during the time stated on their resume or job application.

Employers rely upon background screens to make informed hiring decisions and to help mitigate the risk of workplace violence, employee theft and negligent hiring lawsuits. Background checks performed for pre-employment or employment purposes are generally conducted by Consumer Reporting Agencies and are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state and local laws.

Background Reports can contain information from a variety of resources and may include:

  • Criminal and Civil record checks at county courthouses, state repositories, federal courts and/or international courts.
  • Driving records checks
  • Verification of employment, education, professional license
  • Reference checks
  • Registry checks, such as sex offender and child and elder abuse lists
  • Office of Foreign Assets control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals List (SDNL)
  • Office of Inspector General
  • Financial Industry Checks
  • Credit History (A credit score is not included in a pre-employment screening report)
  • Accessing the FBI‘s criminal database system when mandated by law

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