There’s a notion out there that all student background checks are the same. Colleges and universities that use background screening providers for their students should understand that this is a false assumption – ultimately all student backgrounds are NOT the same!

Google the words “student background checks” and you’ll get over 100 million results on any given day. Many of these are links to companies that do some form of student background screening. These may be big or small organizations – ranging from large ones that have many specialized employees, to those that are quite small. Does size affect the quality of the work? It can, but more importantly the quality of work depends on the company’s principles, its work ethics, commitment to quality, etc., not its size.

Going from there, it’s logical to assume that some companies are more thorough than others. The quality of the work itself is a differentiating factor in student background checks. Does the student background provider have good references? Program administrators should ask the company to provide some names of its satisfied customers. Then they should call those clients and ask questions.

Another factor to consider is whether or a not the student background screening company is accredited. Many background providers are members of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and tout that membership. But did you know that only about two percent of companies in the industry are accredited? Successfully undergoing the accreditation process is a sign that a company places a high standard on quality, is committed to excellence, and has high professional standards. And of course, checking the work of a company is a good way to determine the quality of its work.

Background screening reports don’t all contain the same information, either. What is contained in the report depends on what hospitals and clinical programs need. Schools that place students in multiple clinical settings may find that each has separate student background check requirements. A good background screening provider will assess all requirements and put together a package that ensures the student background checks are compliant with these needs.

So the next time you hear someone say that all student background checks are the same, you’ll know better. There’s a lot that goes into student background checks, and ultimately they are not all the same.