Blogging background checking and security issues


Quality, Consistency and Cost in Background Checking

The Green Bay Press-Gazette published an article that mentions the fact that cost is a factor in how deep school districts dig when it comes to conducting background checks on employees and volunteers. Most of the schools mentioned have polices that govern the type of background check performed for individuals in different positions, but the problem is one of cost.

The schools named in the article have high standards for teachers, but varying, and often lower, standards for doing background checks on staff and volunteers. That might be okay if the teachers were the only ones that interacted with the students, but if the staff and volunteers are ever around students then the students could potentially be around someone with serious criminal convictions that weren’t uncovered by the cheaper background check. The level of liability is determined by the lowest common denominator in terms of security, and in this case the staff and volunteers whose background check is frequently of lower quality than that of the teachers’.

How far do we take this idea? Should a business run the same background check on everyone who spends time within its walls and interacts with its employees or customers? I expect that a vendor hired by a company would be responsible for conducting a background check on its own employees, but the company that hired the vendor should be responsible to ensure that the background check the vendor conducts is up to the hiring company’s standards.

Increased security, because of its significant cost for a company, organization or institution, definitely has a significant economic impact. For these entities, especially ones without plenty of cash, finding a way to do consistent background checks on all employees and volunteers without breaking the bank is a challenge. When it comes to schools and other public institutions, are taxpayers willing to shoulder this extra cost?


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