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Practical Guidance

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May 3, 2024
HUD Fair Housing Act Tenant Screening Guidance - Summary
Below is a summary of the guidance released on Thursday, May 2nd by HUD regarding tenant screening under the Fair Housing Act. The released guidance is lengthy and not subject to notice and comment. If you are in the tenant screening space, please be sure to review the guidance and the below summary. As always, consult with legal counsel to discuss impact to your business and your clients. This summary was prepared by Jay Harris, Hudson Cook.
April 12, 2024
Comparison of Background Screening Industry and Police Service Criminal Record Checks (Canada)
A Comparison of the Background Screening Industry and Police Service Criminal Record Checks (Canada)
April 12, 2024
Criminal Record Checks - Comparing Third Party (Screening Industry) Checks to those from Canadian Police Services
Third-party background screening vendors provide millions of criminal checks to organizations across Canada every year, collecting and completing more checks annually than all police services combined.
January 31, 2024
Practical Guidance for Consumer Reporting Agencies Regarding Section 613 of the FCRA
Practical Guidance for Consumer Reporting Agencies Regarding Section 613 of the FCRA
January 3, 2024
Practical Guidance - Updating a Consumer Report
Practical Guidance - Updating a Consumer Report US Industry Practices Committee
September 19, 2023
PBSA Canada: Practical Guidance for Quebec's Private Sector Privacy Reform
PBSA Canada: Practical Guidance for Quebec's Private Sector Privacy Reform
September 14, 2023
Canada's Guide on the use of Generative AI
Canada's Guide on the use of Generative AI
May 16, 2023
Accreditation of private fingerprinting companies
Accreditation of private fingerprinting companies
May 16, 2023
Checking References: Guidelines for Public Bodies | oipc.bc.ca
Checking References: Guidelines for Public Bodies
May 16, 2023
Conducting Social Media Background Checks | oipc.bc.ca
Conducting Social Media Background Checks | oipc.bc.ca
May 16, 2023
Guidance Documents: Private Sector Landlord and Tenants | oipc.bc.ca
PRIVATE SECTOR LANDLORD AND TENANTS
May 16, 2023
Guideline E-17 - Background Checks on Directors and Senior Management of (osfi-bsif.gc.ca)
Background Checks on Directors and Senior Management of FREs
May 16, 2023
Private fingerprinting companies accredited by the RCMP
Private fingerprinting companies accredited by the RCMP
May 16, 2023
Requesting protected motor vehicle data | Alberta.ca
You can search for motor vehicle information under specific circumstances.
May 16, 2023
Steps for getting a certified criminal record check
From outside Canada To submit fingerprints to the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) from outside of Canada:...
May 16, 2023
The Screening Handbook 2012 Edition
The Screening Handbook 2012 Edition
May 16, 2023
Types of criminal background checks
Types of criminal background checks
May 16, 2023
Youth Criminal Justice Act (S.C. 2002, c. 1)
Youth Criminal Justice Act
March 23, 2023
Practical Guidance Regarding Adjudication Services
Adjudication is a service that some consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) offer as an administrative service to their clients. Adjudication services are not a substitute or replacement for an end user's review of their applicants' consumer reports, nor are adjudication services a substitute or replacement for the individualized assessments performed by end users. Rather, adjudication may help end users by organizing or categorizing information that the end user has identified as potentially relevant in their screening process.
January 31, 2023
Developing Reasonable Procedures to Assure Maximum Possible Accuracy
Section 607 [15 U.S.C. 1681e(b)] of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prescribes specific compliance procedures of Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) and end-users of consumer reports. Subsection (b), Accuracy of Reports, is one of the key provisions of Section 607, outlining a CRA's obligation to "follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information" of consumers about whom it prepares reports. This accuracy requirement applies to all consumer reports and all consumer reporting information in those reports, not just public record information. In addition to the legal requirement to comply with Section 607, which is intended to protect consumers, customers of CRAs also expect accurate information which they in turn use in determining eligibility for matters such as employment, housing, or volunteer positions. This document is intended to set forth recommended strategies for CRAs preparing consumer reports for delivery to end users.
January 31, 2023
Practical Guidance Regarding Disputed Accuracy
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are required to adhere to specific dispute procedures prescribed by Section 611 [15 U.S.C. 1681i] of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) whenever a consumer disputes the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained within their file. CRAs must conduct a reasonable reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is incomplete or inaccurate. The reinvestigation must determine the correct and current status of the disputed information and if inaccurate or unverifiable, it must be deleted from the file. This document is intended to set forth recommended strategies for receiving, reinvestigating, and resolving disputed information.
January 30, 2023
Guidance on Hiring and Screening Ukrainian Nationals
More than 4.3 million civilians from Ukraine have fled the borders of their homeland. PBSA and the Europe Council's Educational Resources Committee has gathered this information to assist you and your client's efforts to support the employment of Ukrainian nationals within different jurisdictions.
November 8, 2022
General European Vendor Assessment Guidelines
What is vendor vetting? In a nutshell, vendor vetting answers the question, "Should we be doing business with this organization or not?" This document provides practical guidance for vendor assessment practices to background screening companies, to and from all PBSA members within Europe. It is intentionally broadly written with the understanding that practices and regulations may vary by country and regions. Following these practices, when possible, may instill confidence and better understanding in the vendor vetting process, and offer consistency and overall improved processes.
July 1, 2022
CRTB 5 Point Plan
The Criminal Records Trade Body (CRTB) is a committee within the Europe Council of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). It is comprised of a group of UK-based criminal record check professionals and was founded in conjunction with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in 2018.
July 1, 2022
PBSA Criminal Record Information Identifier Matching Leave Behind
Access to public record information serves the public need and the public good. Public records are used to make important decisions and can have far reaching impact on others. Therefore, it is imperative that any information obtained can be positively and confidently attributed to a specific individual. If Shared Identifiers are unnecessarily redacted, incomplete, and inaccurate background checks are inevitable and will result in great harm.
June 7, 2022
Reporting Elements for U.S. County Criminal Court Records
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) reporting criminal record information in a consumer report should consider including these reporting elements (if applicable) and readily available from a U.S. County Criminal Court.
April 25, 2022
Accreditation FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about the BSOAP Accreditation Program. Includes questions about the new General Accreditation Program as well as the U.S. Accreditation Program.
October 14, 2021
2021 PBSA and HR.com Industry Survey Report: Background Screening Trends in the U.S. and Abroad
The 5th PBSA and HR.com Industry Survey: Background Screening Trends in the U.S. and Abroad
October 14, 2021
INFOGRAPHIC: 2021 PBSA Industry Survey Background Screening Trends
Infographic for the 2021 PBSA and HR.com Industry Survey: Background Screening Trends in the U.S. and Abroad
July 16, 2021
PBSA Canada: Policy Considerations for Background Screening Service Selection
The PBSA Canada Council has created a resource for members and their end users in Canada to refer to when creating or updating their screening programs. The document highlights considerations when building a background screening policy, determining which searches to include in a screening program and considerations when evaluating results, specifically adverse information.
November 3, 2020
OPC - Privacy Guide for Business
Canada Council Resource - OPC - Privacy Guide for Business
September 10, 2020
10 Privacy Tips for Businesses - Canada
10 Privacy Tips for Businesses specific to Canada.
September 10, 2020
10 Tips for a Better Online Privacy Policy and Improved Privacy Practice Transparency - Canada
10 Tips for a Better Online Privacy Policy and Improved Privacy Practice Transparency - Canada
September 10, 2020
Obtain Meaningful Consent - Canada
Obtain Meaningful Consent - Canada
September 10, 2020
Screening and the Canadian Human Rights Commission
Screening and the Canadian Human Rights Commission
July 15, 2020
Infographic: Background Screening Trends and Uses in Today's Global Economy
Infographic demonstrating the results of the 2020 PBSA and HR.com industry survey of human resources (HR) professionals worldwide.
July 15, 2020
PBSA's 4th Industry Survey: Background Screening Trends and Uses in Today's Global Economy
PBSA commissioned HR.com to conduct the 4th annual survey of human resources (HR) professionals to gauge their views on background screening. This 2020 report reveals emerging trends in who is being screened and how often, what elements go into a background check and the increasing value of international screening capabilities.
April 5, 2018
Infographic: Background Screening Process
Professional background screening process
April 5, 2018
Factsheet on Background Screening
Facts about background screening. What is a background check? What are the differences between various kinds of background checks? What databases are used? Is there government oversight?
May 12, 2020
PBSA France Background Screening Market Situation Podcast
Podcast Recorded 23/3/2020 Alice Quinones, Europe Council Leadership
March 23, 2020
Practical Guidance Tool-Kit
Resource Tool-Kit providing guidance for Practical Guidance documents. Includes the following documents: Process for Submission and Approval of Practical Guidance; Education Resource vs. Practical Guidance; Practical Guidance Document Submission Workflow; Issue Paper Guidelines; Issue Paper Template; PBSA Formatting Guidelines
March 23, 2020
Education Resource vs. Practical Guidance
Describes the differences between an educational resource and practical guidance document.
July 26, 2017
Insurance Policy Considerations for Screening Companies
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) generally rely on Errors & Omissions or Professional Liability Insurance to provide protection in the event of a background screening lawsuit. However, too often CRAs do not realize until it's too late that their insurance policy does not provide meaningful coverage. CRAs are well advised to make sure that they understand the details of their prospective or actual policy to ensure that they are not surprised later.
June 13, 2019
Practical Guidance for Credentialing Clients
This document is intended to set forth strategies for CRAs in credentialing their clients. Section 607 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) imposes several compliance obligations on consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). The first of these obligations involves client credentialing, often referred to as client vetting. Under 607(a), prior to furnishing a consumer report, CRAs must maintain reasonable procedures that at minimum require the CRA to obtain from the prospective user: (1) the prospective user's identity; (2) certification for the permissible purpose that forms the basis for the user's request for consumer reports; and (3) certification that the information will be used for no purpose other than the permissible purpose provided. Following the above, every CRA must make a "reasonable effort" to verify the identity of the user and the uses certified by the prospective user prior to providing a consumer report to such user.
March 23, 2020
Process for Submission and Approval of Practical Guidance
Document describe the process for submission and approval of Practical Guidance works.
January 23, 2020
Use of the Driver's Licence Number in Background Checking (Canada)
Practical Guidance for Use of the Driver's Licence Number in Background Checking in Canada.
May 21, 2014
Criminal Record Provider Guidelines
Guidelines intended for research providers in the background screening industry
June 18, 2019
NAPBS' 3rd Industry Survey: How Human Resource Professionals View and Use Background Screening in Employment
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) commissioned HR.com to conduct a national survey of 2,301 human resources professionals to gauge their views on background screening.
February 24, 2019
Use of the Social Insurance Number in the Employment Screening Industry (Canada)
Practical guidance for using Social Insurance Number in Canada
June 27, 2018
National Survey: How Human Resource Professionals View the Use and Effectiveness of Background Screening Methods
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) commissioned HR.com to conduct an unprecedented national industry survey of 2,137 human resources professionals to gauge their views on background screening.
May 30, 2018
Guidance on Inappropriate Data Practices: Interpretation and Application of Subsection 5(3)
The Guidance on inappropriate data practices: Interpretation and application of subsection 5(3) outlines prohibited data practices, according to PIPEDA and comes into effect July 1, 2018.
May 30, 2018
Guidelines for Obtaining Meaningful Consent
The Guidelines for Obtaining Meaningful Consent are issued in concert with the Information and Privacy Commissioners in Alberta and British Columbia, who have legislation deemed substantially similar to PIPEDA and will be effective January 1, 2019. This delayed implementation is to ensure organizations have time to amend their practices, as necessary. The guidelines cover the principles for obtaining meaningful consent, which is a key requirement of privacy legislation in Canada and also includes a checklist of Must Do (legal obligations) and Should Do practices (best practices). The checklist can be found at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/collecting-personal-information/consent/gl_omc_201805/#_checklist.
April 5, 2018
Infographic: Identifiers & Data Security
Summary of the use of identifiers in background screening and assurance of data security.
January 12, 2018
A Global Guide to Background Checks
Background checks have become a critical part of the recruitment process in many countries. Employers with a global presence often seek to harmonize recruitment policies across different jurisdictions but addressing the various restrictions and regulations around background checks can be challenging. A Global Guide to Background Checks provides an overview of both the legal and practical issues relating to background checks in 50 key countries. Mayer Brown's largest guide to date, it covers a wide range of background checks, from criminal record checks through to drug and alcohol testing, and identifies the applicable conditions, restrictions and sanctions in each country. It also incorporates new ?at-a-glance' traffic lights for each region, highlighting whether background checks are standard practice, unusual or prohibited in a particular jurisdiction. A Global Guide to Background Checks has been made possible with the input from lawyers across Mayer Brown's global office network and partner law firms in other jurisdictions. This resource is provided by NAPBS for general educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice, expressed or implied. If you need legal advice, consult with a qualified licensed attorney.
November 8, 2017
GDPR Guidance
GDPR guidance created for NAPBS members
July 18, 2017
National Survey: Employers Universally Using Background Checks to Protect Employees, Customers and the Public
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) commissioned HR.com to conduct the national industry survey of 1,528 human resources (HR) professionals. The respondents collectively had operations in all 50 states. The survey gauged how companies approach background screening in order to identify today's trends and practices.
May 1, 2017
Guidance on the application process for criminal records checks overseas
This guidance explains the application process for obtaining overseas criminality information to provide to employers in the United Kingdom. It includes information on meeting the requirements of the United Kingdom Immigration Rules to provide an overseas criminal record certificate in support of a visa application.
July 27, 2016
Canada Criminal Record Checks Fact Sheet
Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services | Individuals may be required to obtain a criminal record check for employment, volunteer work or other civil screening processes. In order to complete these checks, a search may be conducted against various police databases, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Repository of Criminal Records. At present, searches of the National Repository of Criminal Records may be done either by name and date of birth, or fingerprints.
July 27, 2016
Services Canadiens D'identification Criminelle en Temps Reel
Services canadiens d'identification criminelle en temps reel | Les gens doivent parfois obtenir une attestation de verification de casier judiciaire en vue d'un emploi ou de benevolat ou a d'autres fins civiles. Diverses bases de donnees policieres sont consultees, y compris le Repertoire national des casiers judiciaires de la Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC). Les recherches dans le Repertoire national peuvent etre effectuees a partir du nom et de la date de naissance ou a partir des empreintes digitales.
December 29, 2015
Regulation (EU) No XXX/2016 of the European Parliament and of the Council
Regulation (EU) No XXX/2016 of the European Parliament and of the Council
November 30, 2015
Health Cards & Health Numbers
The Personal Health Information Protection Act
September 25, 2015
Canada Chapter Useful Links and Resources
Canada Chapter links
April 22, 2024
Generally Accepted Criminal Record Reporting Practices: Matching Identifiers
The purpose of this document (revised in 2024) is to present those practices which are generally accepted and used when matching criminal records to specific individuals. The Generally Accepted Criminal Record Reporting (GACRR) Practices provided in this document were developed by the PBSA Criminal Records Reporting Practices Sub-Committee. These GACRR Practices were compiled in part based on a 2012 survey of all PBSA members in good standing and were supplemented by additional interviews with member companies.
April 4, 2013
Background on FBI Database
In reality, there currently is no such thing as a single national database that contains all criminal records in the United States. There are actually many different databases used to conduct background checks on individuals.
April 1, 2013
Myths and Myth Busters about Background Screening and Fingerprinting
Myths and Myth Busters about Background Screening and Fingerprinting
August 8, 2006
Reinvestigation Requirements of US Background Screeners Under the FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) details the obligations of background screening agencies in cases involving consumer disputes of the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in the consumer's file. Requirements vary somewhat, depending upon whether the screening agency, with respect to the dispute in question, functioned as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), conducting hands-on research of county criminal records, for example, or as a Reseller of information provided by a CRA (e.g., a credit bureau). The following table summarizes re-investigation requirements of CRAs and Resellers under various scenarios labeled A, B, C and D.

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Disclaimer: PBSA materials are often provided by industry subject matter experts. The information and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only and are based on current practice, industry related knowledge and business expertise.

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