Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is a background check?
Background check or screening in general is simply an inquiry to an individual's character in regards to whether that person has previously violated any state and/or federal laws. It provides a sense of security in knowing that persons in positions of authority/influence within an Church organization/Business have no history of prior criminal activity.
2) Why should we conduct a background check?
As an entity that uses ministerial staff, volunteers, and/or employees to serve people, you have a responsibility to provide a safe environment. Additionally, the benefits of doing background checks include protecting the vulnerable, preserving the Church's integrity, and reducing litigation and liability risks. These same benefits also extend to non-Church organizations and can be vital to ensuring business profitability.
3) How can we afford costly background screenings?
Cornerstone Information Assurance provides services that meet your needs at a cost you can afford. Furthermore, the cost of not conducting background checks unfortunately can include trauma to the victims, emotional and spiritual impact on the congregation, personal impact on the church leaders, negative news coverage, stress of litigation and the financial cost of defense. In consideration of these factors, how can you afford not to do adequate background screening?
4) Why not get an instant criminal report that's readily available online?
While such "instant," internet-based reports are seemingly quick to obtain online, they utilize databases which do not necessarily include the most up-to-date, comprehensive criminal records. For the most accurate and verifiable results, we supplement our screening with county and/or statewide criminal searches. With our revolutionary Court-Direct electronic court access system, you will be assured of receiving the most accurate results at the industry's fastest turnaround times possible.
5) Why must we have the applicant's permission to do a screening?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must provide an applicant with a stand-alone document (consent and disclosure form) informing him/her that a consumer report is being obtained and used for employment purposes. You must also get the applicant's expressly written consent prior to obtaining this report.
6) What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)? What does it mean?
This law, which underwent significant compliance enforcement changes in 2003, requires that all end-users (Church Organizations, Employers, and other entities) follow mandated guidelines when obtaining and using consumer reports. Clients must sign an End-User Certification Form signifying their compliance with the federally mandated terms and conditions contained herein. We cannot conduct a background investigation or procure a report without having this form completed and signed beforehand.
There are significant penalties for noncompliance with the FCRA. Under section 617, if the FTC finds "negligent compliance" with FCRA requirements, violators are liable to an applicant or employee for actual damages, the costs of a suit, and attorney's fees. In addition, an employer's "willful non-compliance," may result in fines of up to $1,000 per violation, as well as punitive damages. Criminal penalties may also be imposed if a person obtains a credit report under false pretenses, including fines and/or up to two years imprisonment.
7) How long does it take to start?
Cornerstone Information Assurance can help you get setup IMMEDIATELY. Just contact us at (330) 833-6100, or email us at info@CornerstoneCIA.com, or www.CornerstoneCIA.com to take the first step toward a secure foundation for your Church organization or business. Remember, when you need someone in your corner, choose Cornerstone!