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How long does it take to complete the background referencing investigation?
When we receive a request to start a background investigation, we immediately mail to the candidate the appropriate materials to complete. The key is how quickly the candidate completes and returns these materials. Once we receive these materials, the background investigation generally takes three to four weeks to complete. We do all we can to expedite the process. The candidate and their references are provided with postage-paid return envelopes and are encouraged to respond via toll-free fax.
Who has access to the background investigation file and its contents?
The confidential background investigation file is physically kept in a secure storage facility here in Minnesota. The file and all of its contents are the sole property of the church that requested the background investigation. No information is released to any other party (including the candidate) without the written permission of an authorized representative of the church. The candidate acknowledges their understanding of this when he/she signs the Authorization/Release on page one of the Applicant Questionnaire.
Can we make changes to the forms and/or questions asked?
Though the screening model illustrated here is consistent with what many in the religious community are utilizing, we recognize that the screening documents may need to be modified to better suit the needs of your organization. We would welcome the opportunity to do so.
Do you offer volume discounts?
Yes. Most of our clients are Dioceses, Annual Conferences, Regions, and Synods that coordinate the ordering of background checks for all of their affiliated congregations. Our fees are approximately 25 percent lower for these clients as we are able to capitalize on economies of scale. An individual church ordering a minimum of 25 background investigations at one time will also qualify for lower fees. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation.
Can you perform investigations on persons outside the United States?
Yes, we process these background investigations the same regardless of where the person resides. However, international background investigations typically take longer to complete.
Will our insurance premiums be lower if we screen all church employees?
Probably. Any measures you take to significantly lower your risk should be reflected in your premium. Call your insurance agent/underwriter for a determination. We are aware that some insurance companies require background checks as a condition of providing sexual misconduct coverage.
How long does it take to complete a public records investigation?
When we receive a request to start a public records investigation, we immediately get the searches ordered. The key is how quickly the requested searches can be completed. The majority of searches can be completed within three to five business days but can take up to six weeks depending on court jurisdictions procedures. We do all we can to expedite the process.
Where are criminal records most accurate?
Criminal records originate in the county court jurisdiction where they occurred and are updated as the case is processed. The county courts then report to the state jurisdictions but the frequency of their reporting varies by jurisdiction.
Is there such thing as a national criminal records search?
No, because of the amount of criminal records there is no way to keep a database up to date with old, new, and amended records. We do offer a Enhanced Nationwide Criminal Search Database Search that can be used in addition to searches but it is not considered to be an accurate national search on its own.
Is there a perfect criminal records search?
No, criminal records can be inaccurate for a variety of reasons. Candidates can have their records expunged if they comply with the terms of their sentencing. Human error can occur when entering in records and updating throughout the process. In addition false positives occur due to identity theft, spelling errors, name changes, etc.
How long are criminal records available?
Jurisdictions vary; some counties allow searches of criminal records for 7-15 years. States typically report searches for seven years. Commercial providers can maintain records they have purchases indefinitely.
How long are juvenile criminal records reported?
Juvenile records are not usually reported in criminal databases, but if the candidate is a registered sex offender this may appear in a sex offender registry search. Criminal records for juveniles charged as adults are typically included in the database searches and experts recommend running the same searches on minors as legal adults to stay consistent and nondiscriminatory.
Where do sex offense records originate?
Sex offenses originate at the local level, but are maintained in each state's sex offender registry. Sex offenders are in the registry indefinitely, with few exceptions. They are required to update the state when they move or report to a new state if they move outside of the originating state.

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