The Background Check Process

There's a lot to consider when running background checks in order to stay compliant with all of the various local, state, and federal compliance regulations. Checkr helps to make the process easy.

Initiate the Background Check

First, an administrator in your account will initiate a background check either for an individual from their profile page, or for a group using bulk actions. Then the candidates will receive an email with instructions for the next step.

Comprehensive background checks take about two business days on average, according to Checkr.

Extended processing times of up to a few weeks can occur for criminal searches depending on what courts are being searched and how quickly a given courthouse processes search requests. This is most often the case when records are archived.

Disclosures and Authorizations

There are certain legal requirements that must be met before a background check can be performed. The candidate must be provided with disclosures about their rights, and they need to authorize the check to be performed. The email that the candidate receives will provide instructions for both of these.

Once the candidate has received the disclosures, authorized the check, and provided Checkr the necessary information (like their social security number), the background check will begin.

The Background Check is Performed

At this point, Checkr will begin their background check, searching various databases and courthouse records to screen your candidate. This usually takes about two business days, but could take up to a few weeks depending on what courts are being searched and their search request process times.

VIewing and Acting on Results

Once Checkr has completed their search, they will compile a report with the results, and mark the report as either "clear" or "consider."


Congratulations! Checkr didn't find anything out of the ordinary for this candidate. Their background check status will be automatically set to clear.


Checkr does not make any judgement calls about who is qualified to serve in your ministry. They will only provide information about anything that appears on the records of the candidate so that you can make an informed decision.

A report will be marked "consider" if anything is found in the candidate's records, regardless of the severity of what is found. You will need to view the report and then make a decision on whether or not you want to proceed with this person.


If you decide to proceed with either hiring or allowing the candidate to volunteer, despite what was found in their background check, you will want to click on the "Engage" button in Checkr's interface. Their background check status will automatically be set to Clear in Planning Center.

Adverse Actions

If you decide not to proceed with a candidate because of information contained in their background check, *you need to follow the correct steps in order avoid legal liability.* The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that the person is given a copy of their background check report, and is given an opportunity to dispute anything in it.

Checkr handles disclosures and disputes for you. In the Checkr interface, click on the "Pre-Adverse Action" button from the report to initiate the adverse action process.

For more information about the adverse action process, see Checkr's documentation and the EEOCC.

These requirements apply for volunteers as well job applicants, according to the FTC.

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