Although education verification can look a lot of different ways, the overall process refers to the verification of a candidate’s educational, certification, and/or licensure-related claims. Education verification processes can be conducted for any level of education including high school, and GED equivalency exams, colleges, universities, and professional certifications or licenses. These background checks can include finding information not only on whether someone attended and graduated from the schools they claim, but what grades they received within certain topics of study that may be important within certain vocational fields.
Most of the time, education verification is referring to is education earned from colleges and universities. In almost all cases the college/university will require a written release from the candidate before releasing records or an official transcript.
Education verification check services
As part of your pre-employment background checks, you can have a screening service conduct education verification checks for you. Prices for this part of a background check typically range from $25 to $75. The best background check services will conduct the entire pre-employment screening for you all at once. Among the services business.com recommends as being the best for small businesses include:
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When verifying a potential hire’s past education, companies need candidates to provide their name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. Whether you are utilizing a background check service or not, it is best to provide the candidate with what the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows and requires of businesses.
Additionally, there are two things to be mindful of when it comes to legal requirements of companies that conduct educational verification background checks:
FCRA requirements: The FCRA requires all employers to inform the candidate that they are running the background check and to receive written consent from the candidate prior to doing so. In addition, if you do not hire the candidate and the reason for not doing so is related in full or in part to the data points received during the background check process, the employer is required to share the results with the candidate so they are fully aware, but also so they can check to see if there is a discrepancy within the reporting. If this is the case, the FCRA has an adverse action process that must be followed.
EEOC requirements: The S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that there be no discrimination, intended or otherwise, during the review process. Employers should be consistent in how their program of conducting background checks is executed. All candidates should receive the same type of review, including methods used, turnaround time, etc. Note that local laws could also come into play based on both the locations the employer is hiring and where the candidate is located.