Current Client FAQ

We compiled a list of answers to questions our clients ask most often.

How long does it take to run a background check?

The turnaround time varies based on what is being conducted as part of your screening. A basic criminal search is typically returned within 1 to 2 business days while a more comprehensive package may average 3 to 4 business days. The turnaround time may also vary depending on the counties being searched and the responsiveness of the source. Holidays and weekends do not count towards processing time.

What are the reasons a background check might be delayed?

We make every effort to avoid unnecessary delays in completing your background check requests. There are certain situations where information is delayed for reasons beyond our control, such as:

  • Natural disasters resulting in court closures and/or power outages, or
  • Unexpected court clerk delays.
  • Other Information Needed (i.e. Release Needed, Verification of SSN, etc.)
  • Holidays
  • Weekends

What documents are required before conducting a background check?

The candidates must receive the following documents before a check can be conducted:
  • Background Disclosure and Authorization (“D&A”) form
  • Summary of Rights
For California candidates, the California Summary of Rights must be provided. For New York candidates, the Article 23-A of the Corrections Law titled, "Licensure and Employment of Persons Previously Convicted of One or More Criminal Offenses" must be provided as well.

What extra steps are made to assure the quality of the results?

Accurate Background takes the quality and accuracy of our information very seriously. Background screening results are verified for accuracy and our expansive network of researchers is routinely audited to ensure accurate information is provided at all times.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Public Law No. 91-508, was enacted in 1970 to promote accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of personal information assembled by Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs).CRAs assemble reports on individuals for businesses, including credit card companies, banks, employers, landlords, and others. The FCRA provides important protections for credit reports, consumer investigatory reports, and employment background checks. The FCRA is a complex statute that has been significantly altered since 1970 by Congress and the courts. The Act's primary protection requires that CRAs follow "reasonable procedures" to protect the confidentiality, accuracy, and relevance of credit information. To do so, the FCRA establishes a framework of Fair Information Practices for personal information that include rights of data quality (right to access and correct), data security, use limitations, requirements for data destruction, notice, user participation (consent), and accountability.

For more detailed information, please read the Fair Credit Reporting Act .

What is a Permissible Purpose? Why do I need one?

Permissible Purpose is your organization’s reason for conducting background checks. In most cases, this is for employment purposes. Under Section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, there are certain permissible purposes an organization must have before initiating a background screening program. The defined permissible purposes include, but are not limited to:
  • Employment purposes
  • The applicant’s written authorization

What is a Disclosure and Authorization form?

Disclosure and authorization is a required step under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Disclosure and Authorization form is the documentation used to obtain the candidate's prior authorization for the background check. Prior authorization is required before initiating a background check on any individual.

What is the purpose of Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letters?

Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letters give the candidate the opportunity to dispute information provided in their report that they believe is erroneous. These steps were designed to provide candidates protection from mistakes as a result of human error, mistaken identity, outdated information, etc.

Do I have to send a copy of the report to the candidate if they request it?

Yes, the candidate has the right under the FCRA to obtain a free copy of their background screening report at their request. Accurate Background can provide report copies to your candidates upon request.

How long are the results of a background check considered relevant?

Although not required, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does state you must use the most current information possible and after 30 days any public records are considered out of date. At minimum, Accurate Background recommends running annual background checks to ensure nothing has occurred in the past year since the initial background check was conducted. If you are interested in conducting annual background checks, consult our Customer Service team for additional information regarding the recommended scope of the repeated background check.

Who can candidates contact if they want dispute the information found on their background check?

Disputes can be requested from our candidate background check support page. Accurate Background complies with all state and federal statutes regarding reporting and re-investigation of disputed information.

How can I set up a new user and/or requestor for my company?

An existing user, or preferably the manager on the account, needs to send an email request to Client Services at with the person’s first/last name, email address, and phone number.

How can I check my candidate's background check status?

You can find detailed information on the status of background checks by logging in to the Accurate Background Client Portal.

Our candidate never received their email invitation, how can we resend?

Please contact our Client Services department at or 800.216.8024 with the correct e-mail address for resending.