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Criminal Checks for School Staff Verification: A Primer

After a huge hue and cry over safety and security issues in schools around Delhi-NCR, Police has attempted to make background verification of staff members mandatory. A lot of schools still don’t understand the process and the concept. Here’s a quick primer for all-

What is background verification?

Background verification is a risk mitigation practice to uncover any discrepancies/ false information provided by the candidate in his/her job application. It is a multi-layered process, to support on-boarding of good talent by verifying the identity, profile and reputation of the candidate.

Within the broad spectrum of background verification lies different kinds of checks (Refer to the image below).

Criminal check is one out of all the critical checks in background screening services. It delves extensively through existence of past criminal records of the prospective candidate and the associated history and context. This helps in validating an individual’s reputation and character.

Although the intent of criminality can possibly be picked up from other background checks, but a criminal check helps to find out an existing record in the prospect’s name.

Background checks for school staff

Criminal Background Checks for School Staff Verification

Criminal record checks are in-depth, comprehensive analysis of criminal records including arrests, convictions, charges and more. Some also have information on warrants. This information commonly comes from court records, police verification records and other database sources created and updated by the district, state and supreme court. Other thorough criminal checks have information about international arrests and convictions too.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued new security guidelines 2 months back putting the onus on schools for the safety of students on their premises, failing which they would face de-recognition. The guidelines include conducting safety audits, installation of CCTV cameras, police verification, psychometric evaluation, constitution of parent-teacher- students committees/forums to address safety and security needs of students.

The point to be noted here is when verifying a potential candidate- be it teaching or non-teaching staff, an in-depth view into the candidate’s criminal history is helpful to know his/her identity from an identity perspective as well.

So, are you choosing exhaustive background verification for your next staff member?

Also read: Criminal Verification of Blue Collar in Schools

Get a thorough background screening report with details about his/her criminal background to assess the mindset and past records of your expected candidate

Currently, the checks are restricted to verification of the Criminal Information System, which is a database of those who have committed an offence. After receiving applications from teaching and non-teaching staff of schools, their names are being checked in the database, and a no-objection certificate is being issued if their name does not figure in it.

Identity frauds are used for criminal activities. How to combat?

Identity theft accounts for 64% of all data breaches across the globe. Hence schools teach ‘cyber hygiene’ to combat phishing and identity theft. The increased sharing of information on public domain is making data leakages doable. People need to be alert when sharing their personal details on any of the social platforms.

A few cases clearly demonstrate how fraudsters today, constitute an industry today with their very well connected networks. These cases of identity theft cost your school much more than financial loss; it results in a loss of reputation, an elusive commodity at the best of times.

To combat, you can now instantly verify employee IDs with Aadhaar, PAN, Voter ID, Driving License or Passport. Leveraging APIs and latest technology, background screening providers like AuthBridge can deliver instant background checks for school staff verification.

One of the biggest threats to any school’s security could be an employee, confidently parading as someone else. Schools shouldn’t compromise on their reputation or children’s safety and hence must demand an effective and instant background check.

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