Background Checks

How Do We Comply With Indiana HEA 1079?

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This July, Indiana issued a new law pertaining to schools and background checks known as the House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1079. Knowing and understanding the requirements of HEA 1079 will increase your appreciation for how Safe Hiring Solutions can help schools comply with the law. SHS has developed a  process that will allow Indiana school administrators and HR managers to save time and money while meeting HEA requirements.

What is HEA 1079?

As mentioned above, HEA 1079 mandates that every school in the state of IN have an updated Expanded Criminal History background check on file for every employee. This includes lunch workers, janitors, substitutes, teachers, and anyone else on the school’s payroll.

The bill pertains to public and private schools alike. In addition, every five years the Expanded Criminal History check must be updated for every employee. New hires must receive an Expanded Criminal History check prior to starting, and then they must be incorporated into the five-year cycle for updated checks.

How We Ensure Compliance

This law can be unnerving especially for larger schools with many employees. The pressure to update and expand checks on existing employees while running checks on prospective hires can especially be felt in large mega-corporations. Safe Hiring Solutions has created a simple solution that not only guarantees compliance with the bill, but will help to alleviate much of the work involved in managing re-checks. The solution is SafeVisitor - our visitor management software. SHS can utilize SafeVisitor to handle the HEA 1079 bill in three easy steps.

SafeVisitor will:

  1. load every employee into the system.

  2. perform an Expanded Criminal History check on each individual employee.

  3. set a date to automatically email and remind the employee in 60 months to perform a re-check.

The system can also manage payments for the background check thereby taking much of the record keeping off the shoulders of office administrators. Let SafeVisitor and Safe Hiring Solutions completely automate required background checks while also ensuring compliance with HEA 1079.

To learn more about how we can set you and your school up to handle HEA 1079, be sure to view our webinars: https://safehiringsolutions.com/resources/

Call us Toll Free: 866-434-0002 or email:  sales@safehiringsolutions.com

 

 

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www.safehiringsolutions.com

www.safevisitorsolutions.com


 

Top 5 Problems with Vendor Background Checks

Vendor background checks is an area that still exposes organizations to a lot of risk.  Most organizations have a policy on requiring vendor background checks, but do they actually audit this process or even understand how to audit the process?

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When evaluating the security of organizations, the first line of defense is to always know exactly who is entering the facilities. Employees are a priority for screening, but often visitors, vendors, and volunteers are screened at a much lower level or not even screened at all.

I recently spoke with a friend who works for a large multi-state law firm.  She is an attorney in their Government Relations Group.  With that role, it is not uncommon for her to be working after hours. On more than one occasion, she has bumped into a man working for the cleaning contractor and had no idea who he was or if he had a violent criminal history.

Her experience pinpoints a serious problem for organizations.  Would her employer be held liable if she was harmed on their property by a vendor who had a violent criminal history?  Quite possibly.

Let’s look at 5 problems with vendor background checks:

  1. Self Certification.  This is the most common form of vendor credentialing.  Companies require their vendors to conduct employee background checks, and then certify to them that they have done so.  How can these companies ensure compliance has been conducted with an acceptable level of screening?
  2. Definition of “Background Check”.  There is not a standard definition of what constitutes a background check.  How does a company ensure that their vendors require the same level and depth of screening?  To do so requires specific documentation or clearly defined requirements that are supplied IN WRITING to vendors and followed by periodic audits.
  3. Date of Background Check. Are vendors conducting regular background checks on their employees?  Many organizations only require background checks when an employee is hired.  What protocols are in place for checking employees that have been employed for 10 or 20 years?
  4. E-verify/ Legal Right to Work.  The federal government’s E-verify program is being increasingly  legislated across the U.S. for organizations that provide services to cities, states, or the federal government- including schools.  This is not a service that can be conducted by a third party.  Employers are the only entity that can conduct E-verify, and it must be done within the first 3 days of employment.  So E-verify is a post-hire check.  It is important that vendors provide a Letter of Agreement stipulating that they are using the E-verify program (if this is a requirement for your organization).
  5. Privacy Issues.  The recent Equifax breach has certainly raised the awareness of millions of Americans to the possibility of their personal information ending up in the wrong hands. Privacy issues are a concern when conducting vendor background checks.  One option would be to include any third parties in an Authorization Form, so the information can be shared with business partners who have a business necessity.

SafeVisitor has created a SafeVendor module that makes this process secure and comprehensive while removing policy concerns.  SafeVendor has a policy requirement to be able to be SafeVendor Certified.  Once you are certified, then any organization using SafeVisitor can check a vendor to ensure there is a completed background check.

To ensure strict privacy restrictions, SafeVisitor does not share the background screening report with third parties, but only shares the vendor’s ID badge, photo, and certification that stipulates the level of background check completed and passed

Join us for a webinar to learn more about how SafeVisitor and SafeVendor can help protect your organization while at the same time protecting the privacy rights of your vendors.

Can I manage employee background checks in a visitor management system?

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Are you looking for a quick, efficient way to manage your employee background checks? Because of the House Enrolled Act 1079 in the state of Indiana, schools are required to have their current employees be checked every five years. This requirement is to make sure that anyone in contact with children is being thoroughly checked with an expanded criminal history check on a regular basis.

This is a huge step forward in protecting children and keeping schools safe, but it can be very challenging for school officials to manage. Managing whether or not every employee has been checked in the correct timeframe can be extremely difficult and time consuming. It could also be challenging in keeping up with everyone responded to your email and completed the check when you sent it out to them. Luckily, we have a software that can handle these problems for you.

SafeVisitor Solutions is a visitor management system that can be used to manage employee background checks. SafeVisitor has many other capabilities, but the focus here is on the employment module. If a school district chooses to use this software for the background checks of current employees, it would work like this:

  • The school would provide employee roster in .xls or .csv format

  • We sort that list based on longest tenure divided into 20%/year expiration dates

  • List would be uploaded into Safe Visitor

  • We set the required recheck interval i.e. every 2 yrs, 5 yrs etc.

  • Link would be generated and sent to employee

  • Employee would enter in information for background check

  • Information submitted to Safe Hiring Solutions via Safe Visitor

  • Background Checks performed

  • If no criminal history- auto approve in Safe Visitor

  • If criminal history- noted in Safe Visitor for admin to review

After all of this is completed, the employee will be in the system and will automatically be notified in five when their check is expiring and it is time to complete a new one.

Using this software will not only make the management seamless, but it will also cut down on time and will make it so that it is known that no employee was missed with getting checked. Even though this new act can seem like a lot of work for school officials, it is extremely beneficial to schools and children’s safety.

Would you like to learn more about SafeVisitor and the management of HEA1079? Join us for a free webinar! Click here to register.

Do Visitor Management Systems Integrate with Comprehensive Background Checks?

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Are you looking for a visitor management system?  One of the most critical components for securing your organization is knowing exactly who it is that is walking through your doors.  A clipboard and self-disclosure signature might work for the majority of honest visitors to your buildings, but it will not stop someone bent on gaining access for nefarious reasons.

An Internet search for ‘visitor management software’, will show that all providers claim to provide background checks, but the term ‘background check’ has no standard definition or requirements.

I have audited thousands of background-screening programs and have found the term ‘background check’ defined as a ‘driving history’ or a‘ sex offender registry check’.  A driving history gives you a slight glimpse into their driving history and any crimes related to driving, but each state varies in how far back this search extends.

The same principles apply to a ‘sex offender registry check’.  I have owned Safe Hiring Solutions for thirteen years and we have conducted over 100,000 background checks a year, and I will tell you that a ‘sex offender registry’ is NEVER a quality background-screening program.  Sex offender data is highly inaccurate and incomplete. 

So when you are researching a visitor management system, ask what they include in a background check.  99.9% of the time that will be some level of a sex offender check and possibly an internal client-created exclusion list that includes individuals not allowed on their property.

We had a client switch to our SafeVisitor system a few months ago, and they were under the impression that their prior visitor management system was conducting a state-wide criminal background check on their volunteers before they entered a building and at each ensuing visit.

It was discovered that they had used this system -one of the largest in the school market arena- for several years with thousands of volunteers being allowed entry into their 10 school buildings and they had only been receiving a sex offender registry check.  The risk management problem is:

·         Someone convicted of a sex offense but not required to register as a sex offender would not show on this type of check.

·         Violent felons could have been wandering their hallways as volunteers with none the wiser. 

·         The lack of transparency by this visitor management system put thousands of students and teachers at risk. 

So understanding the definition and components of a comprehensive background check is critical.  Otherwise, you might be operating with a false sense of security thinking that your visitors have been properly vetted.

SafeVisitor visitor management system is the only visitor management system I am aware of that conducts comprehensive background checks on visitors.  We are integrated with Safe Hiring Solutions, our sister background-screening firm, who is a recognized global leader in background checks.

SafeVisitor allows you to define your different types and levels of visitors and match that up with an appropriate level background check which can range from nothing for a temporary visitor to a national criminal background check for a vendor or volunteer.

You can even manage your current employees, their background re-checks and logging them in an out as they visit different areas or buildings in your organization.

And you can define how frequently you require a new background check and have the flexibility to make this unique for each registration type.  For example, a volunteer might be required to have a background check every 3 years but a sensitive contractor might be required to have an annual background check.

The key to selecting the right visitor management system is understanding the role that background checks play in the security of your organization. 

Would you like to learn more about SafeVisitor?  Join us for our free webinar that we host each Thursday.  Click here to register.