Many of the terms used in employee background screening come from HR and are not unique. Here is a short list of some of the more common expressions you may encounter.


A unique verifiable 12-digit identification number issued by the Government of India through its Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to the country’s residents.

Diploma mills

Mainly online services that offer worthless academic qualifications or even fake ones. They are not accredited and do not have authorization to offer degrees.


In most countries, employers are legally bound to obtain written authorization from candidates or employees before instituting a background screening check.


Employers and background screening service providers must abide by laws and regulations that govern data protection, access to data, and what information may be obtained for an individual. These laws and regulations vary by region (e.g. the EU’s GDPR), by country or by state.


Applicant Tracking System is any manual or computerized system used to record job applications and track them through the HR process. Big companies use automated ATS systems to do a preliminary computerized scan of the hundreds of applications they receive for every position. The system detects certain words and terms and uses those to categorize the applications automatically.

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Education Check

Verification of documentary evidence of an individual’s educational qualification.


Fair Credit Reporting Act is U.S. legislation intended to protect the information privacy of consumers. Screening services and employers in the USA are bound by it.


General Data Protection Regulation is the EU’s regulations governing data protection of EU citizens. It applies to any jurisdiction where such data is captured and stored and applies very stiff penalties for breaches.


Can mean either a physical letter that attests to a candidate’s positive attributes or the name of a person of repute (referee) who will be prepared to support the candidate’s integrity and/or competence.

Reference Check

A check that validates a candidate’s personal or professional references that is carried out by engaging with the individual (referee) whose name has been submitted by the candidate.


Personally Identifiable Information is any piece of data that can be used, either by itself or in combination with other available information, to identify an individual. For example, a driving license number, date of birth or email address.


Unable To Verify means that our researchers could not obtain verification of some elements related to a candidate’s resume or application form. A previous employer may have gone out of business or an educational institution may not reply to enquiries.


Turnaround Time – the length of time it takes to complete an activity, usually measured in days.

Screening Policy

A policy within an organization that outlines its approach to candidate or employee background screening. It usually ensures that the process will be fair and will not discriminate, and also describes how adverse findings (negative reports) will be handled.

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