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General Information

Why use OPENonline?

Since 1992, OPENonline has helped clients save time and money with background checks that are accurate and FCRA-compliant, delivered with exceptional customer service. As a full service pre-employment background screening provider, OPENonline offers customization and recommendations for your screening program, as well as the guidance necessary to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws. With an average client retention rate of 8.69 years, organizations trust OPENonline to provide customized pre-employment screening solutions that deliver results.

How do I set up a screening program?

It's easy! Contact us today and you'll hear from one of our dedicated, U.S. -based team members within 24 hours.

What steps do you take for quality assurance?

OPENonline has successfully proven compliance with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) and is formally recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited.

How long does it take to get results?

On average, results are returned in 24-72 hours. Turnaround time varies depending upon the counties being searched. When delays occur, you will be notified of the status and expected completion time.


Compliance Information

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the federal statute that governs the use of consumer reports. Its purpose is to protect the privacy of the individual. The FCRA provides important protections for credit reports, consumer investigatory reports, and employment background checks. The Act requires that Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) follow "reasonable procedures" to protect the confidentiality, accuracy, and relevance of credit information. In addition to the federal FCRA, several states have also enacted state-specific regulations. Visit our Compliance page for more information.

What is a Notice and Acknowledgement form?

The Notice and Acknowledgement Form is the documentation used to obtain the candidate's prior authorization for the background check. For more information, contact us today or visit our Compliance page.

How long should the candidate’s signed consent be retained on file?

The Disclosure and Authorization form should be kept on file for a minimum of 5 years as allowed under the federal statute of limitations.

Where can I find samples of FCRA forms?

Contact us today for samples or visit our Compliance page.

What are Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letters?

Pre-Adverse Action and Adverse Action letters give the candidate the opportunity to dispute information provided in their report that they believe has been reported in error. If the results of a background check have any bearing on taking adverse action—that is, your decision to fire or not hire, promote, retain or reassign an employee or job candidate—you must follow adverse action procedures.


Consumer Information

What is a dispute?

A dispute is a claim that the information on the completed background check report is inaccurate or incomplete. The disputed item can pertain to criminal records or verification results.

How does a candidate report a dispute?

The candidate should contact OPENonline’s Compliance Department via Consumer Inquiries Page, email or by phone at 888.381.5656. The candidate can also complete the Dispute Notification Form. OPENonline complies with all state and federal statutes regarding reporting and re-investigation of disputed information.

How do I notify my potential employer that I am disputing the report?

OPENonline will notify the company that requested the background check that a dispute has been filed. Contacting them directly to inform them that you did file a dispute through us is also fine.

How does the dispute process work?

OPENonline will promptly investigate any disputed information at no charge. The reinvestigation may take up to 30 days depending on the nature, scope and source of information in dispute. When our investigation is complete, a written letter, copy of the updated report, if needed, and Summary of Rights will be sent both to you and OPENonline’s client that viewed the information.


Customer Training

How do I learn how to use my new OPENonline account?

When you sign up with OPENonline services, you receive free training.

A U.S. -based, Certified Customer Support Specialist will demonstrate how to use the OPENonline service over the Internet. This training method uses the internet and allows you to view the service in real-time, as well as hear the instructor via a toll-free phone number. Register for a class today by contacting customersupport@openonline.com.


Services

What is the ID/SSN Trace?

OPENonline uses the ID/SSN Trace to determine a candidate's address history. The information provided by this service is collected from a nationwide database and includes information from multiple sources including credit bureaus, US Postal Change of Addresses, property records, telephone directories, magazine subscriptions, and other public and consumer data sources.

What criminal searches do you recommend?

To get the most comprehensive coverage, we recommend a combination of different criminal sources that include source direct and online instant searches. A common misconception about background screening is that there is a single data source consumer reporting agencies can search that will return a clear picture of a candidate’s integrity. In reality, there is no one information source that provides all criminal record information. Conducting a thorough background check involves searching several information sources.

What information is required for a criminal search? Is a date of birth required?

A full name, SSN and date of birth are required for criminal searches. Most criminal cases are filed using a person's name and date of birth.

Why do I need to search alias and maiden names?

Due to privacy concerns, the SSN is many times not identified on court records and results are confirmed by the applicant's name and date of birth. For this reason, it is important to search any alias or maiden names your candidate has used in the past seven years to determine if any court cases were filed under another name.

What information is included in a criminal search?

We report felony and misdemeanor cases when conducting a background check. However, there are some counties that restrict access to misdemeanor information. For those counties, only felony information will be reported.

What information is verified as part of your employment verification service?

OPENonline will verify information provided by the candidate regarding their past employers. Verification of current employers requires a signed authorization from the candidate. Information verified may include dates of employment, position held, salary, and eligibility for rehire.


Technology Information

What are your technology capabilities?

OPENonline possesses uniquely strong technology capabilities allowing us to bring significant automation to your program. OPENonline has developed and maintains a number of proprietary information and interfaces to government agencies and third party information providers that support our background screening services.

What steps does OPENonline take for security and data integrity?

OPENonline utilizes a data center that is SAS 70/SSAE 16 Type II audited and HIPAA/ PCI/Tier IV compliant. The OPENonline interface and delivery systems are kept secure in an offsite, Tier 4 facility. This state-of-the-art facility provides maximum security, climate control and fully redundant electrical and mechanical support systems. In the event of a service power failure, the systems include UPS capabilities and backup generators that have enough fuel to run the facility on its own power for days. Access to the facility is restricted to approved personnel who have passed a full background and fingerprint screening. A radio frequency identification (RFID) security badge is required to enter the secure facility.

Off-site backup storage is transported to and from the level 4 secure data center in a fireproof, water tight and locked container by the authorized personnel. Off-site encrypted copies are stored at the OPENonline office in a fireproof safe in a locked server room behind 3 levels of user access security. Access to the off-site backup storage is limited to authorized personnel and by key-card, key and combination lock access at the OPENonline office.

All confidential material is destroyed by shredding through the document destruction service contracted by OPENonline. Materials are placed in locked containers throughout the office until shredding. The containers are emptied on a regular schedule by the document destruction company. The document destruction employees are escorted by an office representative while inside our suites and while they destroy the contents of the bins.

In recent years, many companies have become concerned over the “heartbleed” bug, a security vulnerability in SSL/HTTPS on certain types of web servers. This flaw can be used to reveal contents of a secure (SSL based) transaction between browsers and service providers. OPENonline does not utilize any software or software versions that have been identified to have vulnerabilities and is therefore not vulnerable to the “heartbleed” bug.

How often does OPENonline conduct security and vulnerability audits?

OPENonline conducts security and vulnerability audits annually. The results of our 2014 security and vulnerability audit affirmed that OPENonline’s internal incident response procedures and superior technical controls are guaranteed to prevent any type of security breach.