Finger Prints vs. Professional Screening

This is a question that has been continuously asked to many, if not all consumer reporting agencies. We will try to shed some light on this question. Let's begin with a few comparisons.

Professional Screening

is pushed by market forces to maintain high levels of accuracy to remain competitive. Applicant’s identity can be confirmed through alternate means such as middle name, DOB, address and other unique identifiers. Encourages review of sources other than databases to verify completeness of records. Incomplete or inaccurate records are easily disputed.  Initiating a dispute can be as simple as making a phone call. Pushed by market forces to return results — both positive and negative— in a timely manner. Screening allows supplementation of database records with the complete record and disposition information obtained directly from the source. Collection of information performed as part of an investigative process. Collected data gathered, investigated, analyzed, and checked for accuracy by a Professional Screening Firm. Screening is tailored to provide a more complete picture of an applicant and may include education verification, employment verification, references and driving records based on the nature of the position and an employer's needs. Applicant screening process protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Applicant screening process protected by state privacy laws. Requirement to "assure maximum possible accuracy" before reporting information prescribed by the F.C.R.A. Can include information from sources within the United States and globally. Results generally returned within 48-72 hours.


Applicants are required to submit fingerprints and are identified solely by existence of a fingerprint — therefore, if there is no fingerprint, there is no information. Can only be performed when granted access by state or federal statute. Screening reliant solely on completeness of records in a database.

When processing a background investigation you need to ask yourself, what information am I looking for?