Safety First! The Importance of Annual Criminal Background Checks

(Last Updated On: February 29, 2024)

Article written by Karen Scott


There are several things to consider when trying to decide whether to run annual criminal background checks on each employee. Every company’s leadership has the responsibility of guaranteeing a safe and secure workplace environment.  An annual background check would play a key role in maintaining a safe workplace environment.  We will explore the significance of annual criminal background checks as a tool to keep our workplaces safe.


Safe Workplace

Each business and organization is responsible for maintaining a safe working environment for its employees.  One way to ensure this is through annual criminal record checks. This will help foster a safe, trusting, and secure workplace for the staff.


Protecting Vulnerable Populations and the Public

If your setting is one where your employees interact with sensitive populations like children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, or any interactions with the public,  annual background checks will help prevent employees with a recent criminal history that conflicts with their current position from having access to these populations. This will reduce potential harm and liability and assist in keeping all vulnerable populations safe.



Following Compliance Regulations

Many industries such as healthcare and education are governed by legal requirements for employees to undergo regular criminal record checks or checks of various government sanction lists (OIG, OFAC, SAM, etc.). Compliance with these regulations is a company’s legal responsibility and it will ensure that those people in specific roles have been screened in the appropriate manner. This will reduce the potential for sanctions, fines, etc. related to non-compliance with regulatory requirements.


Preventing Relapse into Criminal Behavior

Conducting yearly criminal background checks in the workplace can prove to be a deterrent for those employees with a criminal history or those who may be contemplating an illegal action.  Just knowing in the back of one’s mind that an annual background check would occur would certainly discourage most from engaging in future criminal activities. Also, individuals with a criminal history who have been rehabilitated can show that they are committed to being law-abiding citizens.


Protecting the Company Brand

Annual background checks can protect a company’s brand.  This will ensure that employees will not pose a threat to customers and coworkers.  The company’s reputation is helped by safeguarding against any activities that employees could engage in that would tarnish the company’s reputation.


Okay, I am Persuaded! What Annual Searches are Recommended?

Current County of Residence Court Search– The county court system will have the most accurate and up-to-date information. This will pertain to all violations of state law that are handled in the court system in the county where the crime occurred.


Federal District Court Search – The federal courts handle crimes committed on federal property or any crime that is a violation of federal law.


National Criminal Database A proprietary database of criminal record information throughout the country. The data is compiled from sources such as state court information, department of corrections information, and sex offender registries. This is an excellent tool to locate records outside of the typical lived/worked jurisdictions.


Sentinel Watch List – A proprietary database of sanction list information throughout the country. The data is compiled from sources such as the US Department of Health & Human Services OIG list, the US Treasury Department’s OFAC list, and many others.


 Motor Vehicle Records – This is a must for employees who use company vehicles.  A driving record is a history of traffic violations and license suspensions.  Some states also include information on accidents.


To Conclude

We live in a world where safety and security are a top priority and concern for every business. The significance of ongoing background checks on an annual basis plays an important role in providing a safe working environment.  At Justifacts, we are dedicated to assisting our clients in establishing a safe and secure workplace environment. Our expertise will allow us to guide our clients by recommending the best practices for annual criminal record checks to ensure that your organization has the best screening measures in place.