What is a background check?

There are situations in most peoples’ lives at some point where they want or need to know more about a person than is possible to find out through talking to them or than they may be willing to disclose. 

This could be a professional need and someone you are thinking about going into business with or someone you are considering employing. 

It might be more personal, and you are dating someone, or considering entering into a relationship with them or moving in with a partner and there have been a couple of low level red flags that you want to check out or you just want to ensure that you are making a safe and wise decision.

Potentially you could be worried about the safety of someone else who you care about and want to find out more about an individual that has come into their life; this may be a friend or relative that has got involved in a relationship with someone you might have suspicions about or a new partner your ex has hooked up with and you want to make sure they are an appropriate person to be having contact with your children.

Whatever your reason for wanting to know more about a person, a background check can be a useful means of gathering information and providing peace of mind or confirming concerns and helping you decide what to do next.

Background checks can provide information about numerous aspects of an individual and their life:

The person’s real identity:

A background check verifies the true name of an individual and confirms or provides personal information including current address and date of birth.

This can be helpful in employment situations where you need to ensure you have been given the correct details and identity of an applicant or if you want to check out someone you are dating is who they say they are.

Past addresses:

A background check can provide the history of a person’s places of residence; this may again be helpful in employment processes to ensure a person has given correct information, for credit checking with customers who wish to open an account or if you are intending to let a property to the individual.

Criminal history:

A background check can uncover any past misdemeanours or convictions. More in depth checking can also reveal court attendances and even intelligence or police information about someone if the criteria are met.

Checks can also be undertaken to specifically gain information about any domestic abuse a person has perpetrated or has a history of, or any sexual offences.

This can help with determining whether a person is safe to be around vulnerable individuals or your children, appropriate to enter a relationship with or can be trusted to deal with financial matters or assets within a business.

Past Employment:

A background check can provide an individual’s employment history. 

This is obviously of use to confirm the experience, training and qualifications that an applicant reports to have in recruitment processes, so an employer can be sure that they are choosing the right candidate for the job.

It can also be useful to check on whether a person is really who they say they are in other situations such as if they have contact with your children or when entering into a relationship as any discrepancies will indicate the person is dishonest and there are probably reasons for this……

Finance or Credit Report:

A background check can provide information about a person’s financial situation, any past issues with money or unpaid debt and insolvency or bankruptcy.

This can be valuable information for a business that is considering providing credit facility to a person or other company, investing in the individual or company or entering some other form of business arrangement with them. It can also be useful when employing staff who are going to be dealing with finance or acting in a role that requires them to provide financial advice.

Financial history can help in personal relationships too; for example if you are considering giving someone a large sum of money or entering into a financial commitment with them such as a significant purchase or joint credit or a joint bank account. Even if you are just moving in with someone, knowledge of their financial history can be illuminating and let you know if your assets or property might be at potential risk or if this person is financially stable. 

Driving history:

A background check can let you know if a person has any previous significant driving offences or bans.

This is helpful to employers especially those recruiting for driving or machine operating roles.

This information can also let you know what kind of person they are, whether they are responsible and whether they are safe to be transporting people that you care about.

Background checking enables access to information about an individual that it would not be possible for members of the public to obtain through their own means.

Employers have the right to gain this information through application to various agencies but need the consent of the employee or applicant to do so.

Certain job roles cannot legally recruit without having undertaken comprehensive background checking and can be held legally responsible if an employee causes harm within their job role and the company’s employee background checking processes are found to be negligent.

It is more difficult for private individuals to access the information that background checking provides and find out personal information about a person they have concerns about or just want to know better.

Information around domestic abuse history or sexual abuse history can be obtained by application to the police but there is criteria around this and you will need to be in a relationship with that person or have a child or children with them.

The primary means of a member of the public obtaining a background check on an individual is to recruit the services of a professional private investigation agency; these are the experts in background checking and uncovering information about a person. 

Professional corporate investigation agencies utilise specialist software that enables them access to information, records and databases that are not available within the public domain or even through other background checking methods. 

Background checking by a professional private investigator will also be more thorough and comprehensive than that undertaken by other agencies or individuals due to the level of experience they have in this field and the wide range of skills they can employ to obtain information about a person including the use of covert surveillance and surveillance equipment.

Professional private investigators are also fully trained in the legal aspects of background checking and investigations into a person and so you can be reassured that you won’t end up with a harassment claim or accidentally committing an illegal act in your own pursuit of the truth.

If you want to find out details and information about a person in your life or in the life of someone you care about then your best option is to speak to a private investigator; they will be able to personalise their investigation to ensure they obtain the specific information you need to know and their experience in this field will enable them to get to the results you want quickly and efficiently. 

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