How Long Does Accurate Background Check Take?

Last Updated:
August 30, 2023

A background check is an important part of the hiring process for many large companies. The process can help businesses assess the risk level of a particular candidate. Accurate is one of the leading providers of detailed, thorough, and comprehensive background checks, but many people wonder how long an Accurate background check takes. 

This question is important not only for the applicant who is trying intensely to get a position but for the employer as well. 

We’re going to take a look at what the average Accurate Background check entails, and what the various factors are that can influence that time. We’ll also dig into the typical time frames for certain types of background checks, and if there is anything you can do to make the process any quicker. 

In the end, we’ll talk about what you can do if you find inaccuracies in your background check, and how Fair Credit can be an essential component of taking legal action when it’s needed.

What Is An Accurate Background Check?

Accurate is one of the biggest background check service providers, with one of their biggest customers being Amazon, which uses them for pre-employment background screenings. They perform in-depth and highly reliable background checks that look into an individual’s personal and professional history, including criminal records, employment history, background, education, and credit history. 

The main goal of a background check from Accurate is to help employers make more effective and informed decisions about their prospective employees, and ensure that they meet specific qualifications and don’t pose any risk to the company or its employees. 

Background checks can be conducted for a wide range of purposes, and are generally conducted by third-party services like Accurate. The accuracy of the background check also depends on the comprehensiveness of the data used, as well as the attention to detail and capability of the investigator. Accurate background checks should be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as other relevant laws and regulations. 

This ensures that the information that is provided as part of the background check is accurate, up-to-date, and legally permissible. Many employers are also required to obtain written consent from the applicant. 

Factors that Influence Background Check Turnaround Time

Scope of the Background Check

One of the biggest factors that can affect the time it takes to get the results of your background check. More extensive investigations with multiple sources and verification points. These will generally take longer to complete than a standard basic background check. Employers can customize the scope of their background checks, based on the requirements of the position and their risk tolerance.

Jurisdictional Delays

Background checks often require searching multiple jurisdictions, which can create delays for the applicant, though it will largely depend on the speed of the local court systems and recordkeeping agencies. Some jurisdictions have longer processing times or require a minimum waiting period before releasing records for verification.

Employment and Education Verification

Employment and educational verification can also add specifically to the turnaround time for your background check. This is because it often involves contacting previous employers and educational institutions to confirm the candidate’s work history and educational credentials. The time taken for this process can vary considerably depending on the responsiveness of the organizations or institutions involved.

Criminal Records Search

Criminal records searches can also add considerably to the potential turnaround time for a background check. The time taken to search for records can depend on the type of search, such as national, federal, state, or county, the availability and accessibility of the records themselves, and even the need for manual record retrieval in some situations. 

Typical Accurate Background Check Timeframe

If your potential employer is using Accurate for your background check, you can expect the entire process to take between 1 and 4 weeks, in total. The wide range is due to the potential delays involved and the difference in comprehensiveness. 

Simple background checks are likely able to be completed in just a few business days, while more involved background checks will involve waiting periods or simply longer times to complete. Here are some common records searches and how long they take:

National Criminal Database Search

In some cases, a national criminal records search can produce records instantly. In other cases, however, may take 24 to 72 hours to complete a more comprehensive search.

Federal Criminal Records Search

Federal criminal records search will generally take between 1 and 3 business days. This is because these records are usually maintained by the federal government and are therefore more accessible than many county or even state records.

County Criminal Records Search

County criminal records searches can take between 1 and 5 business days, depending on the efficiency of the local court systems and if there is a need for any records to be manually retrieved.

Employment Verification

In most cases, employment verification will take between 1 and 3 business days, depending on the responsiveness of the previous employers and if there are any issues surrounding the availability of employment records.

Education Verification

Education verification is usually a fairly quick process, only taking 1 to 3 business days on average. There is the chance, however, of the verification taking longer if the records are not easily accessible, or if the institution has a lengthy or complicated verification process for record verification

Credit Check

The credit check is one of the quickest verifications to be done, and it will usually only take a few minutes to a few hours. The major credit bureaus provide digital access to credit reports, however, additional time may be required if there are issues or discrepancies regarding the correct credit report that may need to be resolved first.

Tips for a Faster Accurate Background Check Process

While your ability to influence the speed of the background check process is relatively limited, there are some things you can do to ensure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

  • Make sure that you are providing information on your application that is as accurate and complete as possible. This includes your personal information and all of the information related to your previous employers and educational institutions.
  • Give your personal and professional references a heads up that they may be contacted by someone performing a background check, and make sure that they are available and prepared to respond when needed.
  • Make sure you have a current copy of your credit report before the background check, and review it for accuracy. Dispute anything inaccurate or outdated directly with the credit bureau to minimize delays in resolution.
  • Gather, prepare, and organize any relevant documents that may be needed for verification or proof.
  • Be proactive, and if you are already aware of any issues in your credit report, like a criminal record, make sure you let your prospective employer know, and give them supporting documentation if needed.

Contact Fair Credit if You Encounter Inaccuracies in Your Background Check

If you find inaccuracies in your background check, you should let your potential employer know as well as the background check agency, in writing. Provide them with any documentation you have that will support your position. Under the FCRA, you have the right to dispute any incorrect information, and the agency is required to investigate. 

If you’ve exhausted all of the options for fixing the error and it still isn’t resolved, you may be able to take legal action. Contact Fair Credit today to get started, by discussing your case with a trusted member of our legal team.

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