Background evaluations, sometimes referred to as background investigations, seek information about an applicant’s employment, criminal, and personal history in an effort to investigate behavioral reliability, integrity, and personal adjustment. Background evaluations are conducted to determine whether there are any historical facts that would interfere with an applicant’s ability to perform the job, including violations of statutes, regulations, or laws. It is important to note background evaluations are a different process than competency-based assessments and are typically handled apart from the traditional assessments (e.g., cognitive ability tests, accomplishment record). Depending on the extensiveness of the background evaluation, you may be required to gain the applicant’s permission.
Background evaluation data are primarily used when screening personnel for positions of trust in
which integrity and positive psychological adjustment is particularly desirable. Such
occupations include law enforcement, private security industry, and positions requiring
government-issued security clearances. The appointment of any civilian employee to a position
in the Federal Government is subject to a background investigation.
Examples of factors investigated with a background evaluation are an applicant’s employment
history, past illegal drug use, and previous criminal records. In addition to collecting
background information directly from an applicant, background information is sometimes
collected from other sources who know the applicant such as former employers and co-workers,
friends, and neighbors.
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inventory in the assessment of job applicants' background investigations, and subsequent
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