Commonly Used Background Screening Acronyms Defined.

Learn Background Screening Acronyms Used by HR and Management

When employers conduct employment background checks, they will find that this industry utilizes a great deal of acronyms that can cause a myriad of questions for businesses wanting to conduct compliant background checks.

Due to the constant regulations being imposed on background screening organizations, employers must be aware of these crucial definitions for background screening acronyms.


ATS (Applicant Tracking System)
An applicant tracking system is used to to track and manage candidates for employment in one organized database.


BTB (Ban the Box)
Ban the Box laws prohibit employers from asking job applicants about previous criminal history on employment applications. In most cases, a conditional job offer must be extended before requesting or asking about criminal convictions. This removes barriers to employment for applicants with a criminal past.


CBSSV (Consent Based Social Security Verification)
Consent Based Social Security Verification validates and verifies that the job applicant’s social security number, full name, and date of birth match records with the Social Security Administration.

CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency)
Any person which for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.


EI3PA (Experian’s Independent 3rd Party Assessment)
The EI3PA is conducted as an annual assessment of a third party’s ability to protect Experian provided data. EI3PA requires an evaluation of a Third Party’s information security program and controls by an independent assessor, based on requirements provided by Experian.


FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act)
Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act was signed into law in 2003. This notice was to inform consumers and assist them with ordering a free copy of their credit report as indicated in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions, and disputing the accuracy of a background report.

FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act)
Through introducing the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies.

FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
Federal Trade Commission protects consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.


GSA / EPLS Exclusion Search (General Services Administration and Excluded Parties List System)
The General Services Administration and Excluded Parties List System identifies individuals excluded by the U.S. Government (unless otherwise noted) from receiving federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain types of federal financial and non-financial assistance and benefits. Search results include the full name and address of each excluded person, type of action, cause for the action, scope of the action, termination date for the action, agency name, and agency telephone number point of contact for the action.


ISO 9001:2015 (International Organization of Standardization)
The ISO 9001:2015 certification establishes the criteria for a quality management system. This standard is “based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.” Using ISO 9001:2015 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.


MRO (Medical Review Officer)
A licensed doctor that reviews drug screening results in order to provide either negative or positive results. They also conduct phone interviews with the subject of the drug screening report if the results are positive to ensure there were not any factors that could have caused a positive test (medical prescriptions, over the counter drugs, etc.)

MVR (Motor Vehicle Report)
A driving history record search or motor vehicle report will show the license class as well as any restrictions imposed on the driver.


NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners)
One of the most well known background screening acronyms is NAPBS, which represents the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. This trade association was established to represent the interest of organizations offering employment and tenant background screening services in order to promote industry standards and best practices when providing employment background checks.

NSOR (National Sex Offender Registry)
The National Sex Offender Registry represents a search of all fifty (50) states sex offender registry for any Level II or III offenders. Due to Megan’s Law, every state must maintain a registry of sex offenders.


OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets and Control)
The Office of Foreign Assets and Control is used to reveal known terrorists, specially designated nationals, narcotics traffickers, and other sanctioned persons by searching relevant databases and watch lists. A Foreign Nationals Terrorist Sanctions List Search (OFAC/ CLFST & OSFI) or “Prohibited Parties Check” helps identify individuals who are not allowed to do business in the U.S. or are deemed to be a threat by the Federal government. The Office of Foreign Assets and Control maintains a database of all persons and companies that are banned from entry or conducting business in the United States. This includes terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to weapon distribution.

OIG (Office of Inspector General)
The mission of the Office of Inspector General is to safeguard the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) programs and the wellbeing of its beneficiaries. The OIG has the authority to prohibit individuals and entities from federally subsidized health care programs. They also maintain an exclusion list of all current individual and entities prohibited from participating called the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE).


PCI (Payment Card Industry)
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all organizations that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information will maintain a secure environment.

Privacy Shield
The Privacy Shield program, which is administered by the International Trade Administration (ITA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce, enables U.S.-based organizations to join one or both of the Privacy Shield Frameworks in order to benefit from the adequacy determinations. It requires that organizations comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.

While there are many background screening acronyms used in organizations, there will always be organizations that utilize custom acronyms that are only applicable to their respective policies and procedures. For definitions of these custom acronyms, we encourage that check with your consumer reporting agency.

Research Your New Hires!


Workplace Violence
One out of every six crimes occurs in the workplace and homicide is the second leading cause of workplace death in the U.S.

Education Falsification
National Credit Verification Service reports that 25% of the MBA degrees it verifies on resumes are false.

72% of shrinkage is due to employee theft.
34% of all job applications contain lies.
30% of small business failure is caused by employee theft.