Education Verifications and Delays
Posted in News Articles on 09/05/2008
BackTrack realizes how important education verifications are to your company and makes every effort to expedite those requests. Educations are handled by a special team of investigators and are prioritized to be started within a short time after they are received in our office. In most cases educations are verified within 24 hours or less. However, there are situations that cause delays to these verifications. The common reasons for delay include:
Holiday or Break Closures: The most common delay for education verifications is that the schools are closed for holidays or other breaks. Some schools follow the normal holiday schedule of corporate America; however, there are many high schools that close completely during the summer months. Those that do remain open may be working on shortened schedules or may have personnel in the schools who are not able to access student records. We make every attempt to contact those schools directly, but when that is not possible, we do also contact the School Board. If the School Board maintains records, we can access those records through them. If the School Board does not hold the records, they can tell us when the staff at the high school may be available for verifications.
Returning from Breaks and Closures: When staff returns to school after breaks and other holiday closures, they usually have quite a bit of work waiting for them. At the beginning of the school year or semesters, they are focused on the current students and their scheduling needs. Staff that would normally be available to look up student records have their duties shuffled to help those students who have scheduling issues.
Archived Records: Many schools maintain records for older graduates in other locations due to space constraints. If the school has not computerized their records, the hard copies can take up quite a bit of room in their files, so they do purge and hold those records elsewhere. “Elsewhere” can be anywhere from the school basement to an offsite storage facility. Many schools only check their archived records on an intermittent basis – anywhere from once a week to when they actually have enough requests to make it worth their time.
Short Staffed Schools: Many schools are working with limited budgets due to tax cuts and other issues. Guidance counselors and college registrars’ offices are working with fewer staff members who have expanded duties and less time to look up records. Priorities are usually focused on their current students’ needs as opposed to their graduates. This can severely limit the time they can spend on researching records.
Registration Times: Colleges have periodic registration periods on a semester or quarterly basis that can cause delays. Registration and records verifications are in many cases handled by the same staff members, and registration takes precedence over verifications.
Mail Verifications and Longer Fax Return Times: Some schools do require a fee for verifications and are not set up to handle credit card information. This necessitates mailing a check to the school and then waiting for the school to return the verification to our office. Other schools will only verify via fax, and due to either where the records are located or other staff constraints, take a long time to return the faxes. Some State Departments of Education can and do take as long as 12 weeks to return G.E.D. verification requests.
Signatures Needed: Some of our clients utilize an electronic form of signature to obtain their applicants’ authorization for employment screening. Many schools will not accept the electronic signature and do require an actual signature. We do have procedures in place to get a signed release from the applicants, but that does add to the processing time if we need to contact either your office or the applicants directly.
Student Staff at Colleges: Many colleges use student employees in their offices. Staff members are new to the job at the beginning of the school year, and in many cases also at the beginning of a new semester, and they may need additional time to locate records or to read them properly.
We maintain a database of schools and their verification requirements to speed up our processes and education verifications are handled as a priority at BackTrack. We do follow up with the schools frequently, but there are times that we are at the mercy of their staff or their policies.
For more information on education verifications, contact BackTrack at 800-991-9694.