NAPBS 2012 Annual Conference

NAPBS 2012 Annual Conference Nashville, Tennessee March 15-17, 2012


Let me start by saying that if you do not attend these conferences you are truly missing out. You can really gain a tremendous amount from going, participating, meeting others in the industry, learning from the formal sessions, the bull sessions and the bar sessions. Remember the adage; if you only glean one good idea from a conference, it is worth the time and money. If you are in the industry, be part of it.

The value of these conferences is evidenced by the attendance at the conference, up 15% over last year to its highest level ever! Not bad at all. Here are the details:

Total Companies Exhibitor
Year Attendees Attending Attendees # of Exhibitors
2008 642 261 170 49
2009 525 224 146 65
2010 508 213 156 56
2011 572 219 143 48
2012 655 Waiting on statistics from NAPBS



56 paid exhibitors. These vendors provide a great opportunity for everyone to see what is new, different,better, more competitive, better quality, better turnaround time and better integrations. The exhibit floor was very conducive to business and the exhibits were actually open and available during education sessions for any attendee wanting some quiet time with a vendor:

  • Data providers to the industry 20
  • Industry software platforms 11
  • International search providers 3
  • Real-time criminal court data extraction 3
  • Drug 7
  • Consultants 1
  • Social Media 2
  • Other 9


The quality, content and organization of this year’s conference were again excellent and I received the same feedback from attendees. The conference committee, headed by Dean Carras did a SUPER job again. Next year, the committee leadership will begin to pass to Adam Townsend of InfoMart.

The committees and NAPBS have accomplished a lot this past year. If you think people are not working hard (all volunteers) to accomplish things for the industry, you are wrong! For example, the board at NAPBS has done an excellent job of cutting expenses and increasing revenues and has taken the organization well into the black (a$300,000+ surplus in 2011) and is building reserves as any good association should.

NAPBS commissioned an industry survey of the different type searches being sold by CRAs. This was done to create non-biased documentation of how and why the elements of a background check are used appropriately by employers. This is important as evidence to present to government agencies that are trying to limit their use. The final report will be made available on the NAPBS website as soon as it is fully prepared.The Communications committee was the leader here. It was interesting to note that the study revealed that fully 28% of CRAs offer CBSV.

The Government Relations committee continues to do a yeoman’s job to try to protect us, including meeting with the FTC. Having NAPBS’ Credentialing (provider exam, individual FCRA certification, advanced FCRA certification and the Accreditation program) helps demonstrate the level of professionalism in our industry and helps to head off overzealous legislators from passing laws about a function they don’t fully understand.

Our new leader, Fred Giles, spoke and conveyed the importance for NAPBS to increase its lobbying efforts,for CRAs to become more accurate in their reporting and to increase their diligence on potentially adverse information. We do not want NAPBS members to be lumped into the same pool as the sloppy background checkers (e.g. web services that are not compliant). Every NAPBS CRA should become Accredited to show the world that NAPBS members only work at the highest standards. Accreditation is not that difficult and there is even a commercial service that can help you get accredited in as little as 45 days. Fred also reported that 363 people have registered to become individually FCRA accredited.

There will be a new NAPBS website. Watch for it.

NAPBS now has 87international members as the world begins to recognize the importance of screening. If you are not a member, you need to join. Seriously, this organization has done a huge service for you and you should not only support it, you should become active. The cost is really little:

  • Court Record Retrievers. The cost is very low – $10 per state served, $50 minimum with a $250 maximum fee. And by being a member you can take the Provider Exam for an $80 savings and use your membership in your marketing.
  • If you are a CRA, the dues are very reasonable based upon the number of employees. Part-time employees count as one half of a full time employee.

12 or less employees: $500

13-25 employees: $1,100

26-50 employees: $1,800

51-100 employees: $3,000

101 or more employees: $6,000

  • Affiliate Member dues: $150. Biggest bargain around.

Contribute, join, learn, benefit. Every dollar is needed to protect your industry.

Industry Trends:

The mood of the attendees was upbeat based on sales and the financial health of their current business, but downbeat based on what the EEOC may rule regarding the potential restrictions of using criminal records as a screening tool and the possible requirement for end users to have a decision matrix in place to apply the criminal records results to their workforce hiring. If you are an NAPBS member, you probably already have your update on this, announced 4/25.

Technology is still an important key to success in this industry – better operating platform interfaces with providers and end users and automated direct-to-the-court data retrievers. And regarding Social Media: Three companies were marketing an FCRA compliant social media search to CRAs andat least two more were getting ready to wholesale this. CareerBuilder reported that 37% of companies currently use social media in screening. Your job will be to educate your clients so they do not use this information inappropriately and to have a standard, documented process applied to each category of employee. The employer should build a“Chinese wall” between the person who does the SM search and the person making the hiring decision. Who better to do this than the CRA? Get ready for this.


The reception on Sunday night was again excellent. Fastest five hours ever. Yes, five hours. From 5-6pmwas a new member meet and greet. A lot of people jammed in the room. This was a great time trying to meet new members. Then 6-7pm for the opening ceremony and then 7-10 on the exhibit floor with food,open bar, exhibitors, networking, information exchange, old and new friends, hugs and handshakes. We really do have a good bunch of people in our association.

Monday night was open and several companies entertained their clients. Everyone had a nice place to go with good entertainment and good food both off-site and at the hotel. Dancing and talking and sharing until the wee hours.

Tuesday night was a dinner and a Nashville band and a cocktail or two, all planned by NAPBS. While a bit tough for those with “Yankee ears” it was all good and fully attended. Then off to have fun at Tootsies or one of the other “dives” in town a block away from the hotel. Great way to network.

People Stuff:


  • Robin Shattuck, is now with AccuSource
  • Blair Cohen (former InfoMart) is now working with a high tech ID verification company.
  • Maureen Plotke is now with Clearstar Logistics.
  • Mike Cool (former Acxiom) is now with FADV.
  • Mike Briggs (former Acxiom is now with FADV.

Company News:

  • Acxiom was acquired by Sterling Infosystems.
  • BackCheck, a Canadian Screener was acquired by Sterling Infosystems.
  • Taleo sold to Oracle.
  • The Right Thing sold to ADP.
  • Success Factors sold to SAP.
  • TCI (3rd party software platform) sold to SS&C (Berg Consulting Group represented TCI).
  • eVerifile sold to Frontier Capital (Berg Consulting Group advised on this deal).

Conference Presentations:

Many great topics were included. I have not seen the stats yet, but all seemed to be very well attended and feedback we heard was all quite positive. When available on you can view the PowerPoint presentations.


No Fall NAPBS conference in 2012.

The spring conference (now called the “mid-year”) will be in DC area (combined with the spring legislative “fly-in”) so we can bring to the conference those government folks who make decisions so they can see for themselves our professionalism. It will be a full midyear conference with education sessions, exhibitors, etc.

Next year’s mid-year conference will be in Scottsdale, AZ, September 15-17.


A quick analysis shows the typical cost of attending a conference, including hotel and travel takes an investment of about $4.25 per day per person.  This is the best investment you can make for yourself and your employees.  Start filling your piggybank today.

NAPBS Committees – Join one now.

  • Best Practices
  • Conference Committee
  • Education
  • Government Relations
  • International
  • Media Relations
  • Membership Recruitment and Retention
  • Provider
  • Tenant Screening