NAPBS 2017 Mid-Year Conference Report


2017 Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference
Washington D.C. March 19-22, 2017

The conference officially began on Sunday night with an opening ceremony by accomplished Chairperson Dawn Standerwick, who gave an uplifting welcome to kick things off. Notable in her message was the significant progress being made on critical state issues, including getting full dates of birth back into court records in Virginia and in Rhode Island. In addition, initial results from an end-user survey, conducted by NAPBS, revealed that Employers Recognize the Importance of Background Check Accuracy.

The opening ceremony was followed by the exhibit floor open to all for hors d’oeuvres and drinks. A full house of exhibitors again supported NAPBS and attendance was up to a record 430.

Monday and Tuesday were full of educational sessions and many were break-out sessions so you could attend those most meaningful to your organization and your responsibilities.
This spring conference is all about compliance, law changes, and best practices on doing all the right things to keep your CRA out of future legal trouble. Absolutely invaluable information if you are in the background screening business.

On the Hill

A record 100+ NAPBS members stayed over until Wednesday and gave up a full work day to contribute their valuable time to go “up on the hill” to talk to their representatives. Kinda Cool!!! We carried these main talking points:
1. The guidelines from the EEOC, specifying the employer to do an individual assessment on each applicant’s criminal record, are in direct conflict with some federal and state laws that prohibit the employer from hiring or granting a license if that person has a conviction. We asked that they support House Bill 548 and Senate Bill 5693 pertaining to EEOC reform.
2. Educated on the nuances of a Fingerprint Check vs. Professional Screeners Check and to have any laws requiring a background check to allow for either type criminal background, not just a fingerprint-based check.
3. Fair Chance Act (to create a uniform national Ban the Box law). NAPBS is not opposed to such laws but wants any new language to not require the employer to wait until post-offer to do a background check.
4. Support a bill to put a cap on damages as specified in FCRA ($10-$1000 per occurrence). A class action suit for a CRA that does 200,000 applicants a year could be threatened with a class action suit for $1Billion in damages.
With some staffers it felt like we were talking in the wind, but others left us with the impression that they felt what we were seeking was, in fact, important and doable.

Fun Times

The party Monday Night was another winner (thanks Innovative!!). And a special thanks to my dance partners.
Tuesday night was a very nice closing dinner. No special entertainment (just a quiet combo) but a very nice final chance to meet new industry people and to bond with the industry stalwarts.

Bruce’s Thoughts

Every year I question if I should go to the conference. I tell myself, “I am too busy to go” “It’s too expensive” and ask “is it really worth it?” And every year I come back saying I am so happy I went.

People, Places, Stuff, Changes

§ Mike Pachuta sold out his interest in Credential Check to his father-in-law.
§ Rumor about a HireRight deal in the works for $500M (original asking price rumored to have been $1B).
§ Carco Group was acquired by a private equity group and renamed Cisive.
§ You would be shocked to hear the volume being done by CRAs serving the on-demand business world.
§ Abbe Groffman, my new Director of Marketing, got a real education about the industry, thanks to attendees who gave her their time and input.
§ Emily Guinan, who has been my internal expert on our Better Vendor Program, did a great job on the hill explaining our issue about not mandating a fingerprint search when a government agency legislates the requirement for a background check.
§ Universal Background Screening’s Tampa Bay operation (managed by Linda Thurmond-Murrell, who I hired in 1995 at my screening company) is now over three dozen. Congrats Linda!
§ Lyndon and Angie Wilson purchased GAPRS back from Thompson Reuters, who bought it 5 years ago.
§ Marc Feinberg (new to the industry) acquired FalconVision in Dec 2016 (with the help of Berg Consulting Group).
§ Chris Dugger sold Infocheckusa in Oct 2016 (also via Berg Consulting Group).
§ Carl Cogdill moved to Wholesale Screening Solutions.

Five takeaways from the conference

1. Be compliant. Be compliant. Be compliant.
2. Keep your customers compliant, so you won’t be named in a lawsuit against them.
3. Know why other CRAs are being sued, so you can reduce your company’s exposure.
4. Spend some money on legal counsel to review how you do business; it will pay off.
5. Check your hit percentages monthly on county crim. sources to be sure they are not slipping.

If you did not attend, plan come to the annual conference in Orlando, September 17-19.

Invaluable Benefits to attending the conferences:

Your company will be stronger: get inside knowledge, do some networking, develop skills, find solutions, meet your peers.
Your Team will be more motivated: the electric energy at the conference is contagious. Networking and education opportunities abound for your team and for them to mingle and learn outside the office.
Your clients will be best served: when your staff is informed and educated, your customers are rewarded and they become more “sticky.”

Remember, this is your industry. This is your business. Join and support NAPBS. I guarantee you will not regret it.