As a general rule, every professional license, no matter the type, should be verified. Performing license verifications is one of the easiest, but most often overlooked, types of background checks available.
More and more occupations require a valid license to offer particular services – everything from doctors and lawyers to CPAs, teachers, airline pilots, and scores of other occupations. The point is, whatever type of license a job seeker is claiming, it should be checked to ensure that it is currently valid without any restrictions or limitations on it.
In our most recent blog, the professionals at Barada Associates discuss the importance of verifying a job applicant’s license as part of a comprehensive background check.
The Importance of Checking a Candidate’s License
So many industries require professional licenses to work. Some of the most common include teachers, medical professionals, land surveyors, lawyers, building contractors, counselors, electricians and therapists.
Unfortunately, the more respected the occupation, the less likely employers are to check the validity of the license associated with it. This is particularly true of physicians. Because, as a society, we hold doctors in such high regard, many employers are reluctant to run the risk of insulting a physician by verifying a license to practice medicine. The failure to do so, however, can be potentially disastrous. All that’s required is placing a call to the state agency that issues the licenses, whatever they’re for, and verifying that the license is valid.
If a license cannot be confirmed for any reason, the fairest thing to do is to tell the candidate and give them a chance to prove the license really is valid. The proof, incidentally, should come in the form of a certified document from the issuing agency. But it’s also important to keep in mind there is some information that verifying a license won’t tell you.
It’s imperative to verify licenses for other positions as well and not just doctors. Teachers, for example, must be licensed to show they meet certain standards in their subject areas so they can effectively teach our children. An electrician, meanwhile, must be licensed to show they can perform quality electrical work in a correct and safe manner. And it’s pretty obvious why it’s important to verify that a pilot is licensed.
Tips for Verifying Licenses
It’s important to reiterate that you should never verify a license simply from a piece of paper or a card the job candidate has in their possession, as licenses are far too easy to forge.
Consider hiring a reputable background screening company such as Barada Associates to perform license verification. Our professionals will go directly to the issuing board, which is referred to as the primary source verification.
Choosing a third-party firm to check licenses will ensure all of the information is up-to-date. Some companies make the mistake of relying solely on an online database to verify licenses. The problem with this is the institution that issues the license may not have the information updated online, giving you invalid information.
What Does a License Verification Include?
Primary source verification of a license can confirm a variety of important information. A license check will include the following information:
- Licensee’s name
- License type
- License number
- Issue date
- Expiration date
- Disciplinary actions
- Conditions or restrictions on the license
It’s important to note that licenses are typically issued by state boards, and there can be major differences from state to state in regards to how they report incidents.
Contact Barada Associates for Professional License Verification Services
While it’s important to verify that the candidate does have the license claimed, doing so doesn’t say anything about their overall ability to do the job. That’s why checking references is still at the heart of the hiring process. There’s seldom a charge to verify an active license, and it can be done quickly with a simple phone call.
Founded in 1979, Barada Associates is one of the oldest and most trusted background screening companies in the United States. Our professionals help companies make the right hires that fit their company culture and environment. For more information on professional license checks, or to request a quote, contact Barada Associates today.