Basics of Background Checks

Your organization is, for many, a place of refuge and security. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the safety of your people and property. A background check process can be an important tool to provide that protection. Church Mutual has partnered with Trusted Employees to help your organization select reputable and affordable background check options.

Why is it important to conduct background checks?

Background checks best practices

  • Always obtain a signed authorization from the applicant before ordering the background check.
  • Always provide a clear and conspicuous background check disclosure on a standalone form.
  • Conduct background checks at both a state and national level.
  • Re-check current employees and volunteers annually.
  • For minors, ask for references since criminal records might not show up on public databases.


In today's world, conducting background checks is more important than ever before. With criminal incidents increasing among organizations like yours, background checks are no longer just an option, they're essential. A well-designed background check process will keep your organization a safe place to work, volunteer and participate.

Youth abuse prevention: This issue is felt by all organizations – both big and small, urban and rural – throughout the country. Conducting background checks through the nationwide sex offender registry greatly reduces the possibility of a convicted sex offender becoming a volunteer or employee at your organization.

Theft and embezzlement: Your organization has a lot of hard-earned assets on the line. Checking those who handle money can help reduce your risk of direct losses from activities such as theft, fraud or misappropriation of funds.

Transportation: When you allow people to operate any vehicle on behalf of your organization, you must make sure they are safe and responsible on the road. Your organization should verify whether their motor vehicle record (MVR) makes them a desirable candidate.

Reputation: Certain types of incidents can damage an organization’s reputation by losing the public’s trust and eroding donor support or government funding. Background checks can demonstrate your desire to protect common interests and ensure your organization is doing its best to prevent crime.

Safety: Background checks will help your organization identify people who demonstrate risky behaviors such as criminal activity, sexual offenses, money management problems, lack of qualifications and poor driving history. Limiting these exposures can help create a safe environment and prevent future accidents.

Who should be subject to background checks?

Background check procedures must be in place to help protect people within your organization. Church Mutual recommends that you conduct a background check for anyone who works or volunteers with children, the elderly, vulnerable populations, money or transportation.

The type and depth of background checks you order is at your organization’s discretion. Those who have greater access to your organization’s assets or vulnerable groups require a more thorough and intensive background check process. Church Mutual offers predetermined background check packages available through Trusted Employees to help aid in the selection process.

What types of background checks are available?

There are several different options available:

  • Criminal history, including sex offender checks.
  • Employment verification.
  • Education verification.
  • Reference checks.
  • Credit history.
  • Drug testing.
  • Motor vehicle report (MVR).

When and how often should a background check be performed?

It is always important to conduct background checks prior to making an offer and routinely throughout employment or volunteer service.

Initial: When you're considering someone new for a position, whether paid or volunteer, a background check will help verify information they provided on their application. It also will provide potential vital information the applicant did not disclose.

Annually: Employees and volunteers are not likely to voluntarily reveal any criminal charges or other risky behaviors. This makes periodic background checks necessary to identify potential risks. It is recommended that criminal background checks, sex offender registry checks and motor vehicle reports be done annually.

What if the background check is incomplete?

Minors, refugees, new immigrants and others might not have verifiable records available for background checks. In these cases, you can ask for references from sponsors, teachers and other organizations they've participated with, such as youth groups. Refugees and recent immigrants should be asked to provide you with names and contact information for Homeland Security officials who dealt with their cases.


For more information regarding background checks, contact Church Mutual’s Risk Control Central team.

Call: (800) 554-2642 (option 4), ext. 5213


To begin background checks today, contact our partners Trusted Employees.

Call: (888) 808-8350


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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

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Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.