Professional License Verification Background Checks

February 21, 2024 by Verified First

Professional License Verification Background Checks

Many roles rely on licensed professionals whose specialized services can be critical to your business. That’s why organizations like yours utilize professional license verifications during the pre-employment screening process. 

But just how important is verifying an applicant’s professional licenses and credentials? Just last year, 7,600 fake nursing diplomas were issued from various Southern Florida nursing schools resulting in over 2,000 uncertified nurses entering the field. 

Professional license verifications help you ensure that a candidate has the necessary and valid certifications to perform the work they are being hired for. Below, we explore what professional license verifications are, the importance of verifying professional licenses, and how you can easily implement these verifications in your background screening process. 

What is a Professional License Verification? 

A professional license verification, or professional license background check, helps confirm that an applicant holds the required professional credentials, either by law or according to company policy, to be eligible for the role. Certain state governments or industry regulatory bodies may require that you verify professional licenses. 

Professional license verification is a key step in the pre-employment screening process. Taking a candidate’s word for it or only visually inspecting credentials rather than verifying with accredited sources can expose you to severe liabilities. 

Professional license verifications involve contacting the governing board or agency that issued the applicant’s credentials, as well as the jurisdictions they have recently lived in. This report will typically include: 

  • Type of license/credential 
  • License/certificate number 
  • Issue and expiration date 
  • If the license is valid and current 

There are countless types of positions requiring professional licenses and certifications. Here are some of the most common jobs that license verification checks should be conducted: 

  • Doctors, nurses, and medical professionals
  • Dentists
  • Psychologists
  • Veterinarians 
  • Lawyers
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers and school administrators
  • Truckers and commercial drivers
  • Certified public accountants (CPA)
  • Pilots
  • Barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists
  • Engineers
  • Architects

Why Is Professional License Verification Important?

In positions that require specific training and specialized licenses, verifying the validity of these credentials is essential. Failure to adequately confirm the status and validity of a candidate’s licenses and credentials can result in your company’s exposure to harsh penalties and liabilities. 

There are many reasons organizations utilize professional license verifications during the screening process. Here are some considerations for implementing professional license verification in your pre-employment screening program:

  • Licenses and credentials can be forged
  • Certain states allow voluntary criminal conviction/disbarment reporting
  • Reporting and documentation vary between states

In addition to thoroughly vetting that candidates have the necessary qualifications and skills to perform the duties of the role, professional license verifications protect your consumers, employees, and brand reputation. Let’s explore some reasons why professional license verifications are a critical component of the background screening process. 

Make informed hiring decisions, quickly

In competitive fields like healthcare, transportation, and more, time is of the essence. To hire and retain the best candidates for your organization, you need to be able to move quickly – particularly during the hiring and onboarding process. 

Professional license verifications can help you make more informed hiring decisions, faster. By streamlining the verification and pre-employment screening processes, you can confirm candidate eligibility and license status quickly. The faster and more accurate your screening process is, the quicker you can get qualified candidates into important positions. 

Mitigate risk and reduce liability 

If you do not perform your obligated due diligence during the hiring process, your organization can be held responsible in the event an unlicensed worker harms someone. Negligent hiring lawsuits not only cost organizations thousands of dollars but also damage their reputation and trust. Professional license verifications help you thoroughly vet potential candidates to ensure they have the proper qualifications and training to perform the role.  

Protect your organization

You have an obligation to protect both your employees and clients from harm. By thoroughly vetting your candidates during the pre-employment screening process and conducting professional license verifications, you can help provide safety to both your internal and external stakeholders. 

How to Conduct Professional License Verifications

Some organizations may opt to conduct professional license verifications internally. This can be done by verifying the license or certification both with the agency that issued the license, and the state in which the license was obtained. Some records are available online to be publicly searched, however, others require direct contact with the agency via phone, email, or fax. 

The most efficient way to conduct professional license verifications is by utilizing an experienced and accredited background screening provider. Screening providers can not only provide results quicker, but with more accuracy. Disciplinary actions and current status information can be difficult to obtain on your own, especially when you have to search multiple jurisdictions. A background screening provider will be able to perform these searches much faster and on a much larger scale. 

Professional License Verifications by Verified First

In today’s fast-paced, competitive hiring environment, you can’t let professional license verifications slow down your organization. Verified First streamlines the background check and professional license verification process to help save you time and money by identifying the best candidates for your organization. Our average turnaround time for verifications is 42.8 hours (compared to the industry average of 2-5 business days), with a 94.5% success rate. 

Verified First can verify that your candidate has a variety of government-issued professional licenses, including licenses for nurses, doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, insurance agents, accountants, architects, and many others. Our team will confirm these licenses with the state or federal issuing authority of the applicant’s license, certification, or credentials. We will also report the date of issue, expiration date, and status.

Integrate your hiring process now!

This is the third installment of our Verifications Series. 

  1. What Are Education Verification Background Checks?
  2. What are Employment Verification Background Checks?
About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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