When it comes to background checks, perhaps none are more powerful than the NCIC check. That acronym stands for the National Crime Information Center, and it's feared by those who don't want others to find out the truth about them. If you're looking to get to the bottom of a situation or you're trying to do your due diligence, there's perhaps no resource better than an NCIC check. Here are three things you should know about these checks if you're trying to protect yourself or your company from potential harm.
The NCIC database is large
As of 2016, the NCIC database featured more than 7 million different records. It is an extensive database that contains more information than you could ever hope to know or use. Still, for a database so large, it is very well organized and highly intuitive. People using this database to try and find information are likely to have an easier time than if they were using smaller, less sophisticated local and state background check systems. There is a reason why law enforcement offices make such liberal use of the NCIC database. They know it's well-designed and efficient.
Unless you're a cop, good luck getting access
Law enforcement officers are able to access the information, but it's closely guarded otherwise. Only very specialized requests are granted, and most basic employment background checks will not be able to access the NCIC data. If you're truly interested in running an NCIC check, you have to file a special request, but they are rarely granted. Have no fear, though, because there are many alternatives that will give you similar data. County clerk's offices keep full records, and most basic state background checks will turn up the information you're looking for on a potential job seeker.
Professional organizations do have access to NCIC
If you're trying to become a lawyer, then you should be wary of what the state bar investigators might find. In most cases, they will be able to conduct a background check through the FBI, which will use the NCIC check to see more than just your conviction record. They can see your arrest record and any complaints filed against you. These professional organizations have a duty to admit only those people of strong "moral fitness." This means they'll stop at nothing to find out whatever information is out there about people who are trying to join the bar, become an accountant, or get a medical license.
An NCIC check is an extensive process that won't be available to most people. It is something police officers often use in the course of their day, and it's available to a host of federal law enforcement agencies. For common businesses, this is probably not the check you'll use to find out information about people applying for jobs, but you should be able to find something remotely similar that will give you almost everything you need to make a proper determination on whether or not to work with a certain person.