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The Value of ISO 9001:2008 Certification

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ISO 9001:2008 Certification is an important seal of approval illustrating a company’s commitment to the operating standards of an internationally recognized ISO management system. The certification helps confirm a company’s credibility as well as present evidence to a potential client that the company will fulfill its business promises.

Obtaining ISO 9001:2008 Certification shows a company’s focus on high-quality business practices: customer satisfaction, production objectives, environmental standards, etc. Achieving Certification strengthens these commitments and increases credibility and customer confidence in a company’s brand and ability to serve.

For example, by running a quality management system, a company can stay in control of its processes and procedures, ensuring that if anything does go wrong it is rectified quickly, efficiently, and to the satisfaction of the customer. It can also help ensure a smooth line of communication between employees, suppliers and customers at all times.

ISO 9001:2008 quality management is the core business operations standard on which most other standards are based. It’s focused on customer service and on ensuring customers receive quality service at a fair cost.

This is why we at A-Check Global were thrilled to announce our ISO 9001:2008 re-Certification in December 2017, a distinction we’ve held since 2006.

Here’s what ISO 9001:2008 Certification means to you . . . and to us:

Here at A-Check Global:

  • We are committed to resource management and efficient, ethical service
  • Internal controls are in place to ensure consistent customer service
  • Our employees are motivated to provide friendly, professional service

Benefits to our customers:

  • Our business decisions are made with you in mind
  • Issues are identified and resolved quickly
  • You benefit from innovation and robust products and services

For more information about this topic feel free to contact us at connect@acheckglobal.com. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

References

https://www.isoqsltd.com/faq/

https://www.isoqsltd.com/iso-certification/iso-9001-certification-quality-management-system/

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Restricting the use of salary history when making employment decisions

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In our fourth “CRAsh Course” blog entry, we examine salary history bans, the latest trend in fair chance employment legislation.

Addressing Pay Disparity to Minimize “Prisoner of the Past” Impact on Applicants

Many states and municipalities have already enacted (or are considering) laws prohibiting the request of salary information during both the screening process and while making employment compensation decisions.

These newest regulations follow the trend of post-recession restrictions being placed on screening processes. And, much like ban the box laws and limits placed on the use of credit reports, salary history bans are designed to offer applicants greater potential for fair employment.

Ensuring Competitive Pay

In the past, employers typically offered a slight increase in pay over a previous job to make the overall employment package more enticing. However, those advocating for current salary ban laws argue this practice potentially locks workers in a low-wage cycle if they were underpaid by previous employers. Worse than that, in the event lower pay was from some form of discrimination, the effects of the original discriminatory practice would continue.

Keep in mind, while these laws may help employees and applicants, employers will need to pay particular attention to their recruiting and hiring practices. Beyond potential litigation for continuing unlawful salary requests, regulators in states with salary history bans in place may also be able to use the power these laws grant to quickly identify discrimination and bring charges against employers.

A-Check Global, Your Trusted Partner

A-Check Global is already out in front of this evolving legislation. To ensure that both we and our clients maintain compliance with these laws, we no longer request or collect salary information when conducting employment verifications. Additionally, we ensure that supplemental documents used by A-Check to verify employment are not visible to clients.

While we can certainly assist you in remaining compliant, there are important steps that should also be part of your organization’s employment decision efforts. We suggest you consider the following:

  1. Update your applications; remove any request for salary history information.
  2. When requesting information on employment history, request only dates, title, and other relevant non-salary information.
  3. Update your interview questions/processes; if asking “how much you’re currently making” is part of your interview questionnaire, it should be removed.
  4. Know position pay scales going in, as some salary history ban laws require employers to disclose pay to an applicant when they ask. Interviewers should know the position’s pay scale before the interview.
  5. As always, discuss with your legal team all processes and procedures your company should have in place, and enact policies based on their feedback.

For more information about this topic, or to request any information on Consumer Reports feel free to contact us at connect@acheckglobal.com.

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Effective January 1, 2018: DOT Drug Screening Expands to Include Semi-Synthetic Opioids

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) has ruled to adopt drug screening panels set by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, with changes in effect January 1, 2018.

What changes are being made to the panel?

The DOT has opted to expand the required panel to include the following Schedule II semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. Technically, the DOT panel is still considered a 5-panel drug screen. The difference is in the expanded opioid coverage that will now be part of federal drug screening programs for urine testing. Many might be more familiar with these opioids from their pharmaceutical brand names: OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.

Additionally, Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) has been added as an initial test analyte, replacing methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA).

Why were these changes made?

Prescription drugs have become one of the most widely used, misused, and abused drugs in history. They are highly addictive and often prescribed as pain management for everything from minor procedures and broken bones to chronic conditions. In 2015, opioid misuse and overdose culminated in over 33,000 deaths for the year. In 2017, the current administration declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

The inclusion of these semi-synthetic opioids is the DOT’s response to this epidemic and an attempt to remove these drugs from the federal workplace environment.

What does this mean for employers? What is the impact to existing screening programs?

While employers are assured their employee pools are being tested for a commonly abused class of drugs not previously tested under the DOT panel, these changes will have some impact:

  1. There may be instances where employees who have not previously tested positive on their drug screens will now be showing positive on their results.
  2. Diligent reporting by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) may increasingly raise safety concerns or report an employee unqualified as part of a reasonable medical judgement.
  3. And, finally, a potential increase in drug screening price.

A little more about safety concerns raised by the MRO.

If the MRO believes there is a significant safety risk with the employee’s continued use of an opioid drug, then the MRO will now instruct the employee to have his/her prescribing health care provider (HCP) contact the MRO to discuss possible changes or discontinuance of the medication.

There are three outcomes for this process:

  1. If the prescribing HCP does not contact MRO within 5 days, the MRO will report a safety concern to the employer.
  2. If the prescribing HCP discontinues the medication or changes the medication to one that does not present a significant safety risk, the MRO will not report a safety concern to the employer.
  3. If the prescribing HCP contacts the MRO and states that the medication is not being changed or discontinued, the MRO will report a safety concern and recommend a fitness for duty evaluation of the employee.

The usual Federal Chain of Custody and Control forms (CCF) that we have now can still be utilized after Jan. 1, 2018 without issue until June 30, 2018 at all laboratories. After that, we will be required to use the newly updated CCFs for any federal drug screening.

How can I make sure that I am ready for the upcoming changes?

A-Check Global is your trusted partner during this change. If you have any questions surrounding your federal workplace program or changes to the DOT protocol, A-Check Global’s team of dedicated professionals are available to help, and can provide friendly, accurate guidance.

Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email support@acheckglobal.com.

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Background Screening and the Education Community

 

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As one might guess, business rules that help guide employment decisions can differ based on the needs of the organization or industry. The education community is a great example, especially because faculty or other employees may be in contact with children or young adults. Likewise, schools are largely dependent on their reputations as an organization and on the integrity of those working on campus. These higher standards often result in greater, mandatory background screening requirements for the education community.

Here’s a small sample of state-specific background screening legislation:

For example, in Florida, Senate Bill 988 requires specific notations on the driver’s licenses of sexual predators, and establishes stringent standards for background screening of individuals providing contracted non-instructional services to Florida public schools or districts. Additionally, Senate Bill 1712 establishes that a conviction of certain offenses makes one ineligible for a Florida Educator Certificate, and additionally, instructional personnel and school administrators are ineligible for employment in any position that requires direct student contact in a district school system, charter school, private school that accepts students under the Corporate Tax or McKay Scholarships, or the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Pennsylvania School Law requires that all applicants for employment in public and private schools, employees of independent contractors seeking business with public and private schools, and student teacher candidates undergo background checks if they will have direct contact with students. School volunteers who are responsible for children’s welfare or who have “direct volunteer contact” with children at a school are also required to have background checks.

Of course, these aren’t the only states requiring mandatory background screening for those working with children, but are used to illustrate that if you’re planning a career in education, be prepared to submit to background screening for each position you hold.

If you have questions about the background screening process, A-Check Global’s team of dedicated professionals are available to help, and can provide friendly, accurate guidance. Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email support@acheckglobal.com.

References:

http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/professional-practices/background-screening-requirements.stml

http://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20-%20Administrators/Background%20checks/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1