4 Phases of a Best Practices Background Screening Implementation

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healthcare oig programWhen you adopt a new employee screening program into your organization, its success begins with the proper implementation.

By moving through each stage—planning, implementation, training and post-launch support—and achieving respective milestones, the background screening program will have strong roots.


Implementation Phases

Phase I: Project Planning and Consultation

The planning phase in the implementation of a new background screening program is the most important because it sets the stage for the steps that follow. Planning and consultations can take up to two weeks.

During this time, the organization and employee screening provider will:

  • Identify and define goals: The goals should take into consideration the regulatory environment and the organization’s business practices to determine if there are any unique guidelines or requirements to address.
  • Set expectations: The implementation team and the background screening provider will establish a clear picture about the assigned roles and responsibilities.
  • Review: See the background screening system in action from the administrator’s and user’s points of view.
  • Review and set implementation requirements: During this time, identify roadblocks.
  • Outline a project schedule: In the implementation plan, include milestones, a timeline, process owners, goals and desired results.


Phase II:  Implementation 

The implementation phase is when you change from the old employee background screening system to the new program. Depending on the scope of the program and the size of the organization, this can take between 5 and 20 days. During this phase, your organization should document any changes in the existing business processes.  At the end of the phase, conduct system tests to verify the configuration of the settings.

While completing Phase II, your organization and the screening provider will focus on the following areas of change management so the transition is smooth:

  • Internal communications: Communication is vital to the success of putting a new screening program in motion. Make sure that all relevant staff members receive the appropriate information.
  • Applicant communication: To promote applicant satisfaction during the implementation, let your applicants know that the organization is working with a new background screening provider and that the vetting process will occur as quickly as possible.
  • Former provider phase-out: Use a checklist to phase out the services provided by the former provider or in-house background screening procedures so there are no performance gaps.
  • Engage the IT department: Ensure the IT department has all the new forms that the organization is going to use for background checks and that the application programming interfaces are set up with new permissions in place to mitigate data security risks.


Phase III: Training and Change Management

The third phase is all about training, documenting and going live with the new program.

A good employee background screening provider offers organization-specific staff training about the new systems and processes put into place, as health care industry segments each have their own compliance guidelines. This custom training accelerates learning and increases comfort with the new system; thus promoting organizational acceptance. After the training is complete, the organization can go live with the new background screening procedures.

Phase IV: Post-Launch Support

When the new employee background screening program is in place, the organization and its project team should continue to work with the background screening provider for two to four weeks to make sure that the systems and processes run smoothly.

During this time, the project manager provided by the background screening service will check for areas of concern to address with the organization to determine if there’s a need for revisions or additional training. After the launch of the employee screening procedures, use team meetings and surveys to reveal outstanding issues that have come to light or to address any questions.

To gain more insight on best practices regarding the implementation of a new employee screening program, download HireRight’s whitepaper on Optimizing Outcomes When Changing Health Care Employment Screening Providers here.



HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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