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HR-XML Data Exchange Standards for Background Checks

Employment Background Check Specification Approved by the HR-XML Consortium

HR-XML Background Check Specification Enables Integration of Critical Data in the Midst of Heightened Workplace Security

Raleigh, NC, USA. February 26, 2003.

The HR-XML Consortium has approved version 2.0 of its data exchange standards for background checks. The newly approved standards enable easy integration of data between HR systems and the systems of background-check service providers.

"With legal liability costs continuing to rise and with the current state of heightened workplace security within the United States, fast and effective background checks are more important than ever before," said Brad H. Whitney, chair of the HR-XML Consortium's Screening Workgroup and Executive VP and CIO, American Background Information Services, Inc. "For this reason, U.S. employers are seeking tighter integration between their core HR systems, applicant tracking systems, and the systems of third-party background checking firms. A high level of integration between systems is essential for background checks to be performed quickly and reliably," according to Whitney.

The HR-XML Consortium's Background Checking 2.0 improves upon the previous version of the specification. The reporting format within version 2.0 supports the return of very detailed, discretely fielded search results. The types of screenings supported by the standard include criminal records, education, employment, military service, professional licenses, administrative/professional sanctions, and credit. The specification is extensible so that customized search types also can be supported. The built- in extensibility accommodates specialized industry needs as well as the needs of government employers. The third-party background-check model enabled by HR-XML's specifications also helps employers respect employee privacy since it can spare employers from having to see, process, or store background information on the vast majority of individuals for whom no disqualifying information is uncovered.

"Balancing workplace security with employee privacy was important in the design of this specification. Background Screening 2.0's extensibility accomplishes this goal while enabling HR systems to easily request an industry standardized, detailed background screening," explains Craig Corner, Chief Architect and Schema Editor of the HR-XML Consortium's Screening Workgroup and Senior Programmer for HireCheck, Inc., a charter member of the Consortium. "Given the extensive resources contributed to this project, we're pleased to deliver a specification that facilitates greater productivity and security for today's employers."

"The newly approved HR-XML Background Checking schema provides HireRight clients and partners with an efficient method of utilizing the parsed results from our employment screening reports," said Charles Rieckhoff, CTO of HireRight, Inc. "The HR-XML standards have greatly enhanced the quality and speed of data exchange," according to Rieckhoff.

The Background Check specification was one of 13 specifications recently approved by the HR-XML Consortium. To register to download the freely available specifications, visit:

Membership within the HR-XML Consortium is open to HR professionals, vendors, consultants, and other users or providers of HR systems and services. For information on becoming an HR-XML member, please visit:

About HR-XML

HR-XML ( is an independent, non-profit consortium dedicated to enabling e-commerce and inter-company exchange of human resources data worldwide. The work of the Consortium centers on the development and promotion of standardized XML vocabularies for HR. HR-XML's current efforts are focused on standards for staffing and recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and work force management. HR-XML is represented by its membership in 22 countries. Member organizations include:

Acord; Adecco Corporation*; ADP*; Aetna US Healthcare*; Allegis Group, Inc./*; American Background Information Services, Inc.; American Staffing Association; ARINSO International; Association of Test Publishers; Authoria*; Automating Peripherals Inc; Best Software; BP; BrassRing, Inc.; Bundesanstalt fur Arbeit (German Employment Service); Business Solutions Group of E*TRADE Financial; CareerBuilder; CDI Corp/MRI*; Ceridian*; Cisco Systems; CitiStreet*; CompuCorps Mentoring; Convergys Employee Care; Cross Current Corporation; Cyborg Systems, Inc.*; Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Development Dimensions International; Dobbs Temporary Services, Inc.; eBenX*; EdVerify, Inc.; Elance, Inc.; Embrace Ltd*; Employease, Inc.*; Enrollcom; e-peopleserve ltd; ePredix; European Community Telework Forum; ExecuTRACK Software GmbH; Fidelity Investments*; Fieldglass, Inc.; Great Plains*; Halcyon Internet plc*; Hewitt Associates LLC*; Hewlett- Packard Co;*; HireCheck*; HireRight, Inc.; IBM*; Insurance Overload Systems*; International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM); Intuit*; J.D. Edwards*; Job Partners Ltd; Kadiri,Inc.*; Kelly Services*; Kenexa, Inc.*; Kronos Incorporated; MagnaWare, Inc.; Manpower, Inc.*; Mellon HR Solutions; Mercer Human Resource Consulting; Microsoft*; Minnesota Life;; Motorola; MPS Group*; National Resume Writers' Association; Object Management Group; Oracle*; Paychex Inc.; Peopleclick*; PeopleSoft GmbH*; ProAct Technologies, Inc.*; ProBusiness Services, Inc.; Prudential Financial; Randstad Holding*; Recruitsoft, Inc.; RewardsPlus; Robert Half International, Inc.*; Rompetrol Refining -- Petromidia Complex; SAP*; Schlumberger; Shell Oil Company -- Shell People Services; Siemens Business Services oHG; Society for Human Resource Management; Spherion Corporation*; Inc.; Swedish National Labour Market Board; Synhrgy HR Technologies, Inc.; The 401(k) Company; The People Business Network, Inc.;; Towers Perrin*; Transcentive; Ultimate Software*; Unicru; Vedior NV; Volt/ProcureStaff*; Watson Wyatt Worldwide*; White Amber; and Workscape, Inc.

Note: * = HR-XML Charter Member


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) the 2003-03-04 news story "HR-XML Consortium Approves Specifications for Background Checks and Payroll Deductions"; (2) general references in "HR-XML Consortium."

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