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How Does Continuous Criminal Record Monitoring Work? Our Contractor Background Check Service Provider Shares the Process

Background Screening | Risk Management | July 11, 2023
Contractor Background Check Service Provider

While many US organizations are well familiar with the practice of conducting background checks at onboarding of their contracted networks, in a world where risk mitigation and security are paramount, organizations are increasingly turning to continuous criminal record monitoring as a valuable supplement to their screening process. This search exists for many direct employment situations, but this blog will focus on how monitoring works for contractors that are engaged by an organization.

This ability to conduct ongoing, near real-time monitoring of booking and arrest information allows organizations to monitor and evaluate their risk on an ongoing basis and after an initial background check has been completed. Let’s dive deeper into how continuous criminal record monitoring works, but before we do, let’s set a solid foundation.

What is Continuous Criminal Record Monitoring?

Continuous criminal record monitoring is the process of reviewing an individual’s county criminal information on an ongoing basis. Unlike a background check which is done once, at a point in time, monitoring will provide alerts based on active and ongoing activity that may exist for the individual. This is a very helpful tool to ensure that not only did the individual meet contractual requirements at the outset of the relationship but also that they remain in compliance with the requirements. Some organizations may accompany this effort but also conduct a full rescreen of the individual’s background at some cadence, most often every two years. Since monitoring is a form of background screening in the United States, it is governed by regulatory requirements like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other state consumer reporting or local laws.

How does Continuous Criminal Record Monitoring Work?

Due to the regulatory requirements, every individual included in a monitoring population must have consented to the process. Since information may be revealed that may impact them directly, the searches must be compliant with the FCRA. This consent may be obtained at the time of a full background screening, noting that continuous monitoring may occur, or it may be done when an individual is enrolled in the monitoring program. Some states may have specific requirements that also need to be respected. Many organizations rely on a contractor background check service provider to ensure they are compliant with federal law.

Once the consent is obtained, the individual’s identifiers – name(s), date of birth – are used to monitor against. This information is submitted to a vendor, or software, that will receive automated data feeds from county jails, court record systems, booking reports, and other sources when an issue is identified that matches those submitted identifiers. This will create an “alert.”

That alert may contain various information and should be reviewed on each occasion to determine if it is something that will be relevant to the individual contractor’s engagement and if additional information is required. Since alerts are received from different sources – jails, booking records, court dockets – the quality and level of detail provided will vary significantly. This can be a challenge and may result in alerts that do not belong to the individual. At times, identifiers, like complete date of birth or middle name, may be unavailable or may be determined not to match the individual.

When an alert is verified as relevant, it is important to understand that the alert information itself is not sufficient to take adverse action under the FCRA. The alert does not constitute a consumer report, and any details in the alert should be verified at the primary source of the information. The most common way this is done is by ordering a county criminal record check in the jurisdiction identified in the alert. Keeping in mind that some charges take time to be filed, the court record search should not be done immediately after an alert is received and may even need to be done several times to locate the desired details.

Benefits of Continuous Criminal Record Monitoring

Most directly, monitoring provides real-time protection for organizations to know who is engaged with their organization and if they pose any risk. By monitoring for potential criminal activity and working with a contractor background check service provider, organizations may be able to act more quickly and proactively eliminate operational and reputational risks instead of waiting for them to occur and then react.

No effort by an organization will ever guarantee total protection against legal exposure however, in the event of an incident or accident involving the individual, the organization may well reduce its risk by using criminal record monitoring to demonstrate they were taking proactive measures to obtain relevant criminal record information.

While there are all kinds of risks inherent in the contractor relationship, ensuring the safety of other contractors and customers in their own homes is a significant responsibility that organizations have. Identifying contractors with a history of relevant and concerning criminal history is one way to reduce potential safety risks, reduce security concerns, and provide a safer environment for all.


As technology continues to advance, the speed and access to information will provide additional tools, like criminal record monitoring, which allow organizations to better protect themselves, their operation, and their reputations. Monitoring by a contractor background check service provider is one such example of a practice that offers significant benefits to organizations that implement it properly and understand the process required.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit

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