U.S. Educational and Employment Checks Through Single Database

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In the United States, information institutions centralize the management of educational and employment records. With access to their databases, background checks, educational verification, and employment history can be completed. This alleviates the need for universities and corporations to respond to verification inquiries for hiring checks individually. Moreover, it’s convenient for companies conducting hiring checks to verify educational and employment records through these centralized information institutions.

Similar to Japan’s Credit Information Agency Inquiry System

Credit information agencies like CIC, JICC, and the Japanese Bankers Association have established centralized management systems for loan and debt data in Japan. The US system for centralized management of educational and employment records works similarly. The Work Number, which centrally manages employment data in the US, is operated by EQUIFAX, which originally handled credit information data such as debts.

National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)

The NSC is a non-profit organization established to centralize graduate information from American universities and junior colleges and streamline educational verification during hiring checks. The NSC has a network of about 3,600 universities and junior colleges nationwide, covering 97% of all university data. Membership in this organization allows verification of graduation with a simple data search. There’s no need to contact each school individually, and schools recommend inquiries through the NSC. Member educational institutions regularly provide their enrollee data to the NSC. When employers who are NSC members need to verify the educational background of job applicants during hiring, they receive disclosure of information from the NSC.

National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)

URL: https://www.studentclearinghouse.org/

Points to Note about the NSC

When verifying educational backgrounds, it’s necessary to provide the applicant’s name (spelled correctly), date of birth, graduation university and department, and graduation date. There may be occasions when an inquiry from a Japanese corporation fails to achieve a proper result due to a lack of detailed information about American education. Moreover, in the US, the spelling of foreigners’ names, including Japanese, may need to be revised. Suppose a match doesn’t come up during the NSC inquiry. In that case, the NSC will respond, “If the individual obtains a graduation certificate from the university in question and resubmits it, we will reverify it.” This means that the applicant’s graduation could not be confirmed, but it leaves room for the applicant to explain any discrepancies.

Background Checks for Public Officials

In some cases, requests for American educational verification come in for individuals running for public offices, such as politicians or members of Congress. However, the NSC system is operated for background checks during hiring. In investigations for purposes other than hiring, because consent for the investigation has yet to be obtained from the subject, you cannot ask the individual to obtain a diploma certificate and conduct a re-investigation if no graduation match is found. Therefore, care must be taken in investigations for purposes other than hiring.

The Work Number

The Work Number is a service provided by the major credit information agency Equifax. It is a centralized management database for employers to verify job applicants’ employment and income history. The purpose of this service is to streamline and standardize the employment verification process. This system benefits both employers, who can efficiently verify applicants’ employment histories, and job seekers, who can easily provide proof of their employment history.

Employers who are members of The Work Number provide data such as employees’ duration of employment, job type, salary, etc. When member employers need to verify a job applicant’s employment history during hiring, they receive disclosure of information from The Work Number. In addition, financial institutions and landlords can also receive disclosure of employment verification information when applying for loans or rental contracts. Medium and large corporations across the US are members of The Work Number. Normally, for white-collar workers, employment verification can be completed with an inquiry to The Work Number. However, to make this data inquiry, it’s necessary to provide the subject’s ID number (The Work Number).

The Work Number (EQUIFAX)

URL: https://theworknumber.com/

Points to Note about The Work Number

To make this inquiry, you must be a member of The Work Number. Furthermore, you need to obtain The Work Number (ID number) from the job candidate. It’s almost impossible to obtain The Work Number from anyone other than the individual. With such preparations, you can use this system. Companies hiring individuals with a work history in the US need to have knowledge of The Work Number and make sure to obtain this number at the time of application.

Diploma Mills

In the US, diploma mills are rampant. These fraudulent operations issue certificates and diplomas from dummy educational institutions set up on the fly—also, many operators counterfeit graduation certificates from famous universities for tens of thousands of yen. Diploma mills exploit the vulnerabilities of job seekers who want to enhance their careers by promising high-level job transfers or advertising as legitimate qualifications. Japanese employers must be aware of this situation and careful not to be deceived by false or fraudulent degrees or certificates.

Confirmation of Educational Institution Status

Due to the problem of diploma mills, and even without it, you cannot unconditionally rate highly just because a candidate has graduated from an American educational institution. It’s also necessary to check the social status and ranking of the school. For example, even famous universities may have simplified curricula for foreign students. There are also institutions similar to vocational schools, such as community colleges. It’s necessary to confirm indicators such as the average SAT or ACT score, average GPA, university acceptance rate, and graduation rate and check the educational institution’s reputation. Supplemental confirmation is also necessary to evaluate the value of the degree comprehensively.

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