One of the most commonly used background checks in the State of Florida is the Florida Division of Law Enforcement search, also known as FDLE. And while this search can uncover records from convictions and crimes in Florida, it can also miss critical information from outside the state that could leave your youth sports organization vulnerable.
Read on to discover what a Florida FDLE search could be missing and how you can keep your organization and players safe.
Why searching for records outside of Florida is so important
A dedicated safety program can help your organization minimize risk and keep your players safe. When it comes to background checks, it's important the searches being conducted on applicants are looking beyond your state's borders—you can't assume that your coaches and volunteers have only lived in Florida. That's the issue relying solely on background checks like the Florida FDLE search.
In our internal 2016 case study of Florida organizations, we discovered that 23% of criminal records uncovered by NCSI would not have been found using the in-state-only Florida FDLE search.
How can records be missed on a background check?
It's important to keep in mind that not all background checks are created equal and therefore, they do not all adhere to the same standards and practices. While you might assume that a background check will uncover all criminal records in an applicant's past, it's important to be aware of where the background check is searching to uncover these records. An applicant's potential past records can be missed when the scope of the background check is limited to only certain databases or conducted with limited information about an applicant. A crucial part of a thorough background check is searching for records in the right places.
The address traces that NCSI conducted quickly discovered crimes committed outside of Florida. But had NCSI only searched within the State of Florida—like the standard FDLE search—then these Florida organizations and players could have potentially been put in danger unnecessarily.
Protect your organization by going beyond FDLE searches
Since the Florida FDLE background check only looks at in-state records, it's important to realize how this can impact the safety of your organization. Understanding how background checks work can go a long way in helping to protect your organization and participants.