An Update to the Conference Background Check Process


The Connectional Ministries Office of the North Alabama Conference announces improvements in how background checks are processed through its office. The following enhancements allow churches to have greater control of the background check process, as well as providing a more efficient means of clearance for conference events.

In the spring of 2013, the Connectional Ministries staff discovered that the background checks previously being run were not consistent with the Conference’s Safe Sanctuary Policy. The previous background checks were not including a national background check, which was required by our policy. To remedy this problem, the staff researched the best possible option to keep pricing low, while keeping this process current with policy. Our current company, Employment Screening Services, offered competitive pricing by adding the national background check, while only increasing the price of background checks by $1.

The Conference’s pricing with ESS is now $12 per background check. This background check includes a state background check, a social trace and an instant criminal check. Instant criminal checks include a national Department of Corrections (criminal) and criminal data check, a national sex offender check and proprietary offender checks (each state’s list of criminals). By adding these additional checks, we’re not only keeping our processes up to policy, but we are also providing better security for our churches.

Additionally, the North Alabama Conference has created the opportunity for churches to create their own ESS branch account at no additional cost. These branch accounts feature conference pricing ($12 per background check) and include the required background checks according to Safe Sanctuary policy (a state background check, a national background check, a sex offender check and a social trace). Churches receive their own login to create and receive background reports as a global link or through individualized emails. Each branch’s background reports are also available to the conference, to provide for an additional safe location for filing, as well as eliminating the duplication of background checks for conference events (children, youth, camp or ERT teams). The branch accounts provide churches with their own billing processes by invoicing or allowing individual credit card payments for background consents. It puts the church in control of your background check process!

If your church is already a customer of ESS, the account can be transferred under the Conference to receive this pricing and additional perks. You will have already received notification of this opportunity from ESS. If you need additional information, contact Mary Beth Brown at ESS at (205) 879-0143.

If your church is interested in creating a branch account, please visit our branch account registration. Once registered through this site, ESS will handle your branch account registration and send required login information and instructions.

Background checks are provided for the Conference by Employment Screening Services. ESS is a Birmingham-based company proven to provide quality background checks quickly, at a reasonable cost. Shelia Benson is the executive director of Employment Screening Service, a woman-owned small business. The firm offers a full menu of background screening services including criminal checks, business credit reports, credit checks, federal civil records, drug testing, motor vehicle checks, education, employment and reference verifications, peer credit reports, professional license verifications, Social Security number trace, worker's compensation reports, Office of the Inspector General, sex offender checks and electronic fingerprinting. You may visit their website at, or contact them toll free at (866) 859-0143. 

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