Education Background Check: Verify Education Records and Achievements

article by Rachel Carr
May 04, 2020
If you work in HR or are trying to hire someone to fill a spot at your company, you could well be working your way through several resumes and CVs at the moment, wondering who to interview.

Before you go any further, however, it can be beneficial to run a background check on all prospective candidates. But does a background check include education?

Here, in this article, will investigate the notion of an education background check and answer do employers check education background? Can you lie about your degree or should you always be totally honest on your resume? Finally, we answer the question, how do background checks verify education so that employers know whether to trust the findings of a background check or not.

What is an education background check?

An education background check is a way of screening candidates in the hiring process to verify that what they have claimed on their CV is true. Companies can be hired to ensure that candidates have not lied on their CV and embellished their qualifications to help them get an interview. Or you can run a search on yourself to see how you come across to potential employers as in answer to the question, do employers check education background, and the answer is most certainly yes.

Why would people want to use an education background check?

Now you know what is an education background check, it’s important to realize why people would want to use one.

Running background checks on people is far more common than we realize. In terms of HR and hiring personnel, however, it can be crucial. Verifying facts on a person’s CV is important as it not only means that you know you are hiring a person who is honest. You are also hiring a person based on facts and not deception. This can help make your final hire far more successful, as you will be hiring him or her on the basis that you know he or she is qualified enough for the role.

If they have lied about their education, it could mean that they don’t actually have the qualifications in place to be able to do a job well. An education background check prevents this from happening. By spending time completing a simple education check, you materially reduce the risk of making a bad hire decision.

Finally, you may want to run an education background check because you legally have to hire someone with an up to date license or qualification in place. Without it, you could be opening yourself up to lawsuits and liability claims, should anything go wrong as a result of you hiring a non-qualified person.

All this can be done in house by a company’s HR team. However, there is a huge drawback to keeping this type of work in house, which is why people should outsource education background checks wherever possible. There are several reasons for this:

  • It’s labor-intensive. Running an education background check when it is not your primary job, can be a painstakingly slow process. This is because verifying information with schools and colleges can be akin to getting blood out of a stone sometimes, particularly during school holidays.
  • Some schools don’t relay this information. It can be hard to verify information sometimes down a traditional route as some schools do not talk about past pupils to anyone else other than the past pupil themselves.
  • Inaccurate information. Some resumes may either inadvertently or purposely have inaccurate information on them which makes it hard to verify a person’s past. This can be done without malice due to misspelling or simply because a person has changed their name and not said this on their CV. A good example of this is if a woman were to get married and change her surname after she had been to high school or college and attained her qualifications.

All these reasons combined make conducting an education background check on your own without the use of a specialized company a very laborious and onerous task. So if you are looking to start a hiring process and have asked yourself ‘do employers check education background’ the answer should always be yes.

What does an education background check show?

Depending on the level of detail that you choose from a variety of background checks available, an education background check can show a number of different facts and figures. In the main, however, if you want to know in detail the answer to what is an education background check, you will find that an education background check will verify these facts from a person’s CV.

  • Enrollment date of education center they attended
  • How long they attended that institution for
  • What type of degree or qualification they attained whilst attending that institution
  • When that qualification was attained
  • When they graduated from high school, college or other forms of centers for education.

The best background check companies will be able to do this across different countries and levels of qualification too. This means that they will be able to verify whether a person has gone to high school and obtained a diploma from anywhere in the world, as well as corroborate claims on a CV pertaining to lesser-known professional qualifications.

How do background checks verify education?

Different firms will verify education claims on a CV in a number of different ways. However, the most common will simply be for the search company to contact a candidate’s school or educational institution and ask to check that the information put forward is correct. This means they will verify dates as well as the standard achieved when completing a diploma or qualification.

This is a huge time saver for companies, particularly small businesses who do not have the manpower to call up schools and colleges and fact check the information given to them on a candidate’s CV. Plus, the best background check services will provide other information too in a streamlined, concise report on your candidate.

What information will turn up in an education background check?

There are several pieces of information that will turn up in an education background check. But in short, it will verify if a person has been truthful on their CV or not. This means that if you are questioning whilst writing your CV, can you lie about your degree, the answer is no – you will be caught if your intended company runs educational background checks on all its applicants.

Additionally, it will verify that you went to the institution you said you attended and that you were there for the dates that you claim you were too. This is important to an employer, as sometimes, the same qualifications can be obtained from very different institutions – all of which have different standards of education. Candidates in the past have been guilty of embellishing where they went to school as well as what qualifications they attained there too.

The level of your qualification will also be verified whenever possible so that employers can be sure that if a candidate says they got the best grade available for a qualification, the candidate did actually achieve that. This is important to an employer as it means that they are hiring a person based on true facts and not an exaggerated version of themselves.

The Best Education Background Check Companies

Given that by conducting a background check on a potential employee’s education can confirm that they are telling the truth about their qualifications, it is a good idea to employ the best background check company possible to ensure you get the most from the process.

Here, we list our top three background check companies that specialize in pre-employment checks. They have all seen that their clients’ ability to hire the best and most suitable staff has increased, thanks to a more streamlined approach to pre-screening and also due to only ever employing candidates with the right qualifications.


Hireright 210x100

HireRight is quite understandably one of the most used background check companies by employers. This is because it has a number of pre-employment screens that save employers time further down the line by wheedling out unsuitable candidates right from the very start. Importantly, not only does this make the whole process far more efficient for the employer, they also make it a better process for the candidate as they have a better experience interacting with a far more efficient HR team.

In terms of education, HireRight takes care of corroborating details from a person’s CV and highlighting any discrepancies in their final report. They also know a great deal about the legal side of hiring employees and how that affects what, why and how you screen candidates. The result is that their clients are not leaving themselves vulnerable to lawsuits and legal proceedings by disgruntled candidates.

One of the stand out points for using HireRight is their ability to check educational backgrounds from across the globe. In fact, they are able to run background checks and verify educational information from over 240 countries. This is thanks to being a hugely multilingual company that is happy to conduct business in 20 odd languages. This is a massive selling point – especially when our workforces are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.


Checkr 210x100

We highly rate Checkr as a company to use for pre-employment screening and education background checks. They are a highly efficient firm with a very user-friendly online portal for its clients. The result is that customers can carry out people searches for any level of employment or any sector with ease. Conducting the necessary checks is no longer an onerous task on the behalf of the hiring company or the potential employee.

Plus, we think that the online portal and the amount of tools it has to support customers in their analysis of data information is market-leading. It means that customers can make a fully informed decision about who to hire and why. Being able to hire personnel with confidence, knowing that their educational background can substantially further their productivity and ability, is massively reassuring to clients and a big bonus.

One of the drawbacks to Checkr is that they have a slightly longer lead time than the other two companies on our top three list of education background check companies. Depending on your own timelines, this may not be a problem for you, especially given the quality of the results the company produces.


Good Hire Logo 210x100

Goodhire is a specialized employment background screening company that will ensure that a prospective hire has completed all the education they say they have. While their services are hireable on a quote by quote basis, they have been used by tens of thousands of companies to outsource their verification process to streamline and improve their hiring procedure.

Both clients and candidates alike find the process a great deal easier when using GoodHire’s technology. The company has an easy upload feature so that candidates can submit their application quickly without having to endure any time-wasting admin. The same is true of clients looking to hire those very candidates. The workflow and platform are simple and mobile-optimized so work can be completed on the go.

Importantly, the company is also FCRA certified so that you always stay on the right side of the law during the screening process. In addition to checking a person’s educational background, they will also verify other personal details on a person’s CV on the same screen.

An Education Background Check – The Bottom Line

Running a background check and verifying the education facts on a person’s CV is essential for a firm to carry out before hiring anyone. It not only means that they can ensure they are hiring an honest person with integrity, but it also means that they can be sure they’re hiring a person who will be able to do the job in hand with little to no training.

Some background check companies are suitable for a wide range of purposes and can do a number of things really well, like general people searches or public record searches. However, when it comes to pre-employment screening, it can pay dividends to go with a specialized employment search company as they will know a great deal about the regulatory side of things with in-depth knowledge. Plus, they will have set up their reports so you can extract the information you require from them with ease. In short, it will be an incredibly efficient process for you.

This efficiency is not to be underestimated. Hiring the wrong person can cost a company so much time and so much money that paying for a specialist company who can support a firm is money well spent – plus it can ultimately be a far more cost-effective way of doing business.