Everything You Need to Know about Background Checks in the Philippines

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The Philippines is the 4th most populous country in East and Southeast Asia and 13th in the world.  Given its large population, it’s not surprising that numerous opportunities exist for businesses to recruit qualified individuals. But, it is also because of the competitive job market that it’s become a challenge for companies to sift through the talent pool. 

It’s for this reason that companies recognise background checks as a crucial part of the hiring process. Some of the checks that potential employees undergo include criminal records check, employment and education verification, professional licence and qualifications verification, adverse financial history check, and social media screening. 

The Importance of Background Checks for Philippine Employers

The Philippines has its share of challenges when it comes to verifying the credentials and qualifications of a candidate. 

Fake Certificates and Illegal Fixing

Fraud is a significant issue in the country, so much so that there have been cases of National Certificates being sold online. The Civil Service Commision has also released the Revised Rules on the Administrative Offense of Dishonesty to further guide authorities in charging the proper offence. 

Illegal fixing is also a problem. This is when a “fixer” expedites a transaction for another’s personal gain (eg. getting a driver’s licence, ID card from Social Security System, etc.). Since fixers are not legally affiliated with the government office, the IDs they produce may be fake OR the process has not really verified the individual’s skills (especially in the case of getting a driver’s licence). 

Global Fraud

There are thousands of fake universities and websites issuing fraudulent documents globally. Without the right resources, particularly technological advancements, it may be difficult for employers to verify the authenticity of these documents. 

These issues, along with the other benefits of background checks, such as verifying the qualifications and experience of the applicant and reducing risks of hiring someone who may later commit gross misconduct or crime, make background checks an indispensable part of the hiring process. 

Common Types of Background Checks in the Philippines

Besides the agricultural and industrial sectors, the service sector is one of the top industries in the country. Within this industry are safety-critical roles in healthcare, education, and finance, highlighting the importance of verifying the candidate’s credentials and qualifications. 

Also within the service sector, the Philippines has a thriving BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry.  In fact, it is currently one of the world’s largest outsourcing destinations. As BPO has a constant flow of data to process and analyse, companies may need to run a wider number of background checks on the candidates. 

Below are the common types of background checks in the Philippines:

Criminal Record Check

A criminal record check is vital to ensure a safe and secure workplace. It helps in identifying any past criminal behaviour that might pose a risk to the company, its employees, or its customers. It is particularly critical for positions that involve handling sensitive information, financial responsibilities, or working with vulnerable populations.

Process and Turnaround Time

Employers often ask the candidate to provide their National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance, a document that shows a list of their criminal offences. Note, however, that this is not a comprehensive document. 

Obtaining an NBI clearance can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the presence of any hits that require further investigation and the overall volume of applications being processed by the NBI. Learn more about How Long a Background Check Takes here.

Education Verification

Many jobs in the Philippines require a college degree. For this reason, education verification is important to check if the candidate truly has the educational attainment required for the role.  It also maintains the integrity and standards of the professional and technical roles within the company.

Process and Turnaround Time

This process typically involves contacting the educational institutions listed on the candidate's resume to verify attendance, degrees or certificates obtained, and dates of attendance. Institutions may require written consent from the candidate before releasing information. 

Depending on the institution's responsiveness and the need for written consent, the verification may take a few days to a couple of weeks. Here's How to Conduct Background Checks for Key Application Documents, including diploma and TOR.

Employment History Verification

Employment history verification is essential for Philippine employers to ensure that the candidate has accurately represented their past job roles, responsibilities, and durations of employment. This check helps in assessing the candidate's reliability, performance, and the progression of their career, which are indicative of their potential future performance.

Process And Turnaround Time

Verifying the candidate’s employment history often requires contacting previous employers listed on the candidate's resume to check employment dates, positions held, and, in some cases, reasons for leaving. Employers may also inquire about the candidate's work performance and character.

The turnaround time can vary significantly depending on the responsiveness of the previous employers and the number of positions to be verified. Typically, this process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Common Types of Background Checks in the Philippines
Background Check Why It's Crucial Process Involved Possible Turnaround Time
Employment History Verification Ensures accuracy of job roles and responsibilities, assesses reliability and performance. Contacting previous employers to verify positions and employment dates. A few days to a few weeks.
Criminal Record Check Ensures a safe workplace, identifies potential risks. Obtaining NBI clearance to show any criminal records. A few days to a couple of weeks.
Education Verification Confirms qualifications, ensures necessary knowledge and skills. Contacting educational institutions to verify degrees and attendance. A few days to several weeks.
Professional Licence and Certifications Verification Ensures legal and professional qualifications for specific roles. Checking with issuing bodies to confirm validity and status (an online option is available) Instantly to a few weeks
Credit History Check Assesses financial reliability and integrity for roles involving money handling. Obtaining a credit report from a credit bureau. A few days to a few weeks.
Social Media Screening Evaluates professionalism, cultural fit, and potential red flags in personal conduct. Reviewing publicly available social media profiles for inappropriate content or behaviour. A few hours to a few days.

Professional Licence and Certifications Verification

Verifying professional licence and certifications ensures that the candidate is legally and professionally qualified for specific roles, especially in regulated industries. This check is crucial for roles that require specific professional standards or legal requirements to be met.

Process and Turnaround Time

The process requires checking with the issuing professional bodies or regulatory agencies to confirm the validity of the licences or certifications claimed by the candidate. 

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has established a quick way to verify if an individual is a registered professional online. Through their Online Verification Portal, one can easily check the following:

  • The candidate’s licensure exam rating - first and last name, examination date, application number, and birthdate are required 
  • If they are a verified (registered) professional - only the name is required 
  • If they have a valid licence - licence number and birthdate are required

This online verification gives instant results. However, remember to obtain consent first because the portal requires the personal information of candidates. 

Credit History Check

A credit history check is important for positions that involve financial responsibilities or handling money. It helps employers assess the financial reliability and integrity of the candidate, which can be indicative of their trustworthiness in managing the company's financial resources.

Process and Turnaround Time

In the Philippines, this may involve obtaining consent from the candidate to request a credit report from a credit bureau or similar agency. The report provides information on the candidate's credit history, outstanding debts, and payment reliability. With all the requirements on hand and when done online, the results can be delivered immediately

Social Medial Screening

Social media recruiting isn't the only thing gaining traction in the country's employment landscape - social media screening is becoming increasingly important for Philippine employers as a means to gauge the character and professionalism of potential hires. Considering the country is tagged as the “Social Media Capital of the World,” this screening offers insights into a candidate's behaviour outside of the professional setting, which can reflect on their suitability for the company's culture and values. 


Process and Turnaround Time 

The process reviews the candidate's publicly available profiles on social media platforms such as Facebook, X, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It's essential for employers to conduct this screening ethically and legally, respecting privacy and avoiding discrimination. The turnaround time for this check depends on the extent of investigation and number of social media profiles to review, but relatively, it’s quick (a few hours to days). 

Additional Background Checks in the Philippines

On top of the ones mentioned above, employers may also run global sanctions checks to see if the applicant is prohibited from engaging in certain roles or if they are included in watchlists. 

For employers wishing to hire foreign employees, right to work checks are crucial. This includes verifying that the candidate has the correct visa and permit to work in the Philippines. Learn more about Work Permits in the Philippines here

Are Background Checks Mandatory in Certain Industries in the Philippines?

Yes, it is mandatory in certain industries to ensure that potential candidates have not committed any crimes and can be trusted to perform a given task. Background checks are usually required for certain jobs like working with children or elderly people, working as a security guard, or driving a school bus. The Philippines mandates background checks for jobs in the following industries:

  1. Child care services
  2. Elder care services
  3. Security roles
  4. School bus drivers 
  5. Driving transport vehicles
  6. Working with vulnerable persons
  7. Working with animals 
  8. Working with explosives
  9. Working with hazardous substances
  10. Working on construction sites
  11. Working on oil rigs

How Does HR Conduct Academic and Employment Checks?

In the Philippines, there are many ways in which the HR department can verify a candidate's education and past employment. 

For Employment Verification

In most cases, employers ask the candidate to present a Certificate of Employment. This is a document from the previous employer certifying that the individual worked with them, including their role and responsibilities and duration of employment. However, this does not give insight into their performance review.

For Education Verification

For education verification, employers often ask the candidate to provide a copy of their Diploma and/or Transcript of Records (TOR). Sometimes, companies require that the TOR has a note saying “For Employment Purposes Only.” 

Once the HR department has these documents, the next step is to verify their authenticity. This can be done through phone call or email correspondence with the educational institution or previous employer. 

The Strategic Advantage of Background Check Providers in the Philippines

As manual checks can be tedious, time-consuming and labour-intensive, more and more companies in the Philippines now take advantage of background screening services to streamline the process. Background screening platforms, such as Veremark Philippines has:

  • The legal framework to conduct the checks in accordance with the law, increasing compliance
  • Access to databases and advanced technologies to automate the process , ultimately reducing the turnaround time 
  • Expertise to conduct accurate checks, ensuring that the candidate truly has the credentials and qualifications they listed 

Guide To Finding The Best Background Check Company in the Philippines

There are many companies that offer background checks in Manila but not all of them may be able to provide the screening you require. If you want to find the best background check company in the Philippines, particularly for your BPO business, then consider the following:

  1. Compliance: Can they conduct checks in line with the current laws, such as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and other employment laws?
  2. Expertise: Can they conduct the checks you need? How long have they been in the industry? What companies have worked with them? 
  3. Customisation: Will they allow you to customise the checks you need? 
  4. Cost: Do they need long-term contracts? Are you allowed to order only the checks you need?
  5. Automation: Is their process fully automated through technologies like an HR software? This is important to improve turnaround times. 
  6. Customer Support: Do they offer 24/7 customer support? 

Veremark has all these criteria, so you can make well-informed hiring decisions.  

Trust Veremark Philippines for Your Pre-Employment Check Needs

Veremark is a leading provider of local and global background checks, offering 100% digital, 100% accurate checks for new and current staff members in all industries and sectors.

Trusted by the world’s best workplaces, rest assured that you’ll be getting expert service in compliance with the Philippine laws and regulations with 24/7 customer support. With no lock-in periods and long-term contracts, you can simply order the checks you need and customise your requirements. 

Talk to us today about the benefits of carrying out your vital pre-employment checks using Veremark’s innovative and straightforward platform.

Make Background Checks a Pillar of Your Hiring Strategy

Background checks are important for companies in the Philippines because they provide a way to keep their employees safe and to make sure that they are not hiring people with a criminal history or a negative performance on previous employment.

Background checks can be conducted through various means, such as checking public records or by contacting previous employers. When conducting background checks for companies in the Philippines, it is important to be thorough and make sure that every aspect of the candidate’s past is covered

By hiring a background checking company, such as Veremark Philippines, to do all the necessary checks, you can be sure that your business will have an efficient and cost effective way of screening candidates and be sure you only hire qualified and trustworthy Filipino employees! Learn more about Veremark Philippines here

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What are the most common types of background checks required for employment in the Philippines?

The most common types of background checks in the Philippines include criminal record checks, employment history verification, educational qualification verification, professional qualifications and certifications verification, credit check, and social media screening.

Is conducting a background check mandatory for all industries in the Philippines?

While not all industries in the Philippines mandate background checks by law, certain sectors, especially those involving finance, healthcare, education, and government positions, often require comprehensive background screening. Employers in other industries may also opt for background checks to ensure workplace safety and integrity.

How long does a typical background check take in the Philippines?

A typical background check in the Philippines may include information on a candidate’s criminal record, employment history, educational background, and professional licence or certifications. Some checks might also cover credit history and references, depending on the employer’s requirements and the nature of the job.

How can companies in the Philippines ensure their background checking process is compliant with local privacy laws?

To ensure compliance with local privacy laws, companies in the Philippines should obtain written consent from candidates before conducting background checks. They should also limit the scope of the check to information relevant to the job role and ensure secure handling and storage of personal data. Consulting with legal experts on the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and adhering to its provisions is advisable to maintain privacy compliance.


What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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The guide to ROI on background screening

How do you prove the worth of a background screening program?

Introducing a background screening program into your organization usually means proving its potential benefits to the company’s bottom line. While some checks may be mandatory or industry policy, others may not be - but these are the checks that can provide real-world advantages to how your organization grows and prospers.

Download this guide to discover:

The 'soft' benefits of employee screening on your workforce

The harder, more tangible benefits - and how to measure them

A model and hypothesis based on a medium-sized business

The improvements to expect when you start screening your candidates

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