How to Perform Background Checks in the Philippines for Key Application Documents

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Pre-employment background checks are a crucial step in the hiring or onboarding process ensuring that candidates meet the qualifications they claim to hold. In the Philippines, these checks are not just a formality, but a vital measure to combat common discrepancies in job applications, such as the falsification of documents. The integrity of the hiring process is paramount, as it directly impacts organisational success and safety.

Why Background Checks are Essential in the Philippines

Despite government efforts to clamp down on document fraud, the illegal practice of falsifying documents continues to persist. On top of faking land titles and manager’s checks, criminals also make fake copies of licences and diplomas. And, according to authorities, non-experts would have a difficult time determining that these papers are forged. 

To avoid falling victim to falsified credentials that may result in legal repercussions and damage to company performance and reputation, many employers conduct background checks. 

Pre-employment background checks help verify the authenticity of submitted documents, ensuring you hire trustworthy and qualified individuals. This not only improves compliance and enhances workplace integrity but also protects the security of existing employees, clients, and even the public. 


Key Application Documents in the Philippines 

Most employers in the Philippines ask for the following documents from job applicants:

  • Certificate of birth, to determine the candidate’s identity (eg. age, birthday, etc)
  • Other government-issued IDs 
  • Police Clearance and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance, the most common type of criminal history check
  • Copies of diploma and transcript of records 
  • Certificate of Employment from previous employer 
  • Copies of their licence card 

These documents show the candidate’s identity, list their criminal offences, and give information about their educational attainment, work history, and professional qualifications. 

Background Checks to Verify Key Application Documents

Considering how the above mentioned documents are important aspects of ensuring that you’re hiring a qualified and trustworthy applicant, it’s crucial that you conduct the following background checks for employment to verify their authenticity.

Type of Background Check for Key Application Documents Process Turnaround Time
Identity Verification for Certificate of Birth and National ID Use the PSA e-Verification Mobile App and QR code features on IDs like the National ID to verify authenticity. Instantaneous, unless manual verification is required.
Criminal Records Check for NBI Clearance Ask applicants to submit Police/NBI Clearance. Use the NBI Online Verification Portal to check clearance validity. Instant through the online portal; varies for manual checks.
Education Verification for TOR and Diploma Verify diplomas and transcripts by contacting educational institutions directly. A few days to several weeks, depending on the institution.
Employment History Verification for Certificate of Employment (COE) Verify employment history through direct contact with previous employers or using COEs. Depends on the responsiveness of the previous employers.
Professional Qualifications Check for Professional Licence Use the PRC Online Verification Platform to check professional licence and board exam ratings. Instant results through the online platform.

Identity Verification

Employers used to find it challenging to verify the authenticity of an applicant’s IDs, particularly their birth certificate. Now, you can easily do this since the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the agency issuing civil registry documents, launched PSA e-Verification Mobile App

The app allows the general public, including employers, “to validate the displayed information against the printed security paper (SECPA).” 

Other IDs, such as the National ID, also have a QR code feature that employers can scan to confirm details such as the government name, date of birth, sex, and birthplace. 

Turnaround Time: Using the App and the QR code feature means you get instantaneous results of your verification. However, some government IDs do not have these features yet, which means you may need to manually verify the authenticity of the documents. To streamline the process, you may want to partner with a third party background check provider. 

Learn more about Identity Verification here

Criminal Records Check

Most employers ask their candidates to submit a valid Police and/or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance. Police Clearance indicates that the applicant has no criminal record on a local level, while the NBI Clearance shows national records. Both can be applied online, however, the applicant still needs to show up to the Police Station or NBI Branch for photos and fingerprints. 

There may be no automated process to verify the authenticity of the Police Clearance, but the National Bureau of Investigation has established the NBI Online Verification Portal where employers can type in the NBI ID Number and check if the clearance is valid. 

Turnaround Time: Using the NBI Online Verification Portal can give instant results, however, remember that NBI Clearance doesn’t show civil cases. Likewise, if the offence is still not in NBI databases (eg. it’s still at a prosecutor’s office), the record won’t show up. Hence, for a more thorough pre-employment check, it’s best to outsource to expert providers. 

Here’s more information on Criminal Background Checks for Employment


Education Verification

Employers in the Philippines often require that applicants are at least college graduates or have obtained some units. In many roles, the applicant must have finished a specific degree to ensure that their qualifications are in line with what the job is expected to accomplish. 

For this reason, it’s crucial for you to verify if the diploma and/or transcript of records they have submitted are authentic - that they have truly reached a certain level of education from the aforementioned institutions. 

Background checks for education are often done manually, by calling the previous college or university and confirming details such as degree, dates of attendance, graduation date, and awards or recognition. 

Turnaround Time: How soon you can complete this type of check usually depends on the education institution. Some may agree to scheduled phone calls, while others may need more official requests through forms or email. Hence, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. To streamline this process, many employers partner with a background screening platform like Veremark. 

Employment History Verification

While some employers are flexible about prior work experience, allowing candidates without any to apply, others specify that applicants must have a certain number of years of experience, either in a specific role or within a particular industry.

Considering this, employment history verification becomes a crucial part of pre-employment background checks in the Philippines. Employers need to confirm that the candidate has really worked with the previous company and carried out the roles they specified in their resume for the duration they have indicated

The Certificate of Employment (COE) from the previous employer often outlines the duration, official title, and overall performance of the candidate. However, it doesn’t specify their roles and responsibilities as well as other details you need to make an informed hiring decision. 

Turnaround Time: The process is also usually manual, with employers getting in touch with previous companies. Hence, completion time depends on the employers’ responsiveness, their official process,  and how many previous companies you want to verify. Collaborating with platforms like Veremark can significantly speed up the process without compromising the accuracy of the checks. 

Learn more about How to Conduct Efficient Employee Reference Checks here. You can also check out these 23 Reference Check Questions to Ask for a More Informed Hiring Decision

Professional Qualifications

Candidates who are to work on regulated professions (eg. nursing, engineers, teachers, etc.) are often required to submit their Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Licence. This indicates that they passed the boards, are registered in the commission, and have a valid licence to practise their profession. 

Employers can now easily verify candidate licence via PRC’s Online Verification Platform.  With this, you can easily and instantaneously verify if the candidate:

  • Is a verified professional, meaning they have passed the boards and are registered with the PRC - you need their name and date of birth 
  • Has a valid licence, which will also show their picture (should be the same as their physical licence card), registration date, and when the licence is expiring. You can obtain these when you have their licence number and date of birth

The online platform can also give you their board exam rating provided you have additional details.

Turnaround Time: Using PRC’s online platform gives instant results, however, note that it doesn’t provide you with pertinent information about the associations the candidate is a member of (eg. Philippine Nursing Association) and any significant contribution to the profession. For such details, it’s best to partner with a background screening platform. 

Additional Checks

Depending on the role and industry, you may also want to conduct other pre-employment background checks, such as credit history and social media checks. 

Credit Score

For roles under the financial, banking, and law sectors, you may want to check the candidate’s credit history. The Philippines has a number of accredited credit bureaus and applicants may request their credit scores from them for a fee (at least P200). Here’s a sample credit report from one of the accredited credit bureaus, Credit Information Corporation. 

Social Media Checks

Most employers casually conduct a social media check on their candidates by browsing their social media accounts. However, for top positions or roles where a candidate would represent the company, a more thorough check may be necessary. 

Both credit history and social media checks can be outsourced to a third party background check provider. 

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 and Background Checks in the Philippines

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 plays a crucial role in regulating the background check process in the Philippines. Under this law, employers must ensure that personal data collected during background checks is processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently, respecting the privacy and rights of individuals. 

Consent is a key factor; candidates must be informed about what information is being collected, why it is needed, and how it will be used. Additionally, the data collected should be relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of the background check. 

Employers are also obligated to implement appropriate organisational and technical measures to protect personal data against unauthorised access, use, or disclosure.

Learn more about Compliance to the 2012 Data Privacy Act here

Is Adverse Action Notice Required in the Philippines?

The concept of an adverse action notice, as it is known in some other countries, specifically in the context of employment, does not have a direct equivalent under Philippine law

However, employers are guided by the principles of fairness and due process as mandated by The Labor Code. Furthemore, the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012 underscores that the individual has the right to demand access to their information, and where the employer got the information. 

This means that if an employment decision, such as non-hiring, is made based on the results of a background check, the candidate should be informed and given an explanation as part of ethical and transparent hiring practices.

While there is no statutory requirement to provide a formal adverse action notice similar to practices in the United States, it is considered best practice for employers to communicate clearly with candidates about any negative findings that affect their employment decision. Ensuring transparency in these decisions helps maintain trust and protects the rights of both parties involved.

Learn more about Adverse Action Notice here

Process of Background Checks in the Philippines

In the Philippines, companies can handle these checks in two main ways: in-house and outsourced. Each method has its processes and advantages, depending on the resources available and the specific needs of the organisation.


When background checks are conducted in-house, the organisation needs to adhere strictly to its internal guidelines.This method requires a detailed plan outlining: 

  • Which checks are to be conducted first
  • Who is responsible for each step of the process,
  • How the records of the results will be integrated for adjudication  

This approach gives companies complete control over the timing and depth of the checks, allowing for a tailored assessment of candidates based on the company’s specific criteria and risk assessment. 

However, managing this process internally requires significant administrative effort and a thorough understanding of legal compliance issues related to employment screening.



Outsourcing the background check process can greatly simplify the steps involved for the employer. With services like Veremark, the company only needs to:

  • Determine the types of checks required and customise their specifications according to their needs. 
  • Provide the details of the candidates

The rest of the process is handled by the external provider. Outsourcing thus removes much of the logistical burden from the employer, allowing them to focus on other aspects of recruitment and management.

Veremark’s Award-Winning Software Streamlines Your Background Check Process

Veremark’s background check service is 100% automated, significantly speeding up the process without compromising on the accuracy of results. 

Even better, the report can be seamlessly integrated into the company's existing workflow systems, allowing employers to receive comprehensive reports efficiently. This integration not only saves time but also enables employers to view combined information from various checks, supporting stronger, more informed hiring decisions. 

Veremark also has a strong legal framework to make sure that each check is conducted in compliance with the Philippine laws, particularly the Data Privacy Act of 2012. 

Finally, with Veremark, you don’t need long-term contracts and there’s no lock-in period, which means it’s scalable: order only the checks you need. Trusted by the world’s best workplaces, you’ll also have access to 24/7 support. 

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How do companies do background checks in the Philippines?

Companies in the Philippines conduct background checks either in-house, following their internal policies and guidelines, or by outsourcing the process to specialised firms like Veremark that manage the screening and provide comprehensive reports.

What is the most common background check for employment?

The most common background check for employment is a criminal record check, closely followed by educational and employment verification.

Why is pre-employment screening important?

Pre-employment screening is crucial for verifying the accuracy of an applicant's credentials and ensuring they meet the company's standards for integrity and reliability.

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

A typical background check in the Philippines can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the depth of the investigation and the responsiveness of external agencies.

Are there any restrictions on what can be checked during a background screening in the Philippines?

Yes, the Data Privacy Act of 2012 limits the scope of background checks to information relevant to the job role, and employers must obtain consent from the candidate before gathering personal information.


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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Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

8 Screening Essentials for Hiring Top Talent Fast

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Run background checks in just five days. That’s three times faster than manual checks, with less risk and next to no work for your team.

Hiring managers today don’t have it easy. On the one hand, you need to find the best talent and make offers fast. On the other, you need to comply with a whole raft of regulations and minimise the hiring risk to your business. Speed is of the essence. But so are data security and regulatory compliance. So what can you do to strike the balance, and be competitive? This guide will show you how to properly validate candidate credentials and set up your systems to make the process as speedy, accurate, and seamless as possible.

In this report, we discuss:

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 > ID Check

 > Civil Litigation Check

 > Academic Achievement Check

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 > Criminal Background Check

 > Financial Regulations Checks

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- Case Study: Zilch

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