Exclusive country clubs, golf clubs, yacht clubs, and other private clubs are venues where members go to socialize, make business connections, relax, and entertain. Being safe is an expectation that is fundamental and most members take it for granted that their safety is assured. Unfortunately, without performing thorough background checks on new members, country clubs place their existing members, their employees, and their brand at great risk.

Leading country clubs, yacht clubs, and golf clubs recognize the need to perform “best practices” background checks. It’s not only the rich and famous who have significant resources and are able to pay the sizable membership fees, monthly dues, and food and beverage minimums. Criminals and terrorist groups also have immense wealth. In the absence of a thorough background screening vetting process, country clubs, their members and employees, are placed in jeopardy.

A “best practices” background check searches all legal names and all counties where a person has lived for the past seven years. As no criminal database exists that covers the entire United States, it is important to supplement a criminal database check with non-instant county criminal searches, especially when those counties are not regularly updated in the database. Also, searching all legal names is important, as most criminal records do not have Social Security Numbers attached to them, i.e., a crime committed under a maiden name will not be found if only the married name is being searched.

In addition to thorough criminal searches, a credit report is helpful as it illustrates the financial capacity and responsibility of the individual. Be careful to utilize a background screening company that is authorized to provide country club membership credit reports. A background screening company that provides an Employment Credit Report as a substitute for membership screening purposes is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and their credit bureau agreement, and that places the country club in violation as well (plus, a FICO® Credit Score is never available with Employment Credit Reports).

It is important to use a background screening company that is also a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to help your country club, yacht club, golf club, or other private club navigate their membership background screening needs. For country clubs that attract Canadian and other international members, use a background screening company that can also provide Canadian Credit Reports, and that can perform international background checks.

The best news is that you can protect your country club at no cost to you… just add the average cost to your membership fee (or application fee), to cover the expense of a “best practices” country club membership screening background check report. Protect your country club and its members for free… that’s an easy and smart decision.

Posted by: Rudy Troisi. President, Reliable Background Screening.