What Does Decisional Mean On A Background Check?

Conducting the pre-employment background screening is a critical screening step in hiring an employee.

Whenever an organization hires a new employee, it invests its time, money, and resources. 

Different companies have their own criteria for conducting background checks, but the primary goal of each company is to select the best candidate for the job and protect the patrons and staff from applicants who pose a risk. 

However, a poorly executed background check shows negligence, slows time to hire, and delays onboarding which could harm the company’s reputation and can even lead to lawsuits and settlements.

That’s where a decisional background check comes into play.


What is a Decisional Background Check?  

What is a Decisional Background Check

A decisional background check is a process during which the employer uses an automated screening matrix, known as a hiring/decision or adjudication matrix, to evaluate the results of the candidate’s background against the company’s background checking policy to help filter out candidates eligible for hire. 

A decision or adjudication matrix is a form or a table with the names of criminal offenses that a company reviews to review which crimes need review.

The process of adjudication helps the company identify the candidates eligible for the job or decisional. 

The employer’s hiring team manually reviews and makes the final decision regarding the eligibility, based on the assessment of the candidate’s application materials, the background checking report, and a review of all available information, and passes the applicant on to the hiring manager for further consideration. 


Read: What Does A Background Check Show?

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Why Decisional in Background Check Matters? 

An effective hiring/decision matrix follows the unique requirements of every organization, job specifications, and applicable local, federal, and state laws and regulations.

It pre-determines the offenses that require assessment and management approval before a final hiring decision.

It then digitally analyzes the different components of background checks, such as criminal searches, verifications, and more, based on the pre-set guidelines and then reverts the background check status as “eligible” for hire or “decisional.” 

Some major considerations include a review of the job requirements as per the job description.

The review of the nature and severity of the crime, the work to be performed, the time elapsed after the conviction, and any other pertinent factors. 

If the background check comes back “decisional,” it shows that you are eligible to be hired for the job and only requires a decisional review by the employer about the final hiring decision. 

How to See Your Background Check?

Eligibility Rates Across Different Industries 

The candidate eligibility rates vary significantly across different industries.

Their regulations may dictate that certain criminal offenses are disqualifying for certain positions, and candidates must recognize what is acceptable and what is not in the industry they want to join. 

The highly regulated industries, such as childcare, healthcare, or any other organization that serves vulnerable populations, follow quite strict guidelines when hiring new employees and typically have relatively low eligibility rates and higher decisional rates, and the background check adjudication process helps these companies comply with the industry regulations.

Reasons Why a Background Check Report Might Say “Decisional

Reasons Why a Background Check Report Might Say Decisional

Here are the most common reason’s why a background check report might say decisional:

Criminal Misdemeanors

While it is obvious that serious misdemeanors will make a report decisional, the background check matrix includes every little thing on your report.

Here are certain misdemeanors that might confuse the matrix & forward the same to the review team:

  • Vandalism: If years ago you spray painted a wall, it does not imply that you cannot be a good delivery boy or are unfit for any other job role. Companies might be willing to overlook this.
  • Trespassing: This one is not a violent crime, and more often than not, companies hire applicants with trespassing records.
  • Cyberbullying: Although this might not sound that serious, companies can choose not to select an applicant on the basis of toxic behavior.

Poor Motor Vehicle Records

If you are applying for a position that involves driving the company’s vehicle or just driving in general, then the company will take your driving records seriously.

Here are a few things that might disqualify you:

  • Frequent Accidents: A few accidents over a long period of time are okay. But if you keep getting in such a situation, then the company might see you as unfit for the role.
  • License Fines & Suspensions: If there are several fines or suspensions on your license, then the matrix might mark your report as decisional.
  • Driving Under Influence: Companies might be willing to ignore a one-time mistake. However, frequent DUIs can lead to your elimination.
  • Frequent Driving Violations: If you make driving violations frequently, such as speed driving, not wearing seat belts, etc., then this might lead to a decision.

Education Requirement

If your education qualification does not match the education requirement of the position, for example: if you have a degree in accounts and are applying for a position


Read: 5 Best Tenant Background Check Sites

Meaning of Different Terms on a Background Check

Here are a few different terms and their meaning that you might come across on a background check report:

  1. Canceled: This means the process of a background check is timed out because of incomplete information or consent of the candidate.
  2. Disabled: This means that the candidate or the consumer will not be charged anything for the background check which shows disabled.
  3. Undefined: This means an area could not be defined, and more information is required for the background check to complete.
  4. Dismissed: You can see dismissed on a background check report for criminal cases or arrests that did not end in conviction.
  5. Unperformable: You might see Unperformable when the information provided by you is incorrect or incomplete.
  6. Nolle: Nolle or Nolle Prosse means that there was not enough evidence against the person, and the case was dropped.
  7. Suppressed License: This means the person applied for a suppressed license which does not allow anyone to access the person’s address and other details.
  8. Suppressed: A type of criminal record that does not have a conviction or charges that has been sealed.
  9. Unspecified: This means that the candidate has a criminal record, but its type and nature are not known.
  10. FTI: This stands for federal tax information.
  11. Record Judged: Tells that the sections of a report are complete.


We hope this article helped you in understanding what is what does Decisional means in a background check.

People Also Ask For

Does decisional mean I am disqualified?

Decisional does not mean you are disqualified. However, it means that the employer will look at the result and your profile before making the final decision.

What is the meaning of clear, completed or consider on a background check?

Cleared on a background check report means that the report of the candidate is cleared, and there is no reason why one should not hire them.

Completed means that the report is ready to be viewed by the hiring person.

Consider means that the report is complete, but there is something that requires reviewing before hiring the person.

What is the meaning of NCRD on a background check?

NCRD stands for National Criminal Record Database; when one does a fingerprint based background check, then they can access the NCRD to compare prints against federal and state government.

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