Criminal Background Checks

Criminal Background Checks / Police Clearances

In September 2002, with the commissioning of the SAPS Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), a semi automated system was introduced. In March 2011, contract was awarded by SAPS to Ideco Group for an automated service. In essence, AFISwitch is an information conduit between SAPS criminal records and the private sector.

The new process of criminal background checks still requires consent; is still based on 10 fingerprints; and results must be made available to the individual in question. The process involves the electronic capture of each fingerprint using a fingerprint scanner, interfaced with AFISwitch software. The fingerprint data is then uploaded by secure Internet connection to the AFISwitch server. From here, the file is transmitted directly to the SAPS AFIS, which contains some six million digital fingerprint records.

Within 24 to 48 hours, the system returns a ‘No Illicit Activity Identified’ or a ‘Possible Illicit Activity Identified’. When there is a ‘Possible Illicit Activity Identified’, the system automatically requests the detailed report. It then takes an additional few weeks to generate the detailed report of the record. The AFISwitch system makes it possible for companies to capture fingerprints of job applicants and know within 48 hours whether they have a clear criminal record.