Conducting effective pre-employment background investigations


Course Title:  Conducting Effective Pre-Employment Background Investigations

Length:  One-day

Course Description:

This course focuses on the importance of pre-employment background investigations of emergency service employees to include, but not limited to, law enforcement officers, sheriffs, probation officers, prison guards, fire fighters (paid and volunteer), EMTs, dispatchers, and other civilian support personnel. 

The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to conduct objective, thorough, and legally sustainable applicant background investigations.  Emphasis will be placed on techniques for conducting and documenting interviews of applicants, references, previous employers, friends and neighbors.  Students will explore how internet search engines and social media are utilized for background investigations, essential job functions guide the investigation, and the function of polygraph examinations.    

Group discussions on how character, conflict, and changing generational, social, and cultural norms impact their own paradigms, biases, and how to manage these influencers. 


Lecture, PowerPoints, discussions, and practical exercises.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this block of instruction, the student will be able to achieve the following objectives when conducting an applicant investigation:

·         Discuss and define the role and responsibilities of the background investigator

·         Identify and resolve conflicting historical events

·         Increase awareness on changing generational, social, and cultural norms

·         How to use personal history statements, polygraph examinations, and open source media

·         How to maintain confidentiality, manage biases and remain neutral

·         Effectively communicate with the applicant

·         Understand how state and federal guidelines, the EEO, and ADA impact the application and background process

·         Properly document and compile a final report

·         Understand the Human Resources function

·         Make recommendations or assist with the selection process

Target Audience:

Any employee tasked with conducting pre-employment background investigations in the emergency services business.

Rates and Fees

Please contact John Campanella for details on rates and fees.

The above program can be customized to address any industry.  If you are looking for a specific topic not shown above, contact John Campanella to develop a customized program.


I recently completed the Conducting Effective Pre-Employment Background Investigations course taught by Retired Captain John Campanella.  Being in law enforcement for 27 years, this is a course I wish I had in the beginning of my career.

Captain Campanella presented the material in an engaging, easy to understand manner and he made sure everyone clearly understood all the material.  The course provided the Do’s & Don’ts of how to complete an excellent and thorough investigation without violating laws or one’s rights.  In addition, Captain Campanella provided the class with many valuable resources to assist us when we returned to the office.

I highly recommend this class to new, seasoned and especially background investigators.

Detective Thomas Jones

Upper Uwchlan Twp., PA Police Department