Keeping above board
SecureCheck in the business of protecting businesses

NNSL (Apr 15/98) - Know your bed partners. This adage may be the motivation behind Yellowknife's SecureCheck.

The wholly-owned Northern company consisting of Ron Near, Peggy Near and Phil Lee is in the business of investigating and analyzing businesses and potential employees to make sure they are above board.

"We recognized a need for credible informative background checks on people's employment for business, government and industry," said co-owner Peggy Near.

The two-month-old company was initially set up to do pre-employment screening services and security clearances. They also have permission from Ottawa RCMP to provide pre-employment criminal records checks and non-criminal fingerprinting.

From there it sort of snowballed said Peggy.

"We're now operating as three distinct branches, one of which is pre-employment screening and security clearances, the other is to contract security personnel and the third branch is the training branch," she said.

One such course is a three-day seminar on security management which suggests why people need pre-employment screening.

Another is a rough diamonds course to be offered in mid-June.

They have negotiated a contract with a firm in Antwerp, Belgium to bring the rough diamonds course -- certified by the International Gemological Institute -- to Yellowknife.

After passing a practical examination, participants will receive the IGI Rough Diamond Diploma.

"This is a very sought out course. There's only a couple of companies in the world that even have this course available and there's a long waiting list for companies to get on it," said Ron Near.

Ron, a former RCMP officer and Department of Justice employee brings a wealth of experience and connections to the company.

They also have a wide range of affiliations and associate organizations to help them do their work.

SecureCheck will also offer psychological profiling through standardized tests. An associate psychologist is available to help when needed.

SecureCheck aids businesses in such a way that if a person applies for a certain job at a company or government department, SecureCheck can do a background check, drug tests or whatever is required.

The individual must sign a waiver for the security check. After the check is complete, SecureCheck hands over the information they've gathered. Essentially the company weeds out phoney employees.

"You've heard of the psychologist in the Baffin. That's just one case of many that's happened in our time in the North. We personally know of a doctor that was employed in Fort Simpson and he wasn't a doctor," said Peggy.

"This is an important service. The government can benefit from proper background checks as well and private industry," said Ron.

With all of all the layoffs in government and lack of human resources within departments, it's difficult to do a thorough background check, said Peggy. SecureCheck can help.

SecureCheck also weeds out fraudulent businesses or companies that may be interested in doing business in the North.

A local company, for instance, may want to get information before entering into a partnership with a southern company.

Besides simply finding out the company's standing with the Better Business Bureau, SecureCheck can investigate the company and perhaps look at their financial statements and risk level.

"People might want to know if these guys are above board or are they connected with organized crime," said Peggy.

SecureCheck is located on the second floor of the Scotia Centre. The Nears currently have a small office but plan to move down the hall into a larger space.

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