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//Running Background Checks in Kenya

Running Background Checks in Kenya

Make Informed Decisions

Running Background Checks in Kenya

Performing a background check on someone is essential, whether you’re hiring a new employee, renting out property, or entering into a new business partnership. It allows you to verify the information provided by an individual and ensures safety and security. However, conducting a background check in Kenya requires specific steps and knowledge of available resources. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to do a background check on someone in Kenya.


Background checks are crucial in various aspects of life, including employment, business, and personal relationships. In Kenya, conducting a background check involves verifying an individual’s criminal record, employment history, education, and financial standing. However, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects of conducting background checks to avoid infringing on an individual’s rights.

Types of Background Checks

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check helps you determine whether an individual has a criminal record. This type of background check is crucial for employers, landlords, and financial institutions. Criminal background checks can reveal past convictions, pending charges, and any history of incarceration. They are vital in assessing the risk an individual might pose.

Employment Background Check

Verifying an individual’s employment history ensures that the information provided is accurate. It helps employers make informed hiring decisions and prevents potential issues in the workplace. Employment background checks typically involve confirming past job titles, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving previous jobs. This verification helps in assessing the candidate’s honesty and reliability.

Educational Background Check

An educational background check confirms an individual’s academic qualifications, including degrees, diplomas, and certificates. It ensures that the individual has the necessary qualifications for a specific job or position. This check can involve contacting educational institutions directly to verify the credentials or using specialized verification services to confirm the authenticity of academic records.

Financial Background Check

Checking an individual’s financial background helps assess their creditworthiness and financial stability. It’s essential for landlords, lenders, and business partners to evaluate an individual’s financial history before entering into any agreement. Financial background checks can include reviewing credit reports, checking for any history of bankruptcies, and assessing overall financial behavior.

How to Conduct a Background Check in Kenya

Online Resources

Several online platforms provide access to public records, making it easier to conduct background checks. However, it’s essential to use reliable and credible sources to ensure the accuracy of the information. Websites like the eCitizen portal offer various services, including access to criminal records and verification of identification documents.

Government Agencies

Government agencies such as the Kenya Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the eCitizen portal offer access to various public records, including criminal records and identification documents. The DCI, for instance, provides certificates of good conduct, which indicate whether an individual has a criminal record.

Professional Services

Hiring professional background check services can provide comprehensive and accurate information. These services have access to various databases and resources, ensuring thorough background checks. Companies like Somo Group Intelligence offer specialized services that cater to different needs, ensuring that all aspects of an individual’s background are thoroughly investigated.

Criminal Background Check

Kenya Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI)

The DCI provides criminal records upon request. You can visit the nearest police station or access the information online through the eCitizen portal. The process typically involves filling out an application form, providing identification, and paying a fee. The resulting Certificate of Good Conduct will indicate whether the individual has any criminal convictions.

eCitizen Portal

The eCitizen portal allows you to access various government services, including criminal background checks. You can apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct online by providing the necessary information and paying the required fees. The portal streamlines the process, making it more convenient and accessible..

Employment Background Check

Contacting Previous Employers

Verifying an individual’s employment history involves contacting their previous employers to confirm the information provided. This helps ensure that the individual has the necessary experience and qualifications for the job. Employers can provide insights into the individual’s job performance, reliability, and reasons for leaving previous positions.

Checking Professional References

Speaking to professional references can provide valuable insights into an individual’s character, work ethic, and skills. It helps employers make informed decisions during the hiring process. Professional references can offer firsthand accounts of the individual’s abilities and conduct in a work environment.

Educational Background Check

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC)

The KNEC provides verification services for academic certificates and qualifications. You can request verification online or visit their offices for assistance. This service ensures that the academic credentials presented by the individual are genuine and have been awarded by recognized institutions.

Universities and Colleges

Contacting the universities or colleges listed on an individual’s resume allows you to verify their academic qualifications. You can request transcripts or confirmation of degrees awarded. This verification helps in ensuring that the individual possesses the claimed educational background.

Financial Background Check

Credit Reference Bureaus

Credit reference bureaus such as TransUnion, Metropol, and Creditinfo provide credit reports and scores. These reports help assess an individual’s financial health and creditworthiness. A good credit report indicates financial stability, while a poor credit report might highlight potential risks.

Banks and Financial Institutions

Checking an individual’s banking history can provide insights into their financial behavior, including loans, debts, and payment history. You can request bank statements or financial references for verification. This information is crucial for assessing the individual’s financial reliability.

Legal Considerations

When conducting a background check in Kenya, it’s essential to consider the legal aspects to avoid infringing on an individual’s privacy rights.

Data Protection Laws

Kenya has data protection laws that regulate the collection, processing, and storage of personal information. It’s essential to comply with these laws to ensure that the background check is conducted legally. Organizations must handle personal data responsibly and ensure it is used for legitimate purposes.

Consent Requirements

Obtaining the individual’s consent before conducting a background check is crucial. You must inform them of the purpose of the background check and obtain their written consent before proceeding. This practice ensures transparency and compliance with legal standards.

Cost of Background Checks

Factors such as the depth of the background check, the number of checks required, and the service provider’s fees affect the overall cost. The average cost of a background check in Kenya ranges from Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 5,000, depending on the complexity of the check and the service provider.

Benefits of Background Checks

Conducting background checks offers several benefits, including:

  • Risk Mitigation: Background checks help identify potential risks and prevent issues before they occur. By uncovering any discrepancies or red flags, organizations can make more informed decisions.
  • Ensuring Trust and Safety: Verifying an individual’s background ensures trust and safety in various relationships and transactions. Whether hiring employees, renting property, or entering into business partnerships, background checks provide peace of mind..


Conducting a background check on someone in Kenya is essential for various reasons, including employment, business, and personal relationships. By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the available resources, you can ensure thorough and accurate background checks while complying with legal requirements.


  1. Is it legal to conduct background checks in Kenya?
    • Yes, it is legal to conduct background checks in Kenya, but you must comply with data protection laws and obtain the individual’s consent before conducting the check.
  2. What information is included in a criminal background check?
    • A criminal background check in Kenya includes information about any criminal convictions or pending charges.
  3. How long does it take to conduct a background check in Kenya?
    • The time it takes to conduct a background check in Kenya varies depending on the type of check and the service provider. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
  4. Can I conduct a background check on someone without their knowledge?
    • No, you must obtain the individual’s consent before conducting a background check in Kenya.
  5. How much does it cost to conduct a background check in Kenya?
    • The cost of a background check in Kenya varies depending on the type of check and the service provider.
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