CMS Login

Enroll in Training

Background Check Procedures

Please refer to HR 2017-17 for the comprehensive CSU system wide Background Check Policy.

Click on section labels to expand or close a section, or use Collapse All or Expand All to expand or close all sections. To search for a word or phrase in this page, select the Expand All button, then Ctrl F and enter the word or phrase in the browser search box.  NOTE: If you are having issues with Open All or expanding sections then you may need to update your browser.  Review ITSS Knowledge Base on Updating Web browsers.


Overview

The California State University Background Check Policy (HR 2017-17) requires a background check to be conducted on all final candidate(s) considered for hire once CSU makes a conditional offer of employment. Current employees are subject to background checks if they are voluntarily under consideration for new positions that the CSU has designated as “sensitive”. This includes all temporary, probationary, intermittent, and at-will employees. Background checks are not required for involuntary reassignments or reclassifications or other employment changes that do not result in the employee moving into a different position.

Student workers are to be background checked only if they are employed or being considered for employment in a position in which a background check is required by law or that the CSU has designated as sensitive. Consultants, independent contractors, and employees of auxiliaries or outside entities must undergo background checks if required by law or if they work they will be performing meets the CSU definition of sensitive. In addition, background checks are required for all individuals (new hires, current employees, volunteers, consultants, employees of auxiliaries, outside entities and independent contractors) who perform work involving regular or direct contact with minor children, including at CSU-hosted recreational camps (e.g. youth activities).

Sensitive Positions are those designated by the CSU as requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position, based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to the CSU or individuals in the university community.

Background checks are required when:

  • Federal or state law requires a background check.
  • A current employee is voluntarily moving into a position for which a background check is required by law or if they are voluntarily moving into a “sensitive” position.
  • Student workers must have background checks if they will have duties that would require a background check if performed by a CSU employee.
  • Volunteers much have background checks if they will have duties and responsibilities that would require a background check if performed by a CSU employee.
  • Independent Contractors, consultants, auxiliaries and outside entities who operate under the CSU name or on CSU property are responsible for ensuring that their employees have had background checks if they perform duties that would require the checks if performed by CSU employees.

Background checks are NOT required for:

  • FERP employees, unless they voluntarily move into positions that would require a background check.
  • Current employees, unless they voluntarily move into a position that requires a background check.
  • Employees rehired at the same campus who have had a CSU background check performed in the previous 12 months.
  • Employees re-appointed to the same position at the same campus within 12 months.

Types of Background Checks

Required

  • Criminal Records Check
  • Educational Verification
  • Employment Verification
  • Reference Checks

Optional (checks that may be done if job-related):

Campus Responsibilities

Campus Departments: Campus departments will be responsible for working with the appropriate individual/department to determine whether a position will be performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate to a background check. This determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised or any recruiting/services begin.

Background Check Processor: The Background Check Processor is housed in the Employment Services unit of the Human Resources Services Center. This individual will coordinate background checks for the following groups: MPP, Staff, Volunteers, and Special Consultants (except for those hired through the Office of Academic Personnel). The Background Check Processor will be responsible for reviewing results of all background checks performed on the stateside. The Background Check Processor will notify the AVP of Staff Human Resources of all records checks that have findings that may inhibit a candidate from being hired. The Background Check Processor serves in the role as Records Custodian for Background Check Results performed on the state-side (with exception to Live Scans conducted by the University Police Department). While background check results are retained electronically through a secure, CSU approved, third party vendor (Accurate Background), as the Custodian of Record, the Background Check Processor will be required to ensure that should records arrive on campus, they be kept in a location that is secure and separate from the employee’s official personnel file. The Background Check Processor will also be responsible for maintaining and destroying the Criminal Offender Record Information no later than the termination of the new hire’s employment or two (2) years from rejection due to the Criminal Offender Record Information.

Office of Academic Personnel: The Office of Academic Personnel will coordinate background checks for Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees and Special Consultants hired through Academic Personnel. This office will also be responsible for determining whether any Unit 3, Unit 11 and/or Special Consultant positions are performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate to a background checks. In addition to the basic background check, some positions (for example, coaches) will undergo the State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check, per HR2017-17. The determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised and the posted position description shall state that the position has been designated to be a sensitive position. The individual in the sensitive position/assignment must successfully complete the background check BEFORE they are hired to work in this capacity.

Procurement: The Procurement office will work with departments to ensure that independent contractors provide verification that they have completed all required background checks.

Classification and Compensation: The Classification and Compensation department will work with Hiring Managers to determine whether any MPP, Staff, Volunteer, and Special Consultant positions (with exception to those hired through the Office of Academic Personnel) are performing sensitive work which would subject them to background checks. The determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised. The individual in the sensitive positions/assignment must successfully complete the background check BEFORE they are hired or begin volunteering for the university.

Background Check Review Committee: The Background Check Review Committee consists of the following: AVP of Staff Human Resources, Risk Manager, Chief of Police, and the AVP of Academic Personnel (when reviewing results for Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees and Special Consultants hired through the Office of Academic Personnel). The AVP of Staff Human Resources will be notified by the Background Check Processor of all criminal records checks with findings. Criminal records checks with findings will be brought to the Background Check Review Committee. The Background Check Review Committee will review the results of criminal offender records information to assess and make a decision on the final candidate’s suitability for the position based on the results of the entire background check. The AVP of Academic Personnel will only be required to meet with the Committee when Unit 3 and Unit 11 employees or Special Consultant hired through the Office of Academic Personnel records are being reviewed for employment consideration.

University Police Department: The University Police Department will conduct fingerprinting (Live Scan) as required. The Chief of Police or designee will serve as the Records Custodian for all fingerprint records. Results of all criminal records checks will be sent to the AVP of Staff Human Resources.

Background Check Process

Criminal Records Check:

A. MPP/Staff appointments

  1. Hiring Department selects final candidate and notifies Manager of Staff Recruitment.
  2. Hiring Manager or designee extends a contingent offer of employment to the candidate.
  3. Manager of Staff Recruitment initiates background check through the Background Check Processor.
  4. Background Check Processor initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background.
  5. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  6. When no findings are reported, Background Check Processor transitions candidate to “meet requirements” in the Accurate Background database and notifies the Manager of Staff Recruitment of the clearance.
  7. When findings are reported, Background Check Processor notifies AVP of Staff Human Resources and engages the Background Check Committee.
  8. Background Check Review Committee reviews findings. If the Committee determines that the findings will not disqualify an individual for employment consideration the AVP of Staff Human Resources will notify the Background Check Processor. If the Committee determines that the findings appear to disqualify an individual for employment consideration, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable) through Accurate Background.
  9. Background Check Processor will notify Manager of Staff Recruitment when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.

B. Unit 3 Faculty appointments and Unit 11 appointments

  1. Hiring Department selects final candidates and forwards Authorization to Extend an Offer for signature.
  2. OAPL Recruitment Coordinator will notify of approval to hire and request candidate name, and non-CSU, Chico email address from hiring unit.
  3. OAPL Recruitment Coordinator initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background
  4. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  5. Background Check Processor reviews results and moves to ‘meet requirements’ when appropriate.
  6. Background Check Processor notifies AVP of Staff Human Resources of any findings for review and consideration.
  7. AVP of Staff Human Resources convenes the Background Check Review Committee if results of background check has findings that may disqualify a candidate from employment. If adverse action is to be taken on a candidate, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable).
  8. Background Check Processor will notify OAPL Staff when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.
  9. OPAL Recruitment Coordinator will notify hiring department when a candidate is cleared for hire.

C. Volunteers, Special Consultant and Independent Contractors

  1. Background Check Processor will be notified of background checks necessary for Volunteers and Special Consultants.
  2. Background Check Processor contacts the candidate and initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background. The Office of Academic Personnel will contact candidates and initiate the background check process for those hired through the Office of Academic Personnel.
  3. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  4. When no findings are reported, Background Check Processor transitions candidate to “meet requirements” in the Accurate Background database and notifies the Hiring Manager of the clearance.
  5. When findings are reported, Background Check Processor notifies AVP of Staff Human Resources and engages the Background Check Committee.
  6. Background Check Review Committee reviews findings. If the Committee determines that the findings will not disqualify an individual for employment consideration the AVP of Staff Human Resources will notify the Background Check Processor. If the Committee determines that the findings appear to disqualify an individual for employment consideration, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable) through Accurate Background.
  7. Background Check Processor will notify Director of Classification/Compensation and Employment when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.

D. Auxiliary Employees working on campus

  1. AVP of Staff Human Resources will send an annual notice to local Auxiliary Directors notifying/reminding them of the Chico State Background Check policy.

Criminal Background Escalation/ Adverse Action Process

When adverse information is found as a result of the criminal records check, applicants must be notified and given an opportunity to review the criminal records check results and submit an explanation through an appeal process as outlined below.

  1. Pre-Adverse Action Notice: The campus must first provide a Pre-Adverse Action Notice to the applicant, including a copy of the report together with a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”
  2. Five Business Days to Request Review: When notified of the intended adverse action, the applicant shall be given five (5) business days to request, in writing, clarification or further review of the decision. The campus Decision Maker(s) must wait five (5) business days after notice is provided and consider the applicant’s appea before making a final decision
  3. Adverse Action Notice: The campus may finalize its decision to disqualify the applicant if, after five (5) business days, no additional information has been presented establishing that disqualification based on the initial results of the check is inappropriate. If the decision is finalized, the campus will notify the individual of the nonselection using the Adverse Action Notice.

Education Verification Process

A. New MPP/Staff appointments and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions

  1. Once the background check has been initiated for new hires and current staff moving into sensitive positions, the Background Check Processor will perform education verification, when used as a qualifying factor for the position and/or if listed on a candidate’s application.
  2. Background Check Processor initiates process through National Student Clearinghouse.
  3. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  4. Background Check Processor notifies Manager of Recruitment of any findings for review and consideration.

B. New Unit 3 appointments

  1. Hiring Committee will verify degree/education prior to requesting an Authorization to Extend an Offer. OAPL has access to the National Student Clearinghouse and will, upon request, perform a search for records to assist in verification – however, records are not always readily found (especially for non-resident applicants). Contact the Recruitment Coordinator to request a National Student Clearinghouse check.

Reference Check/Employment Verification Process:

A. New MPP/Staff appointments and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions

  1. Before an offer of employment is extended to the candidate, appropriate checking of professional references must be conducted. A minimum of two reference checks are required for every new hire. Reference checks can only be conducted by the Hiring Manager, Appropriate Administrator, or Employment Services.

B. New Unit 3 appointments

  1. Hiring Committee will conduct reference checks for final candidate prior to requesting authorization to extend an offer. A minimum of three reference checks are required for every new hire (FPPP 5.1.3.n)

Optional (checks that may be done if determined to be job-related):

If determined to be job-related, the campus will review the candidate’s credit report history check, motor vehicle records/licensing check, professional licensing, certification, and/or credential verification.

State/National Sexual Offender Registry

For all employment positions with regular or direct contact with minors, the campus will verify if applicants have been included in any state or federal sexual offender registry. Campuses may access records from the Megan’s Law website to conduct a California state sexual offender registry check. For a national sexual offender registry search, campuses may access the U.S. Department of Justice’s website and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Revision date: 10/23/2018